Monday, July 28, 2008

Pop Culture Quote Monday

There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dark Knight



I've never been one for the comic book movie. But after all the raves and all the friends who'd seen the latest Batman installment, when the chance to go this afternoon popped up, I decided, "why not?"

What I didn't expect was to really be moved, and aside from being moved also see so many spiritual themes. The battle between good and evil is an obvious one, but this movie takes it to a deeper level, exploring the human condition, the state of our hearts, and rising to find the much-needed hope of a community of people.

It was hard for me at times to not stop and appreciate the genius I was seeing on screen. Heath Ledger as the Joker really is definitive. Horribly creepy and unsettling. He makes your skin crawl. The constant flicking tongue, the haunting eyes, that voice... had I not known it was Ledger I'm certain I wouldn't have recognized him. Gone was the signature husky voice and the twinkle in his eyes... it was replaced with a slow, deliberate cadence-like speak and his eyes held the hollow-emptiness of the Joker's sad life. I went in knowing of the Oscar talk and thinking "He'll just win because he died." I came out of the theater knowing that it would be a shame if he wasn't nominated. His performance is brilliant.

I don't want to spoil anyone, so I won't write anymore. (Although it's killing me... so many great questions to ponder. But I can't without giving anything away!) It's best to go into a movie like this completely spoiler-free, to be shocked at the turn of events... to relish in the unpredictability.

I highly recommend going to see it. I will be surprised if I attend a better movie this year.

Reason #3 Why I Love Nebraska

I get to openly mock this:



Because it rightfully deserves to be mocked. Mercilessly. Seriously, the crazy finger-pointing alone is worth 10 minutes of mocking.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Four Truths I Must Remember

You have control over only two things:

How you treat yourself and how you treat others.

_______________________________________________________________


There are two things you cannot control:

How others treat you and how others treat themselves.

... passed on to me from my pastor. Good stuff.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pop Culture Quote Monday

First of all, I must say Mamma Mia! was incredible. Really. Just as good as the stage show. Meryl Streep rocks my sauce... girl can belt it.

This is not an easy one, but anyone with a twisted sense of humor adores this movie:

Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reason #2 Why I Love Nebraska



This town: Kearney. It's where I've lived for the last eight years, and the place I will say goodbye to in four short weeks. Many things about this town drive me crazy. But many things don't. I choose to focus on the things that don't.

1.) You can talk to a complete stranger for 5 minutes while waiting for pizza at Valentino's, and it doesn't feel weird. (Just did that tonight.)

2.) Everywhere you go takes 15 minutes.

3.) I love that I found a place to live within walking distance of where I work, walking distance of my grocery store, AND walking distance of a recycling center.

4.) Barista's Daily Grind. Yum.

5.) Redmond's, the best shoe store ever. So small and old school they don't even have a website.

6.) When we have a tornado it's all we talk about for the next 3 days. And 15 people call you to see if you are okay.

7.) I don't know why I love this so much, but I love that my dumpster gets blown away every time it's windy and storms, and my neighbor Tom always puts it back.

8.) I used to work at this company. There are so many people that work or have worked there that I now work with two of them at my current job. And I almost always see one other former colleague from said company each week, whether it's at Target, a gas station or elsewhere.

9.) The Sandhill Cranes

10.) The best place to get a raspberry ale, whose raspberries where grown by a friend of mine.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pop Culture Quote Monday

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is: "Never get involved in a land war in Asia." But, only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reason #1 Why I Love Nebraska



Legacy Milk comes out of Hallam, NE. They use glass bottles that you can return to the store (Environmentally-friendly! Yea!), they have crazy-fun flavors like Cotton Candy and Root Beer. You pay a little extra, but it completely worth it. They don't use any growth-hormones, and it just tastes good.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Infliction



The troubadours wrote songs and poetry, mainly centering around the themes of love and chivalry. One theme that has always struck me was their idea that the wound a person suffers can only be healed by the one who inflicted it.

Richard Wagner, a German composer, eludes to the idea that the only way to right a wrong is go back to the time when the wrong decision is made and thus, make the right one. In his opera, Parsifal, Wagner composed a song, probably based on the troubadours theme, called "The Wound Is Healed Only by the Spear That Smote You".

The idea that a wound can only be healed by the inflicter makes logical sense to me. I'm a fan of logic, for even in the most grey and philosophical area logic helps my mind organize everything. But is there truth in this statement? I imagine there would be plenty of Christians shouting "no!" to this idea, because of the truth that God heals our wounds.

But is it really that simple?

Last summer I was able to sit across from and have lunch with a friend who wounded me deeply. Very deeply. He never said he was sorry; to my knowledge he doesn't even think he hurt me. I had to consciously seek out the strength of God to forgive him. I did it not only because Jesus says to do it, but also for my own emotional well-being. Holding a grudge is no good - and hurts you more than the person did you harm.

I was only able to sit at that table because God worked in my heart to make sure there were no more ill feelings towards him. It would have been easier, I think, had my friend just apologized. But he didn't. I had to readjust my thinking - that forgiving isn't saying what the person did was okay. But rather, forgiveness is saying that it hurt me, and I need to release them.

Who am I to say that God doesn't heal all our wounds? No one. I'm not saying that he can't, but I am saying that we sometimes don't let him.

The idea of healing a wound is especially interesting to me. Can any of our wounds compare to the wounds Christ felt on that Friday so many years ago? Or the wounds he suffered the night before when one of his own betrayed him with a holy kiss? Or course not, but that doesn't make our wounds any less real. And if we are really honest with ourselves - even if we think we are healed - even if we feel healed - seeing the person who inflicted that wound is hard. It can cause your heart to twinge and your stomach to ache. And I realize that as I sit here trying to make a point that both the troubadours and God can be right at the same time, that I have a much stronger argument for God being right - because of my own experience. The one who wounded me had NOTHING to do with my being healed. That was all God, and me working really hard to forgive.

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Jeremiah 30:17
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD, 'because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.'

Hosea 6:1
Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm frustrated!



I've been to a lot of sporting events and a lot of ceremonies where the American Anthem was played. Not once did I place my hand over my heart. I haven't done that since I said the pledge of allegiance in high school.

I guess that makes me an unpatriotic Muslim running for president.

In all seriousness, I am SO tired of getting emails about Barack Obama. The ignorance with which it is forwarded drives me crazy. It makes me want to make up an outlandish story about someone then forward it to all my friends as if it were gospel, just to see how long it takes to get back to me.

I love this country and the people in it, but man... we are ignorant sometimes.

Pop Culture Quote Monday

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

Friday, July 04, 2008

Reasons

An appropriate post from Jan at the view from her (I'm particularly fond of #5, #8 and #14):

Reasons I love living in the U.S.A. on our 232nd birthday:

1. The 4th of July. Barbecue, parades, sparklers, fireworks.
2. We have the prettiest flag.
3. You can drive anywhere without asking permission. Even across state lines. And stay as long as you want.
4. Blue jeans.
5. You can love or hate books like The Shack, or The DaVinci Code, but they're not forbidden.
6. We have real cowboys.
7. And Indians.
8. You can freely mock the President. I think we take that for granted.
9. The Freedom of Information Act. Our government will actually give you information about itself.
10. You can send a letter to any one of over 111 million homes, and it will be delivered to precisely the right one in only about two days, for just 42 cents.
11. New England clam chowder.
12. Alaska and Hawaii.
13. You can have as many children as you want.
14. Libraries. All the free books you can read. (6 at a time.)
15. Thanksgiving Day.
16. The Bill of Rights.
17. You can paint your house any color you want. Unless of course you live in a California homeowner's association.
18. Baseball.
19. An efficient sewage system.
20. Microsoft and Apple. (Like I would link to Microsoft.)
22. Jazz.
23. Gospel music.
24. Rock 'n Roll.
24. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."