Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is God Romancing Us?

Steve Fuller over at A Better Way has a great post today about a college professor that chose to retire in order to take care of his ailing wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. There's a video you can watch on his post or here. Either way, watch the video. It's short and completely worth it. By the end, all I could say was "That's the most romantic thing I've ever heard."

And as Fuller's post says, "Some of us have forgotten who God is; others of us have never known. Either way, he knows who you are, and he has promised to be there for you." And I asked myself, isn't all God's doing is romancing us? Trying to get our attention so we can see just how amazing he is? Sacrificing himself so I can live an blessed (not necessarily happy or easy) life? Isn't all he's doing is trying to open our hearts to his love?

I've been reading a fiction book entitled The Art of Standing Still by Peggy Culliford. It was the title that intrigued me, enough to pick it up among so many other books on the shelf. I don't feel as though I have a stressful, crazy-busy life. It's simple, predictable, comfortable. But is that what I want in my romance with God? Do I want to know exactly what God's going to do with me next? (Well, kind of... if I'm being honest.) Do I want the same thing day after day? I don't think I do, and I know for sure that I don't want that in any kind of romance. It might be safe, but it won't be good. And our God is the opposite of that.

At the same time, I need to learn how to stand still. Otherwise I won't notice what he's trying to tell me, show me, teach me. I won't notice him loving me. And there is nothing more selfish than ignoring love. In this area of my life, and probably many others, I am the most selfish person on the planet.

By the way: Organic chocolate milk rocks my sauce. Not a great ending to this post, I realize. But it's my glass right now and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Monday, February 26, 2007

And the Award Goes to...

For the lamest, most insensitive newspaper quote ever: the award goes to Lt. Dennis Lewis of the Kearney Police Department.

Kearney's longest known transient died last weekend after being hit by a pickup. And what does the police department have to say about it? "It's like the end of an era."

No, it's the end of a life, you idiot.

Rest the rest of the story here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm in a Waterdeep Mood

An all Waterdeep mix is on my ipod. I cannot help but empty my head of the crap that's filled it today, sit back and let the mellow wash over me. Ah, how I've missed them. Please get back into the studio someday, Waterdeep.

Speaking of music, I heard yet another cover of yet another worship song on the radio today. If I hear another version of "You're Worthy of My Praise" "In Christ Alone" "Shout to the Lord" "Above All" "Breathe" or "God of Wonders" I will throw up. As great as our God is, why do we keep recycling the same songs over and over again? There is so much more about him that has yet to be written.

I will happily drift away to the sound of Don's voice.

"... I finally found the way to live. In the presence of the Lord..."

Monday, February 19, 2007

No children? Then no marriage

Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced an initiative that would put a whole new twist on traditional unions between men and women: It would require heterosexual couples to have children within three years or else have their marriages annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, which was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage.

Read the rest of the story here.

I love that this initiative is happening in Washington. Why? One of my close friends from college and his partner live there. And they just got engaged. I'm so happy that he's found someone who he loves and who loves him back. It's not easy to find that, no matter your sexual orientation.

I hope this initiative spurs on the discussion that so many are afraid to have. What makes a marriage valid? Is it simply procreation to ensure the future of our planet? The idea is absurd. As someone who really doesn't care to have kids, I simply cannot stand behind the mentality that a ideal marriage is one with children - or even that perhaps the only purpose for being around is children. If that's the case, I guess my existence in the world is not necessary. So why did God bother?

Do you see how far this discussion into the ridiculous can go? And that's okay with me, because as least it's getting talked about rather than swept under the rug.

My only concern is that this may further alienate those on the fence about the issue. As unfortunate at this is, they need the support of those in hetersexual marriages in order to accomplish their goal.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crashing Down... in a puddle, of all things.

For the better part of the evening, I felt free.

I knew I would see someone tonight that hurt me. I would once again come face to face with a person who promised many things to me and didn't follow through. I knew this friend would be at a get together tonight.

So I mentally and emotionally prepared myself - something I'd been unable to do previously because the encounters were chance. The preparation helped - I told myself I would not let it affect me like the previous times. I would not allow my night to be ruined this time.

And things were fine. We were having a great time; rhere was laughter, joy, ease, love, fun. My heart was light. It was good, it was all good... until about 11:45pm, when the person who hurt me more than any other person has said to a very close friend of mine, "You should come over sometime."

Is this stupid? The person who disappeared from my life when I needed my best friend the most is inviting my close friend over to place I haven't been invited over to see. And this was done right in front of me. Tonight, in the darkness that is 12:45pm, it feels wrong to me. Not because I'm jealous of their friendship. Why should I be? But because I feel as though I should be invited. To me it felt thoughtless and rude. My heart sank because I was not included in the invitation.

Whoa. That word "included" just hit me like I Mack truck.

I need to think about this for a while. Is it really just about not being included? That sounds so small. So petty. So sad and pathetic.

For me it all goes back to the why question. I don't have the answer as to why things turned out the way they did. In the past, it's always been my fault. Always. So it's pretty safe for me to assume it is this time. But I don't know why.

Was the disappearance intentional?

Was it something I said or did?

Did they mean more to me than I meant to them?

The questions came in torrent and my anger nearly welled-up. The chains were back. My night ruined. All the positive I built up in my heart came crashing down in a landslide of hurt. The hope that I had the ability to let go of this and move on was suddenly lying in a puddle all around me.

So after the invitation, I felt it hang in the air over my head. I continued dealing the cards (not metaphorically... we were playing Pitch.) and I remembered my cell phone screen saver, which is one simple word.


But I want my friend to know how much I hurt. I want to be ackowledged for being the better person. I don't want to let someone get off scott-free (where did that expression come from?) while I sit quietly in the corner. I feel as though I deserve justice. And I just can't get over that.

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, maybe the landslide will bring it down

I just want the freedom back. Please, God, no more landslides.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Top Ten Most Romantic Movie Lines

...that I can remember. I'm sure there are more.

10.) "If I could measure the beauty of her eyes, I was born to look into them and know myself." -Shakespeare in Love

9.) "The world moves for love. It kneels before it in awe." -The Village

8.) "I loved people before and they went away, so a long time I made the decision I wasn't going to need anyone anymore. I"ve wasted most of my life that way. And I know I'm late and I know I don't deserve it. I need you. I love you." -Heart and Souls

7.) "The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds and that's what you've given me." -The Notebook

6.) "I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything…" -Good Will Hunting

5.) "She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen" -Say Anything

4.) "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."-When Harry Met Sally

3.) "I don't think you're an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother's pretty interesting and you really are an appallingly bad public speaker and, um, you tend to let whatever's in your head come out without much consideration for the consequences. I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet that I was unforgivably rude and wearing a reindeer jumper that my mother had given me the day before. But the thing is, um, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances... I like you. Very much... No, I like you very much. Just as you are." -Bridget Jones' Diary

2.) Look, I guarantee there will be tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us is going to want out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know in my heart you are the one for me. - Runaway Bride

1.) "You make me want to be a better man."-As Good As It Gets

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Shut Up and Sing

I'm ashamed to say that back in 2003 I was mad at Natalie Mains for saying what she did. I was equally mad at Toby Keith for being stupid. I didn't buy either album as I'm not much of a country music fan (of the two artists, I definately like the Dixie Chicks music better - I think it's the fiddle I dig.) but I still had my opinion about their behavior. I favored Alan Jackson's approach - the more sentimental "we're in this together" kind of song. I loved that Jackson won the CMA that year for Artist of the Year when he was up against both Keith and the Chicks.

I'm never going to be okay with war. I'm just not. Does that make me left-winged or right-winged? I don't care. I'm sick of those labels, and I'm sick of what they stand for. And I love when the entertainment industry crossed into politics, because that seems to be the only genuine time everyone is willing to enter the dialog. The dialog we were all afraid to take part of from 2002-to present. The dialog that asks "Is war okay?" "Is it the only answer?" I like anyone who is willing to get in there and debate. Doesn't matter what they believe (obviously, because I once posted I kinda love Fox News... which probably freaked some of you out.) But I also love Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann, because they are all talking about it. Keeping silent for all those years brought our fall. I love what all these people and organizations are doing to try and wake up our brains again.

Last night I was genuinely surprised when Not Ready to Make Nice won Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. That's a long list, and I'm very happen for them. Not because I agree with their stance on the war (by the way, I do) but because the song... is perfection.

I love the video - it's beautifully shot and wonderfully symbolic of what happened to the group. The song is vulnerable, reminding us that they are not just "mouthpieces" but human beings that paid a large price simply for having an opinion.

I hate what happened on 9/11. I hate that thousands lost their lives and I hate what's it's ultimately done to Iraq. To quote Derek Webb..."peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication. It's like telling someone murder is wrong by way of execution".

What occured after September 11, 2001 was facinating to me. To see everyone bond together despite our see the surge of patriotism... to see us all work together in that time... well, it made me feel good about being an American. But it's continued in a not-so-nice direction.

I used to think that 9/11 brought out the best in us. Now I'm not so sure.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The New Highlight of My Week

I finally broke down and got myself cable tv. I decided to stop bothering my friends and save myself the $1.99 charges from iTunes. Yes, I've finally entered the 19th century, even if it is a little late.

So for the last few weeks I've been flipping through channels and I paused to watch Iron Chef America. And all I can say is - why did I wait so long to get cable?

Seriously, this show is the funniest thing I've ever seen. From the stadium lights to the camaras on cranes to my delightful glee in seeing Ted Allen as a judge (Whee!) to watching Bobby Flay cook with chocolate (isn't his thing BBQ?)... I'm in love.

But it's the hilarious music and the "sports-like" commentary are truly what make me laugh. I mean, it's a cooking show! And they are treating it like it's the NBA finals! Alton Brown sends us off to commerical, while checking his computers screens as if checking statistics on the players. Come on, that is seriously funny. And when the "chairman" waves the proverbial flag to start the 60 minutes? I'm in stitches, cracking up all over the place. I could make fun of this show for the rest of my life and never tire of it.

It rocks my sauce. I love it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

God, Inc. Ep.2

"What department are you with?"


"You mean like seeing Jesus' face in a tortilla?"

"No, that's publicity."

Love it.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

God, Inc.

Leave your politically correctness behind, and your offended sensibility at home, because I find this series ridiculously hilarious. But it's not for the faint of heart.

God, Inc. Episode 1

There are five episodes total so far. Stephen Faulk (or stee, as many know him) is Pamela Ribon's husband. While he doesn't appear until episode two, she mentioned these little jems on her website.

It will probably offend you a little. I still find them funny.

NFL Fumbles

Kansas Bob discovered this before me.

No Super Bowl in Church

I find this situation very irritating.

Impregnated 3 Times by Your Youth Pastor?

Ex-pastor called 'wolf in sheep's clothing'

This makes me sad.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Building Letters 3

I find this very cool.

As a graphic designer, I'm a bit of a font junkie. (You don't want to know how many I have loaded on my Mac). I just recently discovered a 64 page full-color magazine entitled Building Letters 3. The project began in 2005 (and was finished just last month) in response to the South Asian Tsunami, and it contains contributions from noted writers on typography. Production costs were met, so all proceeds go to help victims of the disaster.

The book also includes a CD that has 25 fonts by both established and up-and-coming designers.

Very cool indeed.