Monday, December 31, 2007

Best of 2007

my Top 15 Albums of 2007

15. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
14. Fauxliage - s/t
13. David Crowder*Band - Remedy
12. Eluvium - Copia
11. The Innocence Mission - We Walked in Song
10. Jon Foreman - Fall ep
9. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
8. Sigur Ros - Heim/Hvarf
7. Travis - The Boy with No Name
6. Great Northern - Trading Twilight for Daylight
5. Deas Vail - All the Houses Look the Same
4. Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild soundtrack
3. Unkle - War Stories
2. Explosions in the Sky - All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone
1. Radiohead - In Rainbows

Last FM most played from 2007
artist:
U2 - 365
Radiohead - 345
Explosions in the Sky - 297

song:
David Crowder*Band - Oh the Glory of it All

My Top Albums 2004 2005 2006


Top Movie
Into the Wild

TV
Lost
Friday Night Lights
Dirty Sexy Money
Nimrod Nation

Music Film
Heima (a film by Sigur Ros)

Game
Lego Star Wars: the Complete Saga (Nintendo Wii)





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Now playing: Sigur Rós - Heysátan
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 24, 2007

176 days until...

summer.











all i want for Christmas is... a sinus infection.

sweet!

Friday, December 21, 2007

5 Minute Walk

back in my college days - it wasn't uncommon for me to go to various alternative Christian concerts... some of the concerts featured bands from a small label called 5 Minute Walk Recordings. At one show I got a free t-shirt that Said 5 Minute Walk on the front and Take Time to Listen on the back. it was a favorite tee until i lost it.

Ironically, the name of this blog is borrowed from the album title of a 5 Minute Walk sub-label band, Dimestore Prophets.



Something I was reading from Wise Traveller: Relationships triggered memories of 5 Minute Walk this morning...

I turned to Wikipedia to find out more info on 5 Minute Walk. Frank Tate - founder of the label, explained the name this way:

If you spend five minutes a day talking to Jesus like you would a friend, He would become your friend. I know it sounds weird, but I challenge you to give it a try. The next time you're bummed, lonely, scared or frustrated, go for a five-minute walk and talk to Him like you would a friend. Tell Him exactly how you feel and what you're thinking.

How many of us need to take that walk today?

A 5 minute walk can lead to so much more.
It can lead to cooler heads prevailing.
It can bring peace of mind.
It can serve as exercise for the body, mind and soul.
It can bring about conversation with the Father.
It can produce fruit from a deepened relationship with Jesus.

the 5 Minute Walk. sounds like a good resolution for the coming new year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

the gift that keeps on giving

Acute viral nasopharyngitis. it's name strikes fear into the hearts of man. i've heard it's a more powerful torture technique than waterboarding. 'twas the real reason Hitler took that cyanide pill. it's why Osama hates America.

they call it the common cold. and it has tormented my family for almost 4 weeks now.

since Thanksgiving eve - someone has been sick in our family. it started with me - nothing more than a cold, followed by severe cough... then it went to micah, then jen and then Addie... well now 24 days later it is back to me... again.

great. what joy. ironically, my two colds have coincided with raking leaves. hmm. colds and leaves? is this a punishment left over from Sodom and Gomorrah?

i was wondering this morning, as i was trying to extract that stuff that fills one's head, chest and throat when one has a cold "I wonder who was the first person to get a cold? What did they think? (and were they raking leaves when the symptoms came upon them?)"

i've determined that it must have been Able. He was probably out working in the fields with his brother Cain - both getting their offering ready for the Lord. Adam & Eve - mom & dad were back at camp preparing the evening meal of twice fried barley grains and a side of passion fruit (of course). As Cain and Able finished up their work, suddenly something so violent came upon Able... it came from the bellows of his abdomen. I know what your thinking... Able wasn't violent - but I'm betting that his first ever sneeze was.

After receiving the brunt of the sneeze and without a pause, Cain turned to Able and said 'God bless you.' and the rest was history. Able's symptoms were not noticed by anyone else, i'm guessing. After Able wiped away the yellow mucus - he presented his offering to the Lord... and well, so did Cain...

and so Cain was banished... and as he left - he took on those first germs and from hence forth -
Acute viral nasopharyngitis spread across the land.

Rumor has it that Moses had a cold when he first went to speak to Pharaoh - thus Aaron had to speak for him... i think that's right.

Well anyway I am battling this ugly thing. It has overtaken my body like that alien that came out of Sigourney Weaver's stomach in the movie Alien.

let's hope i get rid of it a little less violently.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Everybody Makes Mistakes

now revel in the mistakes of others... it'll make you feel better.

read this: Media Related Errors - 2007 edition

my favorite - from The Sentinel-Review (Woodstock, Ontario):

In an article in Monday’s newspaper, there may have been a misperception about why a Woodstock man is going to Afghanistan on a voluntary mission. Kevin DeClark is going to Afghanistan to gain life experience to become a police officer when he returns, not to shoot guns and blow things up.
The Sentinel-Review apologizes for any embarrassment this may have caused.


may have been? yeah.

This one is funny, too...

from The Intelligencer Journal:

A photograph accompanying a story about Teen Challenge in Saturday’s Intelligencer Journal incorrectly identified the subject, who is the Rev. James Santiago.
The story included an incorrect identification of Santiago’s wife, Pam. Also, Santiago was addicted to crack cocaine for 12 years.

hmm... nice correction... and the much needed additional information?


on that note: enjoy Everybody Makes Mistakes by Starflyer 59...
one of their finest albums.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

make like a tree and get out of here

as is traditional here in ohio, the weather can mess with every aspect of one's life. and thus, the old men in the locker room at the Y talk of nothing but it (along with the occasional reference to 'The War').

Fall and Winter were meshed together, here, like a shredded wheat biscuit. Freezing cold mixed with sunny days with rain and rain and then last week's blast of snow. Summer seemed to extend well into fall which was nice - but that left leaves on the trees a whole lot longer than usual.

Thus after an extended period (as in maybe 7-10 days) of rain and wind in late November the leaves were all down on the ground. There was one sunny day after the rain... it was cold - but not bitter - and I knew that that day was my only shot at raking up the leaves in the back yard. i should mention that my rake is old school. i don't even know where i got it. i mean, who really wants to spend his hard earned money on a rake? While raking, i realized we didn't have any outdoor trash bags - so I raked all of the leaves into a giant pile against the fence - figuring that i could bag them up the next day. The next day it snowed... followed by what they call a 'wintery mix.' Then, last Thursday we had a huge bit of snow (o.k. - maybe not huge - but 4 or 5 inches... some schools were even called off).

So - i was not able to ever bag up the giant leaf pile in the backyard. Well the last two days have been warm enough to melt away the snow... the sun came out and i figured i might as well bag these leaves up.

there is nothing worse than bagging up wet leaves. Even though i was wearing thick, winter gloves, my hands were stained with a dark orange color - somehow the colors of the leaves seeped through the gloves. it took 8 bags to get rid of that pile. now, my back is really sore and my clothes and jacket are stained as well.

after bagging, i had to haul them in our van to the recycling center. it took two trips.

i don't like leaves. at all.

this caused me to wonder - who came up with the idea that leaves needed raked anyway? did the pilgrims get off the Mayflower and create some sort of makeshift rake out of sticks and branches - in order to rake up the leaves around their huts?

i'm guessing mankind survived thousands of years without rakes... and could have cared less if leaves were raked up. maybe this wasn't God's intent. i have to believe it wasn't... because i think this is my last year to rake 'em up.

i am boycotting leaf raking, i think.

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Now playing: DJ Shadow - Changeling / Transmission 1
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, December 09, 2007

sensless

why.

i doesn't make sense to me.

i don't understand random violence.
shooting
after shooting
after shooting.

why?






this is just one of many things i don't understand right now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

first snow







a thin separation between cold and warmth.





















a pure, white blanket of silence; a gentle reminder to what peace feels like.


















sensation forms as quickly as the icicle.






















how will we proclaim the peace and purity that seeks to cover us all?






























a beacon of hope for all to see. that is what this should be.


























taking in the moment... so as to not soon forget.

















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Now playing: Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir - Gloria
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, December 06, 2007

We Are None of Us Alone

a few weeks back i was watching an episode of the new NBC series Life. at the end - there was this powerful montage in which the following was narrated. [WATCH THIS CLIP FROM Life ON YouTube]


[best if read while listening to the opening 32 seconds of
All I Need by
Radiohead] [YouTube video of All I Need]


We are none of us alone
even as we exhale it is inhaled by others
the light that shines upon me shines upon my neighbor as well
in this way everything is connected
everything is connected to everything else
In this way I am connected to my friend even as I am connected to my enemy
In this way there is no difference between me and my friend
In this way there is no difference between me and my enemy
We are none of us alone


i'm pretty sure it's a Zen-like quote... forgive me for that... but it is/was cool. i've found more discussion on it HERE. and google searches for said quote spiked immediately after it's original Nov. 14th air date.









Radiohead
ALL I NEED LYRICS:
I’m the next act
Waiting in the wings
I’m an animal
Trapped in your hot car
I am all the days that you choose to ignore

You are all I need
You’re all I need
I’m in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

I am a moth
Who justs wants to share your light
I’m just an insect
Trying to get out of the dark
I wanna stick with you, because there are no others

You are all I need
You’re all I need
I’m in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

It’s all wrong
It’s all right
It’s all wrong
It’s all right
It’s all wrong
It’s all right
It’s all wrong
It’s all right
It’s all wrong
It’s all right

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Log Off

Jonny Baker blogged about this new program called Animoto... you can make your very own 30 second video with pictures and music. it does these funky transitions. it's fun... addicting... and free... you can make longer videos - but i think you may have to pay for them.

Below is one i threw together from some jpegs i found over at Howies.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

seize.life



























Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there's neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you're most certainly headed.

(THE MESSAGE)

Monday, November 26, 2007

abide.

ABIDE
being fully present with
resting in the comfort of
dwelling together with
journeying beside Jesus.

brings --->

direction in life
desire to serve
discovery of our true selves

we must pursue a life of trust
(to follow an invisible God)

live as a {wandering disciple} as if God is beside, in front of, behind, over and under us.





inspired from the Journal of Student Ministries - July/Aug 2007 - pg. 8


Now playing:
Cranes - K56
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a playlist / a worship experience (how will you find God in the music?)












































You may or may not know that I am a Youth Pastor in Ohio. Every year - we take our group to some cottages on Atwood Lake for a Fall Retreat. This year's theme was H2o.
our goals being:
Hang Time with God -
develop Habits that'll change our Lives
discover Ordinary ways to connect with God.

I burned a playlist onto a CD and gave it to the youth a week or so in advance so that they could import it onto their Mp3 players. Then on Saturday morning - the youth were given 65 minutes (the length of the CD) to listen to the songs and work through a sort-of workbook that went along with the music. Each song had a page with pictures, scriptures, questions, comments and lyrics. They were encouraged to 'seek God' and to 'find Him' in the music.

Needless to say - this was the highlight of the weekend for most of the teens. It allowed them a time to creatively express their emotions and to connect the dots to see where God is in those moments that make up their complex, yet purposeful lives.

I truly believe that God uses unexpected things in order to speak to people. He spoke to Moses through a burning bush... to Balaam through a donkey...to Elijah through a gentle whisper. To many of today's youth - He speaks to them through the music... or through film... or through art. God is alive and kicking, moving and breathing life into the things that surround us.

Below are 14 posts that correlate with the 14 tracks of the H2O cd. Each image was created in Photoshop by me (sized 8x10 @ 180dpi). The pictures used were found in a variety of places... some were pictures that my wife or I took, others were found via friends on my blog roll... others were found randomly. I've tried to cite what I could and have provided links to assist in further study.

Enjoy them. Let me know how you find God... or how he finds you... in the music... in the images and in the lyrics.

God bless.

Track 1: Angels & Airwaves - Valkyrie Missile


















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Now playing: Angels & Airwaves - Valkyrie Missile
via FoxyTunes

Track 2: Sixpence None the Richer - Field of Flowers















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Now playing:
Sixpence None the Richer - Field of Flowers
via FoxyTunes

Track 3: Deas Vail - A Lover's Charm























further information found at YouAreBeautiful.


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Now playing: Deas Vail - A Lover's Charm
via FoxyTunes

Track 4: Stars of Track and Field - Say Hello





















partial idea from Embody - Moodify.



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Now playing: Stars of Track and Field - Say Hello
via FoxyTunes

Track 5: Muse - Butterflies & Hurricanes
























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Now playing: Muse - Butterflies & Hurricanes
via FoxyTunes

Track 6: UNKLE (feat. Ian Astbury) - Burn My Shadow

















(for added effect: Burn My Shadow video download QuickTime video or YouTube video
(thanks to Jonny Baker for the idea)




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Now playing: UnKLE featuring Ian Astbury - Burn My Shadow
via FoxyTunes

Track 7: Sixpence None the Richer - Bleeding





















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Now playing: Sixpence None the Richer - Bleeding
via FoxyTunes

Track 8: I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - Today
















Taken from Moodify - by Embody.
More 'Happiness' practices found at Embody




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Now playing: I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - Today
via FoxyTunes

Track 9: Future of Forestry - Sanctitatis




















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Now playing: Future of Forestery - Sanctitatis
via FoxyTunes

Track 10: Nada Surf - Always Love




















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Now playing: Nada Surf - Always Love
via FoxyTunes

Track 11: David Crowder*Band - Never Let Go




















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Now playing: David Crowder Band - Never Let Go
via FoxyTunes

Track 12: Coldplay - A Message


















check out Wise Traveller for more information.

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Now playing: Coldplay - A Message
via FoxyTunes

Track 13: Embrace - Out of Nothing




















Maid picture by Jonny Baker (blog) (flickr)



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Now playing: Embrace - Out of Nothing
via FoxyTunes

Track 14: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Salvation
























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Now playing: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Salvation
via FoxyTunes

Friday, November 02, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

lost...then found

There's this DVD called 36 Parables that I checked out of our Conference Media Center.

I checked out 36 Parables Yellow (containing three 'wisual' parables of Jesus) for one purpose: to show the clip called FOUND (a clip where this old homeless man finds a necklace with sentimental value that he had lost) for a youth worship service. I've had the DVD on my desk for two months almost. i was gonna use it last month - but i changed the schedule... so alas - this Sunday was/is the Sunday i was/am going to use it. Our theme for the Breakfast Club (our monthly youth worship service) this month is FOUND ( and i will be sharing about the Lost Coin and the Lost Sheep.)

so today - I went to play it again - to get it refreshed in my mind - and i couldn't find the DVD anywhere... literally since 9am this morning i have been looking for it. While looking, i thought, I might as well clean my office. I thought that by cleaning it - the DVD would show up. I cleaned our drawers that haven't been gone through in years. I organized things that were in desparate need of orgainzation. i looked in cupborards, amongst books, other DVD's, notebooks, folders & three - ring binders. Nothing... i found nothing.


Now right beside my computer - to the right of it, i keep two notebooks... one for note taking, the other for brainstorming and creative expression. They were stacked on top of each other. I must have lifted the top notebook 10 times. In my mind, I'm thinking 'the notebook on the bottom is a really thin notebook. Nothing could possibly be under it.'

About 10 minutes ago, i prayed that God would give me the eyes to see. Certain scriptures began to run through my mind...

Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember?

Mark 8:18

Apparently i didn't have eyes to see and no, i didn't remember. I felt like the blind man in Mark 10 vs. 50-52.

"Rabbi, I want to see."

Alas - i lifted up that thin second notebook filled with creative ideas... and low and behold, 36 Parables - Yellow was right there. Matthew 24:2 talks of no stone being left unturned. It took me to clean my entire office... and when i overturned the last 'stone' i found the DVD.

the irony, of course is that the DVD contains the parable of the Lost Coin...symbolic of how much Christ looks for the lost - just like the lost sheep - wanting to find them and bring them home. And then there is rejoicing.

So I think this happened for a reason - if for nothing else - to make the parable more real to me... and to give me a personal sermon illustration that i can share after showing Found sunday morning.













other scriptures that came to mind:

Mark 4:12

Ecclesiastes 11:7


Thursday, October 25, 2007

into the wild (book & movie review)

Into The Wild
By Tim Beck
Published: October 24, 2007


Christopher Johnson McCandless needed something more. Maybe it was a quest for adventure or some sort of obligation to seek and overcome any and all obstacles. Maybe it was that manly desire to embrace challenge head on. Or maybe it was an act of rebellion and a desire to be anything but ‘normal.’ Regardless, He wasted no time after graduating from Emory University in 1990 to embark on a journey of self-discovery with nothing more than the clothes on his back, but little did he know that his journey would lead to the discovery of something greater… the slow, painful demise of his humanity… and thus he greeted death in the Alaskan wilderness two years later.

The story of McCandless was first documented in an article for Outside Magazine and later developed into a national best selling book titled Into the Wild by author Jon Krakauer. Now it has been made into a major motion picture, directed by Sean Penn. Into the Wild (in theatres nationwide October 19th) tells the mysterious story of McCandless and his two year cross-country voyage that took him from Emory’s campus in Atlanta to Houston, down the Detrital Wash into Mexico, back north to Grand Junction, Colorado and Carthage, South Dakota, south and west to the Salton Sea in California and up the Pacific coastline to Washington state and into Canada. He eventually wound up in a place that has drawn many a man as he followed a blind pursuit to conquer the great outdoors in the massive Alaskan outback. The tragedy of his death is nothing short of mysterious, surrounded by clouds of ignorance and innocence meshed with intelligence and candor making his story very compelling and worthy of one’s time.

A few months ago, a friend sent me a link to the trailer to Into the Wild, starring Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door, Lords of Dogtown). It was persuasive enough to make me curious. Then, about a month ago, I began to hear and read more about the movie and the book that it was based upon. When I saw that Eddie Vedder was recording the music for the soundtrack, I thought I needed to investigate further. This led me into a furious pursuit to find anything and everything that had to do with Christopher McCandless and his puzzling story. Of all things, I came home from work one day and Oprah was on the TV. It showed clips for the next days show. Penn, Krakauer, Hirsch and the McCandless family were to be featured. I DVR’d the show, watched it and immediately set out to buy the book. From the opening paragraph, I was hooked.

In April of 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter…

This compelling story can be discovered further through multiple means. Allow me to elaborate and perhaps you’ll be drawn in as well.

THE BOOK

Krakauer went to great lengths to tell McCandless’ story, and from the start it is a difficult story to tell. The greatest challenge with Into the Wild is telling a story about a traveling vagabond who disappeared for upwards of two years, ridding himself of any and all identification (burning his social security card, cutting up his credit cards, abandoning his car, etc.) But Krakauer investigates deeply into the people and places where Christopher left his mark. The author seems to have done his homework and shies away from speculation, unless necessary. He digs deeper and deeper and carefully unwraps the many layers that is Christopher Johnson McCandless. Although a shroud of mystery still remains, Chris seemed to have left his mark in many places, mainly because his persona was attractive. He was drawn to people and they were drawn to him. I found it interesting that everywhere he went, whether cross country or cross continent, Chris made it a point to reach out, thank and communicate with those who had helped him along on his journey, mostly through letters or postcards.

It is revealed quickly that McCandless was leaving behind more than just family, lifestyle and the possibility of a successful career, Chris was leaving behind his identity. Thus he commissioned himself a new name: Alexander Supertramp. Krakauer unpeeled one thick layer that may have led to Chris/Alex’s decision to escape to a new, alternate reality. A few years before his final journey began, he took a summer trip to California. While there he met up with some of his extended family. In the process, he discovered ugly truths about his parents and his childhood, truths that painted a different picture… truths that brought about pain, resentment and near hatred for his parents. Chris kept that knowledge a secret (only sharing it with his sister) which left his parents even more perplexed over years of coldness leading to his eventual disappearance.

Many chapters reveal meaningful relationships that ‘Alex’ shared with rubber tramps Jan and Rainey (hippies living in the wrong decade), Wayne Westerburg (who worked the grain fields, harvesting wheat and barley in South Dakota), Ron Franz (an elderly gentleman who took him under his wing and cared for him so much that he wanted to adopt him as a son) and Jim Gallein (who drove him halfway into the Alaskan outback and was the last person to see him alive) as well as countless others. Ironically, Alex was on a journey that was leading to seclusion. Perhaps he didn’t realize how important people were to him. Perhaps his distrust of his parents had led to those feelings. We’ll never know for sure – but we do know that one of the last things recorded, written in capital letters in the margin of his journal went something like this: HAPPINESS ONLY REAL IF SHARED WITH OTHERS. Maybe in his time of dying, McCandless had an epiphany of sorts. And thus his journey of self-discovery was completed… albeit tragically. He died of starvation days later curled up in the sleeping bag his mother made him, on a mattress in the back of an abandoned bus that had become his shelter, his escape… his home.

THE MOVIE

The movie doesn’t stray far from the book, however from the opening sequence captured on film I realized that it would be very difficult to summarize the essence of such a complex and yet mystifying story. The biggest challenge for director Sean Penn appeared to be what to do with a story that has the main character alone for three months in Alaska as the crutch, a la Tom Hanks stranded on an island in Cast Away. The second biggest challenge was condensing all the happenings of McCandless (a.k.a. Alexander Supertramp) into two plus hours – and still making a cohesive, true-to-the-book film. But as the movie progressed I became more and more intrigued.

According to Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch did most of his own stunts and braved the sometimes treacherous filming conditions with honor. In fact, Penn and the Wild film crew shot reels of film in all 35 known spots from which McCandless tramped across the country. Rough waters, hot deserts and snow covered arctic regions seemed to be greeted warmly by Hirsch, who on screen appears to channel McCandless’ spirit as if the story was his own.

Final chapter scenes between McCandless and Ron Franz (played brilliantly by Hal Holbrook) make the film worth-while. Catherine Keener is a gem as Jan Burres, but Vince Vaughn is underused as close friend Wayne Westerburg. Westerburg seemed to have more of a prominent role in the book. Alex sent his last post card to Wayne, mailed from Fairbanks, Alaska, in which he shared that he was about to go ‘into the wild’ and feared he might not make it out alive, but was pressing on to achieve his goal.

THE SOUNDTRACK

Eddie Vedder’s first attempt at a solo album is a nice addition to his mighty fine catalog of music, although one listen will remind you more of Pete Seeger or Bob Dylan rather than Pearl Jam. This sometimes folksy album is easy to swallow mostly because of the raw emotion that lies within. Riddled with acoustic guitars, ukuleles, banjos and the like, the motion picture soundtrack of Into the Wild is special because of the sentiment and connection Vedder brings forth. The music is sometimes inspiring, sometimes chilling and sometimes haunting. Brooding vocals threaten to lead the listener to that lonely bus north of Mt. McKinley in the middle of Alaska. Hard Sun is the key track and features Sleeter-Kinney vocalist Corin Tucker. Society could be the swan song of McCandless, unnerving to the core, and means more after reading the book and seeing the movie. With lyrics that sing ‘Society, have mercy on me. Hope you’re not angry if I disagree. Society, crazy in deed, hope you’re not lonely without me.’

It’s a simple album that stands alone as a solo effort – but means more as a backdrop to a peculiar story and a wonderful film.

After all the reading, watching, listening and investigating, the story of Christopher Johnson McCandless is still a puzzle, only not all the pieces are there. Thus the complete story will never be known. Maybe that is what draws many to him. After all, we have the freedom to fill in the blanks and to speculate. None the less, he has been immortalized by so many because of one simple thing: he lived free. He lived in the wild… sometimes amidst concrete and asphalt, other times in dry and desolate lands. But he did what he wanted to do. He lived life and was bound by nothing other than the laws of nature. Maybe deep down inside of us all there is a person yearning for the simplicity discovered in McCandless. The book and the movie just might inspire us to live our dreams and to be liberated from the things that bind us. Or if nothing else, it may just provide us a momentary escape from the mundane. Who knows where that escape might lead?

Into the Wild




















I recently read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer in record time... it took me about a week. I am a very slow reader - so this was a big accomplishment. The book made me want to go see the movie, and thus last weekend, Jen and I went. I thoroughly enjoyed both. Oh, in the mean time, I picked up the soundtrack, by Eddie Vedder. Also a nice piece of work.

So for the past month (since reading the book), I've been infatuated with the story of Christopher McCandless. I've googled everything there is to know about him and his journey. I've read all the articles and things related to him and about how he wound up in Alaska.

Over at Circle Six Magazine, i wrote a review of the book, movie and soundtrack. Check it out. Let me know what you think. You can read the article HERE. It's a fascinating story, and I think, if you are willing, it just might captivate you. I'd love to have dialogue about the book. I could tell you more about McCandless and his story - but I'd give too much away. Check out the book. Read my review. And then we'll talk about it. If you please.

Check out the official movie web site as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rainbows















exactly 2 weeks ago - like many others - i went to Radiohead's website to download their latest album In Rainbows. As of right now - they are distributing it themselves, via their website. you can download the 10 song album of mp3's for whatever you want to pay for it. i paid two or three pounds, which now is like 5 or 6 bucks.

at first, i liked it, but wasn't head over heals about it. then i listened to it again. it grew on me... and again and again, it grew and grew.

A friend of mine blogged about it last week and that got me to want to listen to Rainbows again. I haven't stopped since. Almost literally. I've listened to nothing but Rainbows since. My iTunes play count is nearing 20 for most of the songs.

it's a beautiful, melodic, orchestral and sometimes haunting album. worth what ever you want to pay for it.

---

my In Rainbows 'i get chills' moments

@ 2:20 - 3:10 of 15 Step
"It's the 21st Century, It is the 21st century" part of Bodysnatchers
the Arpeggi part (3:40-end of song) of Wierd Fishes/Arpeggi
Thom Yorke's haunting vocals on All I Need (which builds to a beautiful crescendo of instrumentation with eerie lyrics repeated "It's all wrong, It's all right, It's all wrong" from 2:45 til the end of the song)
the simplicity of House of Cards
2:54 - end of song of Jigsaw Falling into Place

---

A breakdown of each song can be found HERE. lyrics (and some insight into songs such as Wierd Fishes/Arpeggi) can be found HERE.

A breakdown of instruments played on this album (and other previous albums) by Jonny Greenwood can be found HERE.


go and download Rainbows now. It'll be worth your money. How could it not be. You pay what you want for it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sixty-Three

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9 They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.

10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.






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Now playing: Decoder Ring - Closing Titles from Jewboy
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Created to Create

















Are you creative?
Are you unique? How so?

THINK ABOUT IT!

FACT IS: You were made creative beings!

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” {Genesis 1:27}

We don’t always understand our creative nature or where it comes from.

Psst. It comes from GOD! We spend a lot of time SEARCHING... for proof... for answers.
Do we SEE Him?

WE WERE MADE TO WORSHIP. From the beginning - we’ve worshiped... Cain & Able anyone? {Genesis 4:2-4} But like Cain, we are easily distracted. Look at our society - we worship many things: fancy cars, big homes, material things, sports teams, celebrities, etc.

but we were made to worship GOD!

We can spend our whole lives trying to satisfy the one insatiable part of our being, our soul craving. - Erwin McManus

That CRAVING can only be found in the fingerprint of God.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19)

Through Christ we become NEW CREATIONS. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Our genetic make up shows that we are made to have relationship with a Higher Power... God... and thus all that we are made to do comes full circle.

NOW GO. BE. DO.
Be who you were created to be.
Do what you were created to do.

Embrace God along the way.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Made.















MADE to Worship
MADE to have Relationship
MADE to Create
MADE to Crave purpose + destiny

What were you made to do?
[click + respond]


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Now playing: The Appleseed Cast - Convict
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Left Brain vs Right Brain

Which way is the dancer spinning?

click --->WATCH

post your answer in the comments below.

___________________________________

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.



analysis:

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
knowing
acknowledges
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
practical
safe

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
believes
appreciates
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
impetuous
risk taking

MY ANSWER: CLOCKWISE

Saturday, October 06, 2007

restless souls of youth: enjoy Superman?


A few weeks ago I watched Superman Returns for the first time... didn't really have a desire to see it - but i really enjoyed it... i think i enjoyed it so much because it brought back memories of my father and i going to see Superman: the movie and Superman II in this theatre nicknamed the 'rat palace'* in Mt Gilead, Ohio back in the day. Returns wasn't up to the same par as Batman Begins, and it had a ton of plot holes - but in my mind, that was forgiven. i look forward now to Man of Steel in 2009.

funny thing, my 4 year old and 2 year old loved Superman Returns. that compelled me to pick up this: Super Friends - The Legendary Super Powers Show. Anybody remember that cartoon from the 70's + 80's? now we are all enjoying that.

I've now discovered Superman: The Animated Series on ToonDisney and have DVR'd a few of those now. The first episode is much like Superman: The Movie... with Superman as a baby on Krypton... before it explodes... and he is then sent to earth. Addison (my 2 year old) loved watching 'baby Superman'. It brings me pure joy to watch them enjoy something that was a big part of my childhood as well. I think it's time to introduce them to Star Wars next.




*ironically, my first ever date was at that same 'rat palace' in Mt. Gilead... her name was Jenny Shroyer... I was 11. We went to see Supergirl.



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Now playing: Squarepusher - Tommib

Thursday, October 04, 2007

75 Minutes

i loath it.
loading the pop machine.
hate it.
despise it.
no like it.

but i gotta do it. 'bout once a month... if i'm keeping it full.
the youth group has a pop machine... sort of a fundraiser for us... we usually can make about .20 - .25 cents per can. we sell the pop for .50 cents. not in it to rip people off so we keep it cheap.

so in order to keep it filled i gotta do the following:
1. watch the sale ads for our local grocery chain (Giant Eagle)
2. go down to said store and buy the pop (or soda for you easterners).
3. since they usually limit the amount of pop you can buy, return to said grocery store and/or take your wife to the grocery store and buy more pop.
4. repeat step 2 & 3 as needed.
5. load pop into van.
6. unload pop out of van.
7. carry pop down the long hall, up the stairs (either two 24-packs or four 12-packs at a time) to the pop machine. our church doesn't have an elevator... so tough luck to any handicapped people (or those who have to carry 10-20 cases of pop upstairs... not that my plight is more challenging than someone who might be handicapped. to think so would be selfish and stupid. right? right.)
8. unlock pop machine - empty money and begin to load pop machine.
9. take cardboard from the pop boxes and dispose of properly.
10. cycle quarters through machine, making sure that each of the six flavors of pop (Pepsi, Mt. Dew, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Minute Made Lemonade Light, Sierra Mist) vend properly.
11. inevitably there will be either a leak or a spraying of some sort of pop. clean up pop-like syrup from leaky can.
12. figure out which type of pop is leaking.
13. cycle through that brand of pop until you find the can with the crack, leak or hole. dispose of that can and re-reload that brand of pop again.
14. 75 minutes later, sit down and enjoy complimentary can of pop.

I am ready to call the Pepsi man and have them put in one of their machines... we'll make less money - but hey - I wouldn't complain.

p.s. why did i blog this? i don't know... but then again, it's not like i blogged about THIS (bryan!1!11!)

love peace chicken grease

Sunday, September 30, 2007

giving in

the month of september has brought some minor changes to our lifestyle. #1, jen and i started using the YMCA more than we have since last winter (almost daily). We've also both been running a lot... training for a 5k on Oct. 20th. in September I ran about 30 miles... and i hope to see that pattern continuing in future months.

we've also started eating better - avoiding fast food all together, eating healthier meals at home and avoiding unnecesary late night snacking. well, this weekend - we had to do some traveling - which forced us to eat two meals at fast food restaurants... and then tonite - i gave in after Youth Group and had to have some Taco Bell... giving in... not good. my body didn't want it, but my mind just kept repeating: taco, burrito (what's coming out of your speedo?) somehow - my mind won that battle of the wills.

i hope this week gets me back on track. that is the plan.

self control is hard. discipline is a challenge...
what would discipline be if it weren't difficult? what would be the point...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

place in this world




















Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19...




inspired by: Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy (Odd Nosdam Remix)

more to him / knowledge



















This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

-the Gospel of John 21:24-25

+++

so many things unknown. stories untold... wisdom not shared with us... it's kind of awe-inspiring. oh to be John... to know Jesus like he did...

but His grace is enough. head knowledge vs. heart knowledge? the longest half-yard... from the head down to the heart.

it's the heart that matters most.

Jesus said: The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to us...
... the knowledge of salvation is in our hearts...
... and lastly, knowledge without mercy and grace and kindness and forgiveness gets you nowhere... fast.

There is so much more. may our quest for love (of man + Jesus) trump our love for knowledge... every time.

sanctitatis





















Vere Sanctus es, Domine Fons omnis sanctitatis, Domine


Truly, Lord, you are the Holy One, the fountain of all holiness.




inspired by Future of Forestry: Sanctitatis (YouTube)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

so fresh and so clean




new things to see and look at. you've noticed, eh?

it was time for a change. the season, even though it feels like July has changed from summer to fall. the leaves will change when the warmth gives way to the rain soon.

it was time for a change.

we all need change. some fear it - but the newness of change is somewhat exhilarating, isn't it?

alas - i have changed my blog. i really like the new look. 'tis something to be proud of. now, let's hope that it will be incentive for me to blog regularly. i pray that the juices will flow... that my internal creative expressions will not be contained - but shared with one and all.

i am coming up on my three year anniversary of blogging. i hop this will be my most inspired year yet.

embrace newness today - and face the world with gladness.
...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

out of nothing

the beauty of music is that a song, any song can mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people. and although it may not be the intent of the artist a song can speak to any of us in ways that artist couldn't have imagined.

to me, the YOU in this song is temptation. the I'LL SAY GOODBYE is me overcoming it all.

enjoy.



Out of nothing you came to my arms and you're right
I fell every time
You're the first and the last time that I'll ever try
So dry your eyes, I'll say goodbye, I say goodbye...

I'm left hanging like all dancing bears
I need rope to keep me in line
I can't stop them, there's more bombshells coming
I choke
More words, more lies
I'll say goodbye, I'll say goodbye...

I can't believe its come to this
Banging on a sinking ship, hoping someone hears my list
For every trial I take a fall, you never notice it no more
What we had won't conquer all
While the shots still ringing out
You do the worst to bring me down
You do the worst to take me out
I'll say goodbye, I'll say goodbye...













Embrace - Out of Nothing [sound bytes]

YouTube video of the songs dramatic conclusion (live @ Leads)