Sunday, December 27, 2009

the good fight (leaving song)

You fight the good fight don't ask me to stay
The sun's in your eyes but you don't look away
By your side I took the beating of a lifetime
So please don't mind
If my blood gets on your shirt
I'll get you a new one, get you a new one
One that's better than the first
Just don't go away when I need you the most
Leave me holding the rope, I don't yet have a grip
So what? I can't stand on my own
I'll admit that you are the better man

All I have to give I gave
Change the rules to better play your games
And this chain around my neck is wearing thin
Oh thin

Count me out of this round but not the race
I'm bruised but not beaten, worn but not weakened
Still got some fight in me yet
Seven years, and I'm not who I was when I started
If you would see last insufficiencies past, through this scarlet letter
Maybe I, maybe things would be different
I wish I could look you in the eye without hesitation

Oh I'm learning to walk without crutches
Oh I'm learning to love with a heart that is busted
So make a little room
Clear a little space if I stumble

Oh I'm learning to walk without crutches
Oh I'm learning to love with a heart that is busted
Find a little place
Any little space of my own

Friday, December 25, 2009

a charlie brown christmas

Charlie Brown:
I think there must be something wrong with me Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel. I just don't understand Christmas I guess. I like getting presents, and sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.

You're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest.

Full special on Hulu until the new year:

Friday, December 18, 2009

christmas presents

My Christmas gifts this year are photographic.

All finished.

Wrapped up, 99 cent wrapping paper FTW!

These are for me.

Nice frames are cool.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

mustard - last time

“I listen to the O&A show daily at work so I’ll give a little back story here. When they brought this guy on they had no idea he could sing. It was just going to be a radio bit promoting their upcoming “homeless shopping spree.” During the interview it came up that he has written some songs and could play guitar. So they went and got the man a guitar (he did not own one himself) and he proceeded to shock the hell out of everyone. No one expected him to be as good as he was. He played two other songs that he wrote that are kind of in the style of Dave Matthews or John Mayer, I would imagine that stuff will be online shortly.”


Monday, December 14, 2009

rainy days...

...please won't you stay?
(click for full size)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

i can't remember

Several years ago in a large city in the far West, rumors spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus. The reports reached the archbishop. He decided to check her out. There is always a fine line between the authentic mystic and the lunatic fringe.

"Is it true, ma'am, that you have visions of Jesus?" asked the cleric.

"Yes," the woman replied simply.

"Well, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession."

The woman was stunned. "Did I hear you right bishop? You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past?"

"Exactly. Please call me if anything happens."

Ten days later the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition. "Please come," she said.

Within the hour the archbishop arrived. He trusted eye-to-eye contact. "You just told me on the telephone that you actually had a vision of Jesus. Did you do what I asked?"

"Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins you confessed in your last confession."

The bishop leaned forward with anticipation. His eyes narrowed.

"What did Jesus say?"

She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes. "Bishop," she said, "these are His exact words: 'I CAN'T REMEMBER.' "

-Brennan Manning, "The Ragamuffin Gospel"

ask for wonder

Several years before his death, a remarkable rabbi, Abraham Joshua Heschel, suffered a near-fatal heart attack. His closest male friend was at his bedside. Heschel was so weak he was only able to whisper. "Sam," he said, "I feel only gratitude for my life, for every moment I have lived. I am ready to go. I have seen so many miracles during my lifetime." The old rabbi was exhausted by his effort to speak. After a long pause, he said, "Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and He gave it to me."
I asked for wonder, and He gave it to me. A Philistine will stand before a Claude Monet painting and pick his nose; a person filled with wonder will stand there fighting back the tears.

"Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of Your universe. Delight me to see how Your Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not His, to the Father through the features of men's faces. Each day enrapture me with Your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share in the wonder of it all."

-Brennan Manning, "The Ragamuffin Gospel"

Monday, December 7, 2009

the prince

The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.
-Niccol├│ Machiavelli, "The Prince"
It's strange how a 500 year old book on Italian politics can be so accurate in describing human nature. I guess people don't change much over the centuries. I don't recommend this book unless you enjoy sifting through historical and political rhetoric for anything meaningful. Or you plan on becoming a dictator. I do feel kinda pretentiously smart reading it though.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The man with the clear head is the man who frees himself from those fantastic "ideas" [about his own character and identity] and looks life in the face, realizes that everything in it is problematic, and feels himself lost. And this is the simple truth - that to live is to feel oneself lost. Whoever accepts this has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look round for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.

-Jose Ortega y Gasset, "The Revolt of the Masses"


Saturday, December 5, 2009


I just realized that approval and acceptance are my drugs of choice. I will never get enough to satisfy my hunger.

Friday, December 4, 2009

faith and works

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:27

If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Corinthians 3:14-15

Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.
2 John 1:8
If we have been saved by grace, not by works, how can there exist a concept of heavenly rewards according to earthly deeds? Why does scripture repeatedly refer to a rewards system based on what we do on earth? What is so reprehensible about barely escaping through the flames if the ultimate reward in heaven is God Himself? I thought that the worker who is hired at the end of the day is paid the same as the one hired in the morning.

My only concrete understanding of heaven is eternal fellowship with God, where worship exists without corruption nor fatigue nor apathy. And everyone in heaven participates, whether they entered by an inch or a mile. So why a rewards system? Will we stare jealously at our neighbor's house which is gilded with gold from our own which is gilded with silver? I cannot believe that heaven will contain such human fallacies. I believe our attentions will be so captivated by Glory that we will hardly notice ourselves, much less our surroundings.

Faith without deeds is dead, that much is understandable. Could these rewards be a motivator for the less initiated? The idea of a heavenly reward can and does drive many people to labor for God, even if it doesn't make any difference. But I can't believe that God would be so...manipulative. It's not consistent with His personality to create vestigial motivators. If good works do not come out of a desire for God, they are but dirty rags.

How can such a paradox, if not an outright contradiction, exist within scripture which is supposed to be infallible? The only way I can rationalize it is by arguing that life is paradoxical. We are walking contradictions. Shine a red light on a yellow scrap of paper and it will look red. Shine a green light on that same scrap and it will look green. (I think.) Only white light reveals true colors. It is important not to shelve our doubts, but to wrestle over them. God could have called his people whatever He wanted to, but he chose the name "Israel," which means "wrestles with God."

Please share your thoughts. Maybe our different colored flashlights will combine into something resembling white light.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

forgiven and loved

Tell me I’m forgiven and loved
‘Cause I hear it from the street corner priests
On how God is love and how man can be clean
But my joy has been on holiday
And my peace has almost passed away
Tell me I’m forgiven and free

Oh I tried and tried to rectify my hopeless situation
But I bought the lie I still have work to do
Now I’m working nine to five like I can earn my own salvation
But there is no condemnation in You

Oh whisper to me now that it’s for real
‘Cause in the silence of these walls righteousness lost its appeal
Dirty deeds have done me in
Oh but that can’t stop the faithful friend
Giving mercy once again as You heal
Here it is I’m feeling it

Oh He died, He died to rectify my hopeless situation
And His blood commands my guilt to leave
Now on Calvary I stand
Empty pockets, open hands
Oh there is no condemnation for me

Child, you’re forgiven and loved
Child, you’re forgiven and loved
Child, you’re forgiven
And child, you are loved
Child, you’re forgiven and loved

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the measure of a man

Is part of the measure of a man in his ability to soldier on indefinitely? To wear a pleasant face when situations are not pleasant? To ignore emotion when emotions beckon?

Is lacking stoicism a sign of weakness?

Answer me or I will have no reaction either way!