11.28.2008

I'm totally boss.


You're talking to the kid who just beat Super Mario Galaxy. My little bro has been bugging me since we bought the game to win it. Over and over again. He accidentally deleted our progress in March, so I spent my spring break fixing it for him, and as I'm always away at school, I never really have time to play it. But...he bugged me enough. And I gave the ol' Bowser the old one-two. Holla!

Haha. I'm pretty much a Super Mario master. Even Bowser hears my name and shudders.

I hope you had a wonderful day. Nothing like killing people over Tickle-Me-Elmo to incite the Christmas spirit. Yea! Keep Christ in Christmas. That's what I want to be known for. A consumerist holiday where I forget about loving other people and about why I'm celebrating in the first place. LOL.

I could care less if "Christ" is in "Christmas". If we need a silly holiday to remember that, the very foundation of what He came for has been forgotten. His birth, life, and death should be something we consider at every moment of everyday. Not just between Thanksgiving and New Years and when you're trying to find a good parking space.

11.27.2008

Giving Thanks

Just a few of the things that I have experienced today, and hope that you have a wonderful day of rest, too! Happy Thanksgiving, friend. Ohhhh, and here is a funny cartoon about Thanksgiving. Giving thanks is a formidable challenge ;)

turkey
family
laughter
super mario
jhoyndees
cornucopias
pumpkin pie
waking up late
numb toes
snot-nosed babies
computers
friends
music
posters
cars
guitars
multi-colored highlighters
autumn leaves
vacuum cleaners
arguing parents :) [hahahahaha. they're at it right now. not bad arguing, but i wish i could capture this whole conversation. It's just silly! Dad called her a scope-creep. Mom said that it isn't her fault that everytime she wanted someone to do something for her, we were all playing the video game. HAHAHA. ]
little boys
(siblings in general)
peeling potatoes
Christmas music
low gas prices

11.23.2008

I Knew You Before.

by Dustin Kensrue

You were once a sweet little girl
So innocent and pure
Your eyes were open and sure
Anyone could look right in

I followed closely your gaze
You looked up towards the sky
And I watched your face drift away
Other things had caught your eye

Oh, the magazines and media supplied you with their plastic protocol
Oh, and maybe music television really is the devil after all
But all I can say is I knew you before
You were beautiful back then

Before you grew up, before you gave in

You dream of sharing your heart
Instead you share your bed
And your heart beats empty and cold
With all the tears that you have shed

You dream of baring your soul
Instead you bare more skin
And you wear dark glasses to keep
Anyone from looking in

Oh, the magazines and media supplied you with their plastic protocol
Oh, and maybe music television really is the devil after all
But all I can say is I knew you before
You were beautiful back then

Before you grew up, before you gave in

And all you want is to hear the words
"Dear baby I love you"
So you hike your skirt higher still
'Till their eyes are all on you

You drive in fast foreign cars
The color of your sin
And you tint your windows to keep
Anyone from looking in

Oh, and all I can say I knew you before
You were beautiful back then

Before you grew up, before you gave in

And all I can say is I knew you before
You were beautiful back then

You could be beautiful again

-------------------------------------------------------------
Listen to it here.
-------------------------------------------------------------

this is one of my dear friend's favorite songs.
after listening to it like, 16 times this afternoon, my heart hurts for her.
because it is one of her favorites because it reminds her of a friend that died young.
younger than kids should die of drug overdoses.
and i'm learning to play this song because it's catchy.
but i want to be a good friend to her, too.

this same friend has a hard time accepting the graces of a good God.
and this song has a lot of parallels to the life that we could be living apart from the "plastic protocol" provided by today's society.
we may not look like Heidi Klum or sing like Mariah Carey or be sexy, attractive, or awesome, but there is One Who loves us the way we are.

and it's in forgetting the cares of this world that we find peace and beauty.

and i suppose in some ways, it's good to remember that not all guys are looking for that plastic, cut-out, manufactured Barbie doll. even though it feels like that sometimes.

there is One who knew us before we became what we think is "beautiful". and He can make us truly beautiful, again.

11.22.2008

S.T.O.P., bents, and beer.

1.) the website that i've been working on is pretty much up! Joe Leonard is the dude that did all the technical stuff. the design is [basically] mine. i'll still be working on putting in the speaker pictures and jazzing it up, but it's pretty phenomenal.

check it out at www.mercer.edu/stop

2.) i've been filing and polishing the bent for my honors engineering society since like 5, this evening. my hands smell funny. the person whose bent looks the best doesn't have to pay the dues for the group. that would be really nice. but i guess after i'm initiated, i don't have to worry about anything silly anymore, and can just throw tau beta pi on my resume...

3.) i'm really irritated right now. i really love my friends, but i really wish people would follow some lines. if you love this world and you vote for the president and you want the government to do things for you, i think you should follow the government's rules. (with that in mind, even though Christians claim to be of "another country" i.e. heaven, i believe it is our responsibility to "render unto Caesar", whether we feel the government deserves it or not...serving as an example and leader for the rest of the world.)

adding to that, i understand drunkenness happens (and i do drink, and i have been drunk), but i think it is vile to look forward to it. it just rubs me in a bad way. how crass, that we look forward to times that we can overindulge, just because we're punks and have so much wealth, we think it is a treat. a treat to ruin our livers and to trust a substance to ensure that we have a good time instead of learning that we can have a good time without it.

so that is what i have.

i'm going to bed so i can get up and eat orange pancakes tomorrow morning ;)

have a great day.

beth

11.20.2008

christian mystics.

They are people who have always fascinated me.

I remember reading in the English book my sophomore year of high school, and seeing the painting of God with six toes. And some how that had symbolism and meaning. For the life of me, I can't remember who it was that created those images, but the fact goes without saying that the name "mystic" creeps me out. i mean, six toes?

it gives way to secret societies and dark rumors.

handshakes and rituals and icons that mirror new age and satanic presence.

the message of the Good News is simple and available to all who God gives the grace to receive it. Jesus was opposed to secrecy, telling his disciples: What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. (Matt 10:27)

so all this complexity: learning new things in order to be enlightened? moving beyond ourselves? how do they fit with the simplicity that is in Christ?

but the more I evaluate my life and the more I pursue Christ,

i
think
that
i
could
be
classified
as
a
mystic.

not a secret knowledge that makes me better,
not a list of religious conspiracies i have to hide,
not a ritual that releases my soul from my body.

but the simple understanding that my life is different
and somehow there is a new man in my body
and that Jesus gives me the ability and power to be great
through His life and His death and His blood.
it's all very mystical, whether we want it to be or not.
i mean, His blood, really?
really.

i think true mysticism is more simple than the religion we have today.

aligning yourself up with God and pursing that singly?

how is that complex, especially if it is your only goal?

that everything ties into this great God, and how can you pretend to live your life any differently?

there is a meeting I have to attend in like, five minutes, but this conversation isn't done. i feel like i have a lot more to unwrap.

but if you're curious, this site may be able to help you out a little bit with what i'm walking through.

www.yhwh.com

have a blessed day, friend.

11.18.2008

wonder

i prayed over a cup of green chai tea today.

i boiled the water, slowly poured it over the brown bag, watched the steam rise up like wisps of smoke escaping the last burning coals of a fire.

and then i just stood in my living room and inhaled the aroma.

cup up to my chin, i remained motionless for what seemed like forever.

what a glorious scent.

what a glorious feeling.

the prayer had no real words, it was just emotion.

stream of consciousness, perhaps.

oh, God,
oh, God,
oh, God,
life is so big and so crazy
and there is so much to do
and i screw up so much
and all i want
is solace
and to know that i'm okay
and to just soak up all that is good
oh, God.
i love this smell.
i love imagining the smell of all good things are your cologne.
i love being caught up in things i did not make.
i love filling up my lungs with things you have made.
oh, God.
what is to come of my life?
oh, God.
thank you for tea. and for those bushes that smell like apricots.
may i never lose my love and wonder.

11.17.2008

Jesus.

I was just going to leave the post at that, with the title. I just felt that the name, Jesus, needed to be spoken.

But I found this song by downhere. It's called "The Real Jesus". Here are the lyrics. You can listen to it here.

Jesus on the radio, Jesus on a late night show
Jesus in a dream, looking all serene
Jesus on a steeple, Jesus in the Gallup poll
Jesus has His very own brand of rock and roll

Watched Him on the silver screen
Bought the action figurine
But Jesus is the only name that makes you flinch

Oh, can anybody show me the real Jesus?
Oh, let Your love unveil the mystery of the real Jesus

Jesus started something new
Jesus coined a phrase or two
Jesus split the line at the turning point of time
Jesus sparked a controversy
Jesus, known for His mercy, gave a man his sight
Jesus isn't white

Jesus loves the children, holds the lambs
Jesus prays a lot
Jesus has distinguishing marks on His hands

If anybody walks behind the Good Shepherd
If anybody holds the hands that heal lepers
And if you recognize the eyes that see forever, please...

Jesus, Jesus
Oh, can anybody show me Jesus
Oh, let Your love unveil the glory, the real Jesus

Oh, can anybody show me the real Jesus?
Oh, let Your love unveil the glory of the real Jesus, the real Jesus

11.15.2008

Obama Bin Ladin?

So there has been a ton of buzz about our president-elect's faith. apparently, Cathleen Falsani interviewed Mr. Obama in 2004, and has just now released the transcript. To read it, please follow this link.

But anyway. There are a bunch of words that I have heard from conservative Christians, about how unChristian Obama's words are.

And I don't know.

I know of a lot of people who talk the same way, and say they're Christians, too. Is it possible that Obama is just a Christian who struggles with major issues? Or maybe even that he just struggles with his faith, with the hard questions that we all have.

I personally have a hard time believing that people who support abortion are really followers of the Christ. I personally have a really hard time believing that people who support war are really followers of the Christ. Personally, I have trouble with people who say they are Christians and leave it like that. I think there are many of those on both party lines.

Could it just be that Obama is trying to live out his faith and is just misguided and wooed by the ways of this world? I know that sometimes I get bogged down and say things that I don't really mean or don't mean to mean. Or maybe I mean them but I'm trying to learn more and pass beyond my base understanding. but in the meantime, we just do something.

I think the bottom line is we will never really know the personality of our president. We can conjecture and quote and misquote and quote again. And we can pretend like we have all the answers, and that if you don't say everything the right way all the time, then apparently you worship the devil.

Honetly, i don't know.

This is all talk.

I have heard that some Messianic Jews believe the 7 years of tribulation have already begun.

Wars and rumors of wars.

Death and destruction.

Men are lovers of themselves, liars, murderers, adulterers.

I am a lover of myself. I am a liar, murderer, and adulterer.

In the end, if we aren't wholly pursuing the love of Christ at every turn, we're on the wrong track, too.

Ohhhh boy.


11.11.2008

who is lord of the sabbath?

so i suppose the title is a little silly. I mean, c'mon. who practices the sabbath anymore, anyway?

i mean, other than Jews.

us new-Jews, we're pretty slack on the decalogue (a dime-word for the ten commandments), and the other, what, 604 laws that real Jews practice?

so i was reading in mark today.

if you've been reading this page for a while, you know that i've been trying to walk through the gospels. and so john, matthew, mark, here i am. (yes, i read john first. i like john. you got a problem with that?)

anyways. so. mark 2:23-3:6.

the JC is a-talking with peoples and pharisees and scribes, and these religious kids are upset because the disciples were hungry, so as they were walking through a field, they grabbed some munchies off of the growing wheat. and jesus tells them, "yo. man wasn't made for the sabbath. sabbath was made for man".

i am a strong proponent of the idea that God loves us a lot and He put the 10 commandments into place as just a little picture of what His people should look like. not that they had to perform all these things to be His people, but that doing these things reflect the love, justice and mercy that God shows to all men.

religion confuses them as a list of rules you have to perform.
God provides them as a little glimpse of the kingdom of Heaven.

from what i understand, the sabbath is a beautiful time of rest for the Jewish people, when they get to just set everything aside and enjoy their family and friends, quietly, with no interruptions.

so. that being said, the pharisees are still reeling and a little from Jesus' challenge that they're looking at things backwards, and He asks them, "is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?"

and these poor souls have no answer.

the little phrase "on the Sabbath" was an obstacle to justice and love.

surely, if JC asked them, "is it lawful to do good or harm, to save a life or kill?", they would've had a ready answer.

i still have a lot to think through on this. i think it can paralell our lives and what we struggle with religiously.

all i can think right now, to get me through the day is this: it is lawful to do good. it is lawful to save a life.

it is a picture of God and His love and His kingdom. may the love of others and God be what motivate us throughout this day. not the rules that we think help us gain His favor.

11.07.2008

music for the thought

This Too Shall Be Made Right

Cover Art for /The Ringing Bell/ By Derek Webb

Appears on: The Ringing Bell

Lyrics:

people love you the most for the things you hate
and hate you for loving the things that you cannot keep straight
people judge you on a curve
and tell you you’re getting what you deserve
this too shall be made right

children cannot learn when children cannot eat
stack them like lumber when children cannot sleep
children dream of wishing wells
whose waters quench all the fires of Hell
this too shall be made right

the earth and the sky and the sea are all holding their breath
wars and abuses have nature groaning with death
we say we’re just trying to stay alive
but it looks so much more like a way to die
this too shall be made right

there’s a time for peace and there is a time for war
a time to forgive and a time to settle the score
a time for babies to lose their lives
a time for hunger and genocide
this too shall be made right

I don’t know the suffering of people outside my front door
I join the oppressors of those who i choose to ignore
I’m trading comfort for human life
and that’s not just murder it’s suicide
this too shall be made right

11.05.2008

YAY! PRESIDENT!

My little sister wrote an amazing article. You should read it.

I'm incredibly disappointed with the animosity directed towards the President-Elect. Yea, sure, he isn't what everyone wanted, but that is why this is a democracy. It was a good race. They fought hard. Both groups stepped up and voted and voiced their opinions.

But as lali says in her article, it can't stop there.

Stopping at voting once every four years lends itself to communism. Allowing men to be career politicians, learning to grant favors based on bribes and underhanded deals, listening to the few in the audience that are the squeaky wheels while the majority seethes quietly.

America, are you listening to yourself at all? One man cannot make this nation rise or fall. It is our GOD who causes nations to rise and fall. It is our faith values, it is getting up in the morning and making a difference in the way people think. It is being Jesus to ourselves, our friends, our city and our world.

Pastor just preached on this last Sunday.

The reason things are "so bad" are because Christians got scared of what was going on, and instead of addressing it in love and giving people the help they need or want, they retreated into the walls of what made them comfortable. Sharing the salt and light among themselves, learning to compete to see who shines the brightest among us, instead of just sharing that very same light and salt with the people stumbling around in darkness, tied to the bland, care-burdened ways of this world.

those who say they follow the Christ must be active in their everyday lives. they must reach out to those who are hurting. they must bring food to the needy. they must provide love to the broken.

We cannot say that we love the Christ if we do not love the ones He died for. We cannot say we love the Christ if we worry endlessly about the state of our nation.

Must I remind you that we are a democracy, and the state of our nation is the state of ourselves?

If we share the salt we have, it will spread.
If we put our faith in God, it will catch on.
If we trust that our everyday, boring lives can be useful, they will be useful.

and like a wildfire, God's love could sweep this nation.
illuminating
bubbling
overflowing
with love, life, hope, joy, excitement.

For all nations to see,
there may be a man in office,
but God is our King.

and He is the one we heed.
He is the one we love.
He is the one we trust to give us the wisdom to live rightly.

and one more thing.

if you don't like abortion,
try being a friend to someone who may want one.
give them support and love.
show them the Christ that lives in you.
i challenge you.
live beyond yourself.
sin is sin.
your sin of pride in your judgment of her is in many ways worse than her decision that ending a life is the best option.

judas didn't murder Jesus, but his actions directly contributed to the crucifixion of the Messiah.
how many of your actions turn people off from life? how many of your actions hurt the soul of others so that they will refuse to hear God's voice?

if you don't like gay people,
try being a friend to someone who may struggle with homosexuality.
give them support and love.
show them the Christ that lives in you.
i challenge you.
LOVE beyond yourself.
sin is sin,
but if you meet someone who struggles with sexual identity, you will find that they are someone who loves hard and wants to be a good person. you will find some one just like you, but only their hangups are socially taboo.
us good Christians, we've traded abortion and homosexuality for arrogance and anger. the two things that caused Satan's downfall. They are easier to hide. arrogance, we play off as concerned prayer requests.

anger, we play off of wisdom, saying so-and-so isn't the best candidate for our country, and he will ruin our lives.

Ooh, and hey, I bet you'll see that those things are founded in lies.

Who is the father of lies, again?

Whose child are you?

trust Him, it's gonna be okay.