Going up early, because I’m sitting here thinking about it…

This week: 13 favorite song lyrics.

1. “You have suffered enough and warred with yourself/It’s time that you won” –“Falling Slowly” by The Swell Season

2. “Now pull these idols out from my heart and praise/Rock of ages, I need Your grace” –“Rock of Ages (When the Day Seems Long)” by Sandra McCracken

3. “Stephen A. Douglas was the great debater/But Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator”–“Decatur, Or, Round of Applause For Your Stepmother!” by Sufjan Stevens

4. “And they stretch along this highway like so many martyrs/That hung and burned for loving, shedding light on Caesar’s gardens/They’re passing on a message sent from you to us here in New Mexico”–“New Mexico” by Andrew Osenga

5. “The only pain is to feel nothing at all/How can I hurt when I’m holding you?”–“A Man and a Woman” by U2

6. “I am thinking it’s a sign/That the freckles in our eyes are mirror images/And when we kiss they perfectly collide” –“Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

7. “It’s just me and the GWB/Asking gee, Nina, what’ll you be?” –“Breathe” from In the Heights

8. “So sing loud for the canyons and soft for the parasites/And squeeze your spouses and children good night/And map out your futures and freeze-dry your food/And look for your reflection on a dime”–“Daisies and Sandalwood” by Steven Delopoulos

9. “I’m trading comfort for human life/And that’s not just murder, it’s suicide/And this too shall be made right” –“This Too Shall Be Made Right” by Derek Webb

10. “She makes the sign of a teaspoon, he makes the sign of a wave/The poor boy changes clothes and puts on aftershave/To compensate for his ordinary shoes” –“Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon

11. “We sit here debating the meaning of justice/With self-righteous spin and an upper-caste grin/But we’re still suffocating on quicksand indifference/Where no choice is ever that hard”–“The Innocent’s Corner” by Caedmon’s Call

12. “No guilt in life, no fear in death/This is the power of Christ in me/From life’s first cry to final breath/Jesus commands my destiny” –“In Christ Alone” by Keith and Kristyn Getty

13. “I caught the flu and away I flew/NYC, pediate blue/Dimetap and spinal taps/City maps and hand claps”–“Kingpin” by Wilco


Hey, look, I made a book.

If anyone actually reads this and cares to buy my mess (and help dig a few wells in Africa, too), you can get a small volume of my poetry here for $6.74 + shipping and handling. $1 goes to Blood:Water Mission. Holla!

mix tape monday…

This week: Songs that are older than you.

1. Judy Garland – Get Happy (from Summer Stock, which is a fun movie)
2. The Beatles – Hello, Goodbye (1–by the way, listening to the Beatles is super-annoying when only the left side of your headphones works)
3. Simon and Garfunkel – Cecilia (Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits)
4. The Guess Who – American Woman (American Woman)
5. Johnny Cash – Get Rhythm (Greatest)
6. The Who – Baba O’Riley (Who’s Next)
7. Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
8. Elton John – Rocket Man (Honky Chateau)
9. Chuck Berry – You Never Can Tell (Pulp Fiction soundtrack)
10. Stevie Wonder – Superstition (Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection)
11. Al Green – Let’s Stay Together (Let’s Stay Together)
12. The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) (Turn! Turn! Turn!)
13. Donovan – Catch the Wind (What’s Bin Did and What’s Bin Hid)
14. Bob Dylan – Gates of Eden (Bringing It All Back Home)
15. U2 – Bad (The Unforgettable Fire)
16. The Isley Brothers – Shout (Shout – The RCA Sessions)

(run time: 1 hour 2 minutes)

why so serious?

1. So, I think I’m the last person in the world to see The Dark Knight…I just went to see it, and HOLY COW. If it’s at all possible for a character to freak me out even more than Anton Chigurrh from No Country for Old Men, it’s definitely the Joker. I have to say, though, the most interesting character for me here was Batman himself, who’s clearly struggling to do the right thing and has to bear most of the brunt of it without snapping completely. He loses his love and his reputation for the sake of the right thing, and I kind of wonder what in the world he’s thinking throughout the movie that he’s not telling us. But yes, go see it. It’s not an easy movie to watch, but it’s not meant to be–there’s a lot in there on human nature and right and wrong.

2. Heaven help me, I signed up at Twitter. There goes any mind I had left…I am kind of intrigued, actually, by what the implications of all these social networking sites are on how we form interpersonal relationships, and in fact how we form intrapersonal relationships, how it affects the way we see ourselves. Well, there’s a potential thesis topic…

3. Oh! I got a car–it’s an older model, but it only had 64,000 miles on it and the guy who sold it to me put new oil and new brakes and rotated the tires for me, which was pretty stellar. The only thing that doesn’t work is the right front speaker (well, and now my key won’t unlock the driver’s side door, but that’s a long story…). And I found an apartment in Austin. And my roommate and I met on Friday in person for the first time, and we hit it off immediately. You’d think that God was faithful to provide or something. 😉 (And you know, the funny thing is that even if He didn’t, He’d still be a good God, if only because He has given us Himself. All the other stuff is gravy. Not that gravy is bad, mind you.)

4. *resuming post* It’s Sunday afternoon now (I started writing this last night). Church was beautiful, lunch was hilarious, and I am about to watch a couple of episodes of Lost. Life is good.

things i am trying to remember to pray for.

a better memory towards God. the faith to come visit my Jordan stones more often.

being able to suffer well, should suffering come (and it will, eventually).

more vulnerability with other people, more intentionality about pursuing relationships, more love for whatever community i should find myself in. not that general love for humanity, but specific love for specific people.

leaving a good legacy behind when i’m gone. life is short; we don’t have much time, guys. we are but a breath.

what about you?


Interesting epiphany I had the other night: Okay, you know how we usually hear the story of Joshua and the Jericho walls, and someone always tells us that the Jericho people were sitting around taunting the Israelites like the French dude in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (and see Veggie Tales), and that Israel probably thought it was a stupid and crazy idea. “God, are You sure about this?” “Yes. Now just do it.”

Now, the problem with this is that there is no such indication of any of this in the text. For one thing, Joshua 6:1 tells us that “Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.” In other words, they’ve heard about Israel’s might–and more important, Israel’s God’s might–and they are freaking out. Besides that, the text repeats several times that “The Lord has given the city into your hands.” And, you know, the Bible usually records stuff like people grumbling (see the whole book of Exodus), and guess what? Nothing here. The people of Israel had, at this point, realized that God keeps His promises to His people, and so they just did what He told them to in full confidence that it would happen. And it did.

Their obedience was fueled by faith and trust in the God who’d brought their parents and grandparents out of slavery, who’d fed them, who’d brought them to the promised land. And He then delivered them. No fear. No trepidation–or if there was, it apparently wasn’t important enough for the writer of Joshua to report it.

Now, here’s the question: Why do we interject that skepticism and trepidation, when the text does not? And what does that say about us?