t13

(By the way, today is the birthday of C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, and Louisa May Alcott, all at the same time, so happy birthday to a group of stars in the literary firmament.)

So, in sort-of celebration of my blog’s fifth birthday: 13 of the best things that have happened to you in the past five years.

1. Receiving an excellent postsecondary education from a great bunch of professors who were (mostly) very passionate about and good at what they do. (Even the crappy ones taught me something, of course.)

2. Edinburgh and all that that entailed (as if you guys hadn’t picked that up from me, heh).

3. Being able to work with a great group of people to edit this.

4. Getting to a be a part of two beautiful churches.

5. Graduating high school.

6. Finally getting over all the stupid things I did in high school, ha.

7.  Multiple road trips made with friends and to see friends.

8. Multiple nights spent with friends eating stuff, or watching movies, or studying, or just talking, or maybe even all of the above.

9.  Getting my driver’s license. Yes, I know.

10. The invention of YouTube. (I’m kidding. Or am I?)

11. Being able to meet and get to know and love new people, both because of this blog and because of the life that fuels it.

12. God breaking my heart and patching it up so that it looks more like His.

13. Being here.

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give me good legs, and a japanese car…

1. That’s a quote from the new Iron & Wine CD, although neither would necessarily be unwelcome here. 😉

2. So, here’s something to ponder, and be convicted about: The early church grew through suffering, and so does the church around the world in areas where Christianity isn’t really looked upon favorably. Paul writes in Philippians that he wants to know Christ and share in the fellowship of His sufferings, and in his case it wasn’t just theoretical; he got beaten nearly to death on a number of occasions, and he did it all for the sake of Christ and His church. Now, Christ Himself suffered for the glory of God, and He also tells us that a servant isn’t greater than his master–if Jesus suffered, so will we.

Here’s the thing: How are we, in the affluent West, and especially those of us in America, suffering for the sake of Christ? I don’t mean go out and look for trouble, but how can we sacrifice in order to know Him and share in His sufferings? How can I sacrifice for the glory of God and to show that He is superior to everything else? Something to ponder.

3. Also, one cannot appreciate having a washer until said washer goes kaput for two weeks. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

4. Oh, and because I missed it, happy 5th (5th!) anniversary to the blog (for some reason I thought it was tomorrow, but the date on this post tells me otherwise). I’m sorry, blog, it’s not because I don’t love you, it’s because I’m forgetful.

So, in (belated) celebration, and perhaps more to come, here’s a video:

and her last words were, “i’m always thinking of you”

1. I was going to write something odd/funny here, but I have the feeling it may get me in trouble, so if you’re really that curious, ask.

2. Geek moment: Know what I love? That deconstructionism is so easily deconstructed. Then again, I don’t know if that proves its veracity or not.

3. The T13 will be taking a day off tomorrow for Thanksgiving–not traditionally the case, but really, I just don’t feel like it this year.

4. Sorry that posting has been light of late; it seems that I haven’t had a whole lot to say that feels blogworthy, I suppose. God has been teaching me a lot lately, a lot of the difficult bits, but it’s been worth it, and I guess that’s all right with me. If He is really my sufficiency, everything else has to take a major back seat to knowing Him (it’s no wonder Paul calls it all a pile of crap). So.

What does that all mean for my life? Well, I’m beginning to work that out. That may mean that I don’t blog as much, for one thing, so my apologies if you come check often. Who knows.

5. Currents:

*Reading: Desiring God by John Piper (which explains a bit of the above point), and the new issue of Real Simple.
*Eating: Homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cake, from this recipe, except baked in a 9×9 pan for 25 minutes instead of muffin pans, since by some freak of nature we don’t have any regular-size muffin pans in this house. Oh, and something about turkey tomorrow.
*Listening: Old-school U2 (I’ve been rocking War lately), The Frames, and mixing my end-of-year discs (details to come, for the interested).
*Watching: Mythbusters, which I love, even if they are a bunch of materialist skeptics.

t13

This week: The last 13 albums you bought or otherwise acquired (ahem). I find that sorting by “date added” in your media player of choice is rather helpful here.

1. U2, Rattle and Hum.

2. The Decemberists, Picaresque.

3. Vigilantes of Love, Killing Floor.

4. Sandra McCracken, The Builder and the Architect.

5. Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child.

6. The Frames, Fitzcarraldo.

7. The Across the Universe soundtrack.

8. Waterdeep, Heart Attack Time Machine.

9. Caedmon’s Call, Overdressed.

10. The Once soundtrack.

11. Damien Rice, O-Sides.

12. Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dulcinea.

13. Derek Webb, The Ringing Bell.

all right, Edge, play the blues.

1. Happy 1753rd birthday to St. Augustine of Hippo, theologian and memoir writer extraordinaire. If they have cake in heaven, I suppose you don’t need to make a wish these days, but happy birthday, sir, and I look forward to sitting down with you and having a good long chat about those last few chapters of the Confessions.

2. Christmas gets earlier and earlier, it seems: We spent the past few weeks at work putting out all the Christmas accoutrements and what not; someone in my neighborhood has put up their lights already (I mean, really); TBS is already showing How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is not right. This is not right at all. Maybe it’s a sign of our increasing desire to prolong childhood; maybe it’s a sign of our overachieving culture that wants to get as much as possible finished ahead of time, even though it just gives us more time to be even busier; maybe it’s the plot of the evil corporations to get us to spend more money in over a longer period of time. Whatever it is, though, it is a sign of our failure to realize that there is a time for everything; the longer we make it, the more we’re going to get tired of it, you know what I mean?

I’m waiting for Advent, so I can begin waiting for Jesus again. My soul needs liturgy and rhythm, and that cannot be defined by a secular culture.

3. My pastor’s been doing a series on the spiritual disciplines, so I’ve had liturgy on the brain a lot lately. I’m really time-obsessive–as in, I can’t have a watch or I’ll be checking it every ten seconds, and I have to have a calendar, and I have to plot out things by time, not space–so I really love the idea of a liturgical calendar, these time-markers that let us remember certain aspects of the gospel. The seasons aren’t mandatory, I guess, but like any other discipline, they’re a great help, at least for me.

4. Finally, to inject some fluff:

*pokes head in the door*

Can’t really post now, but here’s what you have to look forward to later this week:

*A rant on Christmas and seasonality

*A long ramble about American culture and what that has to do with why I knit

*The ubiquitous T13

*Maybe a poem or two? *shrug*

*And a YouTube video, because what’s a week without me posting a random one of those?

Have a good Monday, boys and girls.

t13

this week: 13 artists/bands you must see live before you die.

1. Bob Dylan (in this case, it’s more likely to be before he dies)

2. U2 (they need to put out a freakin’ album so they can tour for it)

3. Wilco.

4. Patty Griffin.

5. Sufjan Stevens.

6. Bruce Springsteen (preferably with the E Street Band).

7. The Frames.

8. The Decemberists.

9. Over the Rhine.

10. Feist.

11. Waterdeep (if they ever start touring again).

12. The Flaming Lips.

13. Ben Folds.

rawr

Thesis I came up with on the road back from Waco this weekend:

There are three kinds of people in the world–car people, motorcycle people, and people like me who geek out about other things. I do believe I could become a car person if I wanted to, though.

oh, yes, before i forget…

Happy All Saints Day.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

–William W. How, “For All the Saints”, 1864