Sunday, May 27, 2007

Food Store Snob

I am going to admit something.

I HATE Wal-Mart grocery stores with a burning passion. They are depressing. I know it is snobby but the store is usually filled with very LARGE and discontent customers and they are usually reaching for some kind of beverage that they have NO business eating and are usually eating it because it says that it has "Vitamin C" in it, even though it contains 4 pounds of sugar and its total weight is 4.5 pounds.

If you venture over to the fruit section you just might find 24 kids with no parent in sight rudely fingering over every apple or pair they can get their Jell-O-pop-crusted fingers on. That is, if they aren't sneezing over the grapes. Eventually the enormous and angry mother will saunter back by to pick up the little tyrants and promptly smack them over the head and make them replace the pair or apple they have licked and played catch or soccer with. The Irony being, the child should smack the mom, make her put the sugar pops back and fill the cart will all the fruit their little grimy hands can grope.

My biggest pet peeve is that I never find the Soy milk I am looking for. As a matter of fact... they are always in short supply of anything I need.

Are you a Food Store Snob? Or is this just I? Where do you go, or like

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Harmony Of Christian Thought and Science

Signs like this irritate every burning atom in my body. (Took a lot of self control to not type something else there.) When I see this sign, I have wild fantasies of blowing it up with a bazooka or renting out a sign right next to it that says. "Christians with the biggest mouths are usually not the ones with the biggest brains."

Here are two quotes about our state of existence. One is a scientific perspective, and one is the Christian perspective. Both are strikingly similar and when that grey matter between my ears consisting of a complex highway ushering over 100 billion neurons, each linked to as many as 10,000 other neurons, processes the following information, it spits out three words. "Pretty stinkin' cool."

Scientific view:

Welcome. And congratulations. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn't easy, I know. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize.

To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifiting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricte and intriguingly obliging manner to creat you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tied before and will only exist this once. For the next many years (you hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, cooperative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally underappreciated state known as existence.

Why atoms take this stroube is a bit of a puzzle. Being you is not a gratifying experience at the atomic level. For all their devoted attention, your atoms don't actually care about you-indeed, don't even know that you are there. They are mindless particles, after all, and not even themseles alive. (It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had onece been you. Yet somehow for the period of your existence they will answer to a singler overarching impulse: ot keep you you. - Billy Bryson *A Short History of Nearly Everything.*

Christian view:

"We are made of nothing into something; and since what we are made "of" does not account for us, [see Bryson's pile of atoms taken apart by tweezers.] we are forced to a more intense concetration upon the God we are made "by."

What follows is very simple but revolutionary. If a carpenter makes a chair, he can leave it and the charir will not cease to be. For the material he used in its making has a quality called rigidity, by virtue of which it will retain its nature as a chair. If the carpenter leaves the chair for a cup of coffee, the chair can still rely for continuance in existence upon the matereial he used, the wood.

Similiarly if the Maker of the Universe left it, the Universe too would have to rely for continuance in existence upon the material He used - nothing. In short, the truth that God used NO material in our making carries with it the realized truth tht God continues to hold us in being, and that unless He did so would should simply cease to be.

Material beings- the human body, for instance- are made up of atoms, and these again of electorns and protons, and these again of who knows what; but whatever may be the ultimate constituents of matter, God made them of nothing, so that they and the beings so imposingly built up of them exist only because He keeps them in existence. We are held above the surface of our native nothingness soley by God's continuing Will to hold us so. "In Him, we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) -Frank Sheed *Theology and Sanity*

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Embarrassing Things You Might Miss By Not Subscribing

I am the biggest post-then-yank-the-post-because-what-I-posted-was-embarrassing blogger in the history of the bloggosphere. I am a stream of conscious writer and half the time I think that people think just as weirdly as I do. Some of you... well, you've got me out-weirded like Pee Wee Herman to the Beaver. But most of the time, I am usually glad that I yanked the post because of either the weirdoramma factor, the anger, or because of the pure, raw stupidity. But as I found out later to my horror, if you subscribe to the RSS feed, you get them no matter what. Here is an example of one that went into the "draft" world:

(Posted a long time ago in a blog far, far away...)

While we are discussing theological mysteries, let me bounce this one of ya'

First... (tapping fingers and slanting my eyes, debating whether or not to type the next paragraph) in the bloggin' world I think we are allowed at least one theologically crude and dumb rhetorical question per year. So here goes.

Will we go poo in heaven? I mean, have you ever thought about it? It's kinda how God designed us right? Or is going number 2 a product of the fall? You may think this to be the stupidest question that a thinking man could ask but I make a habit of surveying various Atheist blogs and these are the kinds of questions that Atheists are asking to stump the Christians! And stump them they do. (now you know you have wondered this too, no matter how trite and banal or even truistic the question might seem. Geeze.)

Just a simple question. So if you think you have a good answer, I would truly like to hear it. I do not think it a ...waste of time. (bud-dum-splash!!)

I do know one thing, if we are going to be "dropping the kids off at the pool" in heaven then I bet the bathrooms will be pretty darn clean. I mean, you don't have to worry about stopping at a gas station and finding a rat swimming in the toilet (like my sister did in East Texas one time) or some sort of fungus speaking French to you from the toilet lid (obviously there will be no gas stations in heaven because gasoline pumps are of the Devil, and Fungi rarely speak French but for the sake of the flow here...) because the gas station bathrooms in Heaven are going to be el-speck-and-spanno. Spotless. Maybe if there are tiers in heaven then you can bet that will be my job. Heaven-gas-station-bathroom-cleaner. As a matter of fact I'll probably get heaven-latrine-duty just for posting this on-the-edge-of-sacrilege-blog alone.

What can I say? I get weirder by the minute when my wife is away. Another plight and flaw in man.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Seth Ponders His Sign and Wonders...




I have a sneaking suspicion that more Christians read horsoscopes than any other religious group. Probably because our favorite apostle is darn near a mystic, and the bible is full of signs, wonders, and prophecies, some including the stars; On BIG star-event in particular. Give you a hint: Magi (astrologers), Star, Prophecy, Virgin…

I am going to confess something. This might make some of you *cough*JOHN*cough* think that I am going straight to hell but… I wonder sometimes: Could there be “something” to them? NOW BEFORE YOU GET YOUR BIBLE CLUB OUT. Hear me out.

If there is, I really don't think it has to do with the gravity of mars makes you masculine or some other hocus pocus crap. And I would NEVER say that God governs our actions through the most ancient and culturally pervasive of mystical ideology: Astrology. And I certainly don't think that ANYONE should put any faith AT ALL in your daily "horoscopes" which are completely stupid and fatalistic.

I am really not talking about that stuff. I just think there is a general cycle to God's creation and throughout time man has done his best to describe that cycle. (Your eyes are rolling. I can feel them) and this is what I am thinking, or really, “wondering for fun”: Like it or not, people born at a certain time of year, seem to display certain tendencies over others. In my opinion, Astrologers used this cyclical behavior and fit it into their magical star predictions. Just like the Greeks thought the sun God rode a fiery chariot across the sky everyday. Or the same reason that in the Ancient Jewish Prayers to the planets, special angels and demons are assigned to the different planets; the greatest and most powerful planet Saturn having only one angel, Ktetoel, and one demon, Beelzebub. These planetary demons regulated the destiny of men. Each planet was an angel or demon.

I think all that stuff mentioned is what man does unless God intervenes and says otherwise. It is how he supernaturally explains the world for which the natural phenomena lives. And Christian theology is the ONLY religion that works in harmony with science. (A thinking Christian views science as a way to see HOW God did it.) So that is what I am wondering, vicariously, with no real “I give a rip” one way or another:

The possibility, that there is in fact, a kind of rhythm to humanity. Just as there is to all of creation. And in that rhythm, (I AM ALMOST CRACKING UP AS I WRITE THIS) it is possible that people, born in certain periods of time, share certain personality traits or tendencies?

It is really about observation without ANY explanation, spiritual or scientific. There are some downright CREEPY similarities in Taurus women and my wife. Creepy. Same for my sign Scorpio. How is this possible? Who the heck knows? I am just saying that the similarities seem to be there. We all recognize them at some level. Again, it could NEVER be proven and I am in NO way condoning astrology or any kind of dependence upon that hogwash. I am simply saying that there MAY BE similarities. And, honestly, I don't see a big problem if that little bit of mysterious programming went into how God set the comedy.

But then again, I have been told that I have quite the imagination so, this all could be total crap as well. The funniest part about this whole blog here is that it perfectly fits the description of how a Scorpio might view it, not to mention brave enough to make a complete and total fool of himself. (Then arrogant enough to brag about his bravery.) And I bet you could go check the qualities of your "sign" and you just might find your reaction to this blog fits the description of yours as well. I have no proof, biblically, theologically, or scientifically- other than there does seem to be a similarity and if it makes sense it would make sense scientifically considering the apparent design of all things. I’m the kind of fella who loves mystery. I love things that aren’t exactly what they seem. Like my wife. Why does she laugh at my jokes? Or like God. “A never ending Art Gallery without beginning or end.” as Chesterton puts it.

Doesn't really matter to me one way or another, just sort of fun to ponder. What pondereth you?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Hilton Slammer for Paris


"Paris Hilton will serve about half of her 45-day jail sentence and will be separated from the general inmate population, authorities said Wednesday.

The hotel heiress will spend about 23 days in a "special needs housing unit" at the Century Regional Detention Center in suburban Lynwood, Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Her sentence was shortened after jail officials gave her credit for good behavior, Whitmore said. Officials considered several factors in calculating the credit, including that she appeared for her latest court date, he said. (????!!!)

Hilton will stay in a unit that contains 12 two-person cells reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates, he said.
Like everyone else in the 2,200-inmate facility, Hilton will get at least an hour outside her cell each day to shower, watch television, participate in outdoor recreation or talk on the telephone, he said.

The 26-year-old socialite was sentenced to jail this month for violating the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. A judge ordered her to report to jail by June 5." - Yahoo News


I am a little irritated by this. I know, I know, Jail sucks. I don't wish that anyone should break the law and go there. But shouldn't jail suck equally for all who go?

Had a good friend a few years back, who will go unnamed, (his picture shows up on this blog from time to time...) who got pulled over and put in the slammer for an unpaid ticket. (200 dollar ticket) Now this friend of mine was mighty low on cash at the time, as most college kids are, and was VERY close to payday. A series of unfortunate events followed including several FAILED attempts at reaching anyone to bail him out. This landed him in a room full of VERY dangerous men. (5O or so in a room that should only hold about 15)

Some of these men were exchanging sexual acts on each other and on themselves out in the open. Needless to say, my friend, the only white preppy male in the bunch, was getting a tad frightened. Salvation came at the LAST moment after they had become more brave in their advances, noticing that no one was coming to his rescue. Right as the fight broke out the Officer approached the Cell and called his name.

Now, if no one would have called, he could have been raped and beaten like there was no tomorrow. In fact, it was about to happen.

No 2-room paradise slammer suite for my friend who was going 60 in a 45. No "special treatment." Nope, thrown to the lions like a fresh cut of lamb. Paris get summer camp for repeated DWI's and my buddy got the Rape Chamber for going 15 over at 2 a.m.

Something NOT FAIR about all this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Meet My Student John Cates

"Cover anything with frosting and someone out there will eat it." How right you are John. How right you are.

This is the motto of my piano student John Cates's blog "Cupcake"

John is one of the most talented students I have ever had. (Yes, I've had quite a few students, and some pretty frickin' amazing.) He is all of 16 and he has recorded 3 full length CDs. And I mean FULL length. The music is sort of electro-pop but don't let that discourage you into thinking it is "push the casio button and let it happen" music. It is well thought out, lyrical at times, melodic and compositionally very creative. Think "Danny Elfman meets Beck and arm wrestles to the Rennaisance Music in their head." However John modestly likens it to "A troupe of monstrously malformed carrion birds pecking at the keyboard of a Mac G4."

In fact, he is sickeningly creative but totally amiable, albeit, eccentric. Plus he's just plain fun to teach. We had a good time tonight before the lesson thinking of bad inventions for the hospital emergency room. Like the "Senile Defibrillator." (This is assuming that all electronic devices in the future can talk.)

Doctor: "CLEAR!!!"

Senile Defibrillator: (Speaking in an old man's voice) "There was this one time I had caramel apples..."

Doctor: "I SAID CLEAR!!! THE PATIENT IS IN CARDIAC ARREST"

Senile Defibrillator: (Fussy) "My pianola player is broken... Grandma???"

Goofy fun stuff like that. Drop by his "blog" and "Myspace page Candy Cantata"if you want a view into John's world.

He is also kickn' serious butt on his Beethoven Sonata Path├ętique.

Wise Words From Joey

"Want the eaaaasy life? Go cash your Student loan check, move to Costa Rica and live like a TSAR."
(cue GONG)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Things I Don't Get

Things perplex me that don't normally perplex other people. I think I am like the dog that can't understand why he can't walk through the glass door, or the cat that wants to fight its reflection. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

This is what I don't get about Ugly Betty:

In real life, she is pretty. They dressed her up to be ugly. Why not find a "not so pretty girl" and give her a job? I had the same problem with Lord of The Rings. Why not hire Vertically challenged folks to play Hobbits instead of going to GREAT pains in all the depth of field stuff? I bet the whole Dwarf world was sooooo ticked when they found out the role of their dreams had been stolen by the wonders of CGI and that pretty boy Elijah Wood. I guess the days of WIllow and Wizard of Oz are long gone.

Back to the Ugly Betty Conundrum...

The question I guess the producers had to ask themselves was: "Do we hire an Ugly chick and call her ugly, or do we hire a Cute girl and dress her up ugly so that when we say she is ugly we don't really feel bad because we know she isn't really ugly?" (Even though the underlying principle of the show is that Betty is really beautiful on the inside which is what really matters even though we had to make a cute girl ugly to not feel bad for calling her ugly.)

I say they should have just hired an average looking actress, Lord knows NYC is chalked full of them, made her millennium, and she would have cried about the title of the show all the way home to her new penthouse to change for her appearance on Oprah or Leno.

Of course the money would have got to her in the end. She would have ended up getting a nose, boob, and belly job so that the Ugly comment wouldn't hurt.

I guess the producers knew what they were doing all along.

Huh??? Ouch! (As my nose hits the glass door.)

Where or When

Feeling nostalgic tonight. Thinking back to all the friends that I made in college, loss touch and now miss. College was really an amazing time. I loved it. It will be hard to put all that behind me but it is time. I have had the privilege of working quite a bit while finishing up. But it has been a HUGE part of my life. The atmosphere of it. The commonality and sense of wonder and expectation that goes along with that environment is something to be savored and then missed.

I look forward to the days ahead but also I took a few minutes to stare back into time tonight and remember friends, places, sounds, smells, and laughs. Good stuff. Great people and some not-so-great people and experiences. But all of them have helped to make me who I am today.

I only regret not keeping in touch with great friends that I have made. Some have gone through a lot and I have heard about it through other people. A few of those friends even passed on. I regret losing touch with those the most.

I was reading my buddy Cachinator's blog about Love and it sent me into this nostalgic mood. He wrote:

"Do you ever marvel at love?

I'm not talking about gushy romantic junk. I mean the kind that Paul says leaves faith and hope behind. The kind that lays down life for another. The kind that feeds the hungry. The kind that rushes to the aid of those in need. The kind that befriends the lonely. The kind that refuses to judge. The kind that is devastated by injustice. The kind that puts others above self.

That kind of love.

Too rare. If you find it - even for a moment - savor it." -Good words brother.

True friends are rare and should be cherished. Don't let a good friendship fade into a memory. They are a rare gift.

To any long lost friend that happens to be tuning in, drop me a line if you wanna catch up.

sethward@mac.com

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!!

So I flat out stole this picture from Mz Jackson's (my sis's) site but I couldn't help it. My mom is so BEAUTIFUL!!!! This is picture of her on her wedding day.

Happy mother's day! ...

Kids That ROCK

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Paris, Paris, Paris...

If you've been living in a hole, Paris Hilton was arrested and sentence to 45 days in the slammer for repeated DWI's. Paris blamed and fired her publicist for telling her it was okay. The judge didn't buy it.

So anyhoo, when the judge refused to let Elliot take the fall, the harebrained heiress changed her strategy...and asked her fans to sign a petition urging California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon her because she provides "beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives" Here is the plea to the Govenator:

“the American public who support Paris are shocked, dismayed and appalled by how Paris has been the person to be used as an example that drunk driving is wrong.
“She provides hope for young people all over the US and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives.
“If the late former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late former President Richard Nixon after his mistake(s), we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest mistake as well.”

So let me get this straight... No really, let me get this striaght... (pausing to laugh my butt off.)

Paris wants her fans, to mail the Govenator a letter to get her pardoned because she is prettier than everyone else and that if she wasn't in their lives their existence would be totally worthless?????? That last part about Ford KILLS ME. This is the funniest thing I have heard since... my birth. I just wonder how many rough drafts that letter went through.

FIRST DRAFT: "Dear pathetic fans who wish they were me... I do not deserve this. Many of you do. I am like, totally too pretty for this and maybe someone fat could take my place. If there is a fat fan out there who wants to do this for me, I would really appreciate it. I promise not to call you fat in public and I promise to see if you are okay on the news... You are welcome for being able to watch me on T.V. and wish that you were me."

I honestly didn't think that what she portrayed on television was the real thing. Apparently, what you see is what you get.

Good luck with those letters Paris. However, "I think One Night In The Slammer" might be just what the doctor ordered.

Superhero For A Day

If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be and why? (And Lord of the Rings Characters count as well. That's right, it's my blog. I can count Gandalf as a superhero)

I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours. Something about that sounded wierd...

Anyways. You. Superhero. For-a-day.

GO.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

In My World Lately...

1. I recently got in a discussion with a man about Catholicism. (Thank you Stephen!) I was accused of having a Dark Sarcasm (OOOOOooooo) and of not knowing the truth because I believe that Catholics are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I really wanted to get nasty but that would be non-Christan of me. I am sure he is a nice guy. (John if you are tuning in, go read John 3:16 for a refresher on who "should not perish and have eternal life." Then go have your mommy tuck you in and read you a betime story so you won't be scared of the big bad Catholics.) Okay, I'll drop it. (Just kiddn' John, seriously! Don't forget, John 3:16. Report on my desk tomorrow!)

2. I spent 6 hours in one day trying to get my M powered interface to work with Logic. (That’s a big “qwa qwa, qwa qwa qwa qwa” to you non music software people.) For some reason I can never remember the name "Logic" when describing the software I use. Not really a name fit for music software in my opinion. Illogical music is much more interesting. Even Bach’s music has illogical, unpredictable things about it. It wasn't till Mozart decided to infuse rampant asymmetry in his later works that he became immortally beloved. In fact, I can't name a late work of Mozart without some strangeness in proportion.

Plain and simple, pure logic is boring. It is needed, it has its purpose but it is kinda like the Navy. They are pretty much there to give the Marines a ride. JUST KIDDING!!!!

3. I installed a symphonic sample library that will soon run every working symphonic musician out of business. It is called the Vienna Symphonic Library. VERY expensive but VERY worth it. I give you a preview soon.

4. I finally started working out again today. Finally. I bout’ croaked on the cross-trainer but I am back in the saddle.

5. I have started drinking Earl Grey tea instead of Coffee. I am now a huge Earl Grey-with-cream-brown-sugar-and-honey fan for life.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Little Known Historical Facts

Napoleon crowned himself Emperor on 2 December 1804 at Notre Dame de Paris. Claims that he seized the crown out of the hands of Pope Pius VII during the ceremony in order to avoid subjecting himself to the authority of the pontiff are apocryphal; in fact, the coronation procedure had been agreed upon in advance.

At the ceremony, a little-known English Duke, Lovington Handles, trying to break into the "in" crowd at the ceremony, met his death by firing squad for a practical Joke he played on Napoleon, thinking it would win buddy-buddy points. Fancying himself a Jester, the young Duke Lovington went home a wrote Napoleon the following letter:

"Dear Emperor Nappy Bona,

A letter arrived this morning via pigeon from the queen of England and she said she wants her wardrobe back SHORTSTACK. leHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

It has also been rumored that Steve Perry from Journey is a descendant of Napoleon though it has never been substantiated.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

We Won

That's right. We kicked some major Williams-Trace-Baptist-Church-golf-tournament booty. Well, my friends Jack, Gerald and Michael kicked booty. I sorta kicked upper thigh. Maybe the shin a couple of times. BUT, I didn't suck. My 14 year old friend Jack came 3 feet from the longest drive of the day. His stepdad Gerald (who is practically a pro and was the primary contributor to our 1st place position) calls young Jack "Lerch." And rightly so.

Fun times. I love golf but I realized today that I'll never be a pro at it. "Duh" you say. But that is kind of a big deal for a man. You see, you grow up your whole life thinking, "If I wanted to, I could devote the time and be the next Michael Jordan, or TIger Woods." However untrue that fantasy might have been at 19 or 20, I still could have made a good go at it. At 32, I know I ain't gonna happen. That's OKAY though.

Plaid just washes me out and that sun is murder on my complexion. And 6 a. m.? (yaaaawniiing)

So a Golf.... pro.... I will never... ....ZZZZzzzzzz.

6 a.m., Saturday

It is 6 a. m. on Saturday. I am up to play golf in a Church tournament. To be fair, I think I'll call all the old men that wear plaid shorts this week at 2 a. m. and make them get up and practice piano. Rise and shine! Slap your plaids on fellas! Time to tickle those ivories!!!

Who the hell gets up at 6 a. m. on Saturday to play golf? Besides those that are 2 steps away from the big golf course in the sky???? I guess that would be me today.

It wouldn't be so bad if I could have got to sleep last night. I think I finally dozed off at 4:20.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Learn it Again Sam.

Spoiled. That’s me. I can do whatever I want. The more I have to do, the more options, the more depressed I get. I think it is the leading cause of depression for men in our country. We are spoiled. We always think... "If I could just reach that little bit further, THEN my life will have meaning... purpose." That's why Warren's book did so well right? (Not knockin' Rick, just saying.) Or we think: "Poor little me. I can't figure out what I want. GOD??? Where are you??? What is your will????? Do I take that corporate job or go to the mission field??? If only my stocks would do better then I would have the freedom to REALLY follow you..."

The guys that seem to be the happiest are the ones that have had the least options. Like my Grandpa. Never met a man more content. When he was 16 his father died and brother went to war. He became the bread-winner for his mom and 4 sisters. 2 years later he added a wife and kid to that. No options. Work, or starve. He died with hundreds of people mourning and celebrating his peaceful, joyful life.

There is a lesson I have to re-learn EVERY. SINGLE. DAY: God, is what I really want.

Sounds cheezy. Maybe it is a bit. It is certainly not sexy. It doesn't come in some cool package plus shipping and handling. It doesn't promise you "The Secret" that you've been hearing about. It surpasses every kind of wisdom, trick, drug, show, song, woman, book, Oprah, food, drink, and song. He is the only thing that my soul will recognize as true nourishment. Sorry, no way around it.

Lately, I have steered away from "talking about" intimacy with God. Mainly, because I noticed that hearing other peoples thoughts about how much they Looooove the Lord just were turning my stomach and making me mad. It shouldn't but it does. It’s my problem. I know it.

Dear Sethro,

Remember this: Your life, your pilgrimage, isn't going to look like ANYONE ELSES. So lighten up. It's a little scarier that way, but there is where your faith comes alive. There is where you become salt. It's also WAY more fun that way. Christians tend to clone each other. We walk around saying the same little "catch phrases." Some of that is natural. Sure, you pick things up. But some... Most of our imitations come from a fear of being unique. Jesus speaks to us all in a unique way. Sometimes we get like Peter and get pissed off that Jesus is talking to John about the mysteries of Heaven while he is asking me if I love Him.

So lessons re-learned today: 1. I need God. I can't have peace or fulfillment without Him. That's the dealio folks. 2. The way that I go about that is going to look different than EVERYONE else. God appeared to Moses in a bush, He appeared to Elijah in a still small voice, and he appeared to the disciples as a Man. Each man of God walked, talked, and dressed totally different.

Something about all that makes me breath a little easier.

There is this amazing quote that I love by C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce that sums up all of these jumbled, tired evening thoughts.

"Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ho Hum

I am feelin' a little down today folks. I don't know exactly why but... I just am. It is not just me either. Everyone I meet seems to be down in the dumps as well. All I really want to do is go home and watch Harry Potter for about 6 hours straight. For some reason it seems to do the trick.

Honestly, I can't wait till the next Potter installment hits the bookstores. Any Harry Potter fans out there? Any speculations on the plot? I am hoping Dumbledore isn't really dead. When I finished the last book I was depressed for days. It wasn't that Dumbledore died, it was HOW he died. It seriously ticked me off. I mean really, ticked me off. Not like, "awwwwe darn." More like, I am going to write Rowling a letter and explain that you don't kill a character like Dumbledore off like that. You just don't. It would be like Obi Wan getting killed by Jar Jar Binks.

"Dear Rowling, that ending sucked. You are a cruel, cruel woman." -that was my letter.

So there it is. My honest state of being. In the dumps. Surprised? You don't get many whiny blogs. They are usually all about how sunny everything is and how life is just rosy. Well, that isn't reality in my book. I am mostly a happy fellow, but tonight I've got the blues. So, after Church choir, I'm off to my Harry Potter therapy. What does the trick for you?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Few Very Important Things to Remember While Talking To An Atheist

1. Most die-hard Atheists are smart (although we believe they are unwise) and know why they are an Atheist, just like you hopefully know why you are a Christian.

2. Christians do not believe that ancient gods of other religions are total figments of the imagination. Rather we believe that it was man reaching for a God that did and does exist and doing their best to understand him and how he governs his creation. So when an Ancient Greek prayed to Zeus, he was praying to a version of God that was partly his invention, and partly a remaining knowledge of the Living God. For after the fall, God did not leave man entirely. No, man still could sense God's presence but could not truly know God without God Himself making Himself fully known, as he did with the Jews and then fully in Christ.

3. God is not a God of the Gaps. He is the God of everything, including the Gaps. We believe he is active in some way, without destroying the innate free will, in every created thing, for He holds together all things by his thought. This may not convince, but it will keep you from trying to find the thing that cannot be explained by science. At the core of EVERYTHING created there is a mystery. Period.

4. Believing in God is not the same thing as believing in a pink burping spaghetti monster. Just like believing that my mother loves me is not the same thing as believing that my phone loves me. It is common for Atheists to build arguments built on “Straw Men.” They can no more prove scientifically that God does not exist than we can prove scientifically that He does exist. I can prove that the pink burping spaghetti monster does not exist. I made him up. I defy any atheist to locate the man that made up God.

5. They will rarely be convinced by preaching or your words but by your love. YOU, YOURSELF will NEVER convert them. Only God can draw a man to Himself.

Teaching

I love to teach. I think teaching is one of the greatest things an artist can do to provide a healthy equilibrium to his or her mental state. You are forced to stop thinking about yourself and you plunge your energies into a bright young hopeful. It is powerful and beautiful. The Lord was the greatest teacher and every teacher could model their methods by studying Him and his interactions closely.

I tell all my students that I want to build artists, not just "pianists" or "guitarists." If they have some poetry to bring in, bring it. If they have a composition, bring it. If they have photography, bring it. Sometimes I will combine the art forms. I once had a student who loved to write stories. She also loved to compose. We spent one month writing a piece of music that described the story. It was so much fun I couldn't wait for the lessons myself.

Honestly, if I didn't teach this way, I would get bored.

Teaching is also much more than learning a craft. It is loving. A young artist grows more from just being around a teacher who loves God and his creation and offers them a new perspective while inspiring them to see their own.

I can only wonder what it must have been like to sit in on one of C.S. Lewis's seminars on medieval literature.

True teaching is darn near a lost art. Great individual artists have always had someone who took the time to build their character along with their abilities. Do you have anyone who fits that description? I have a few. My dad being one.

Love to hear yours.