“santa maria, one day you will know…”

1. Listening to The Frames’ album Set List as I write this. Highly recommended.

2. Ever since I made the decision to stay in Houston a while, a bunch of things have happened that have made me more grateful than ever that I’m here–foremost of which is the fact that my church is amazing, and I love them, and I’m looking forward to doing life with them. I don’t know what’s going on, but the past few times I’ve been at church things, it feels like the sparks of something are in the air, and I want to be around when it catches fire.

3. If you’re ever in the Houston area, come visit my church with me. Seriously. I will come pick you up if I need to.

4. For some reason this weekend I’ve been thinking about the idea of the artist as a prophetic voice, that people who are creatives have the opportunity to speak truth to and about the world through their work (and maybe in other ways, too).

i shot the sheriff. (but i did not shoot the deputy.)

1. Oh, hey, wow, I have a blog! *pats it on head* Poor, neglected blog. It’s okay, buddy, I’m back.

2. So, my life the past three weeks or so: Get a call asking me to go interview at a small college in a small town in Kentucky (with all travel expenses paid), go do so, nice people, pretty good job, tiny town (5200 people + a Wal-mart, and that’s about it) in the middle of some gorgeous country, go home (after spending the night in the Knoxville, TN airport), get a call that afternoon offering me the job (!!!!), they give me the weekend to think about it. I go watch the last Harry Potter movie, work, pray about it, think about it, am generally angsty about it–Saturday morning I give up and say, “Okay, Lord, if You want me to go, I’ll go.” Later that day: “Okay. You’re staying here for a while.” “What?” “Yeah.” Even later that day: “This is Half-Price Books, we’re hiring, you want to come in for an interview?” Monday, me to Kentucky: “Thanks, it was awesome, but no thanks.” Wednesday: Get hired by Half-Price (full-time! killer benefits!). Thursday: Get an e-mail asking if I’m interested in a part-time position at the local community college doing reference librarianship. (Yes, please!). Friday: Put in my two weeks’ notice at Target. 😀 This week: work, and ticking down the days until I get to leave. Huzzah.

I think we’re caught up. It’s been a little insane, but I’m feeling good about it. The plan is to do this for a few years, pay off my current school debts, and then…well…go to seminary and get an MA in Biblical studies with the goal (at least now) to be a theological librarian. This is going to be an interesting ride.

3. Thought had tonight: Every time we get together for church, it’s the rehearsal dinner for the wedding.

4. Know what’s kind of fun? Sitting down with people and asking them how they got to know Jesus.

5. One of these days, I’m going to sit down with everyone I know and make them unpack their whole life story for me in one sitting. Maybe record it, I don’t know. But I feel like there’s so much I don’t know about people I’ve known practically my whole life, and I want to dig into that.

6. I didn’t see Part 1 of the last Harry Potter movie, but for some reason I looked up a particular scene in it, and that led me to this song, with which I am now obsessed:

100 people whom I love to hear sing.

1. Adele. 2.Rufus Wainwright. 3. Sandra McCracken.
4. Bono.
5. Karin Bergquist.
6. The Edge.
7. Amy Winehouse (RIP).
8. Joe Anderson.
9. Florence Welch.
10. Patty Griffin.
11 & 12. Johnny & June Carter Cash.
13. Shara Worden.
14. Pete Seeger.
15. Nataly Dawn.
16. Colin Meloy.
17. Sara Bareilles.
18. Andrew Bird.
19. Reba McEntire.
20. Neil Patrick Harris.
21. Emily DeLoach.
22. Alexander Gemignani.
23. Patti Lupone.
24. Raul Esparza.
25. Beyonce.
26. Matthew Perryman Jones.
27. Judy Garland.
28. Derek Webb.
29. Leslie Feist.
30. Gene Kelly.
31. Trixie Whitley.
32. Justin Timberlake.
33. Aretha Franklin.
34. Jon Foreman.
35. Peggy Lee.
36. Paul Simon.
37. Sara Groves.
38. Nick Cave.
39 & 40. Marketa Irglova & Glen Hansard.
41. Josh Ritter.
42 & 43. Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan.
44 & 45. Don & Lori Chaffer.
46. Joan Baez.
47. Elton John.
48. Sarah Dugas.
49. Nat King Cole.
50. Brandi Carlile.
51. Chris Martin.
52. Alice Ripley.
53. Ray LaMontagne.
54. Judy Collins.
55. Marcus Mumford.
56. Karen Olivo. (The video has a bonus appearance from Mandy Gonzalez and Chris Jackson, whom I also think are stellar.)
57. Kevin Max.
58. Jennifer Damiano.
59. Cee-Lo Green.
60. Sharon Jones.
61. Christian Kane.
62. Anna Ternheim.
63. Adam Chanler-Berat.
64. Dusty Springfield.
65. J. Robert Spencer.
66. Nina Simone.
67. Chris Thile.
68. Sarah Jarosz. (She was 18 when this was recorded, which is entirely not fair.)
69. Brian Stokes Mitchell.
70. Katie Thompson.
71. Frank Sinatra.
72. April Smith.
73. Dean Martin.
74. Imogen Heap.
75. Adam Pascal.
76 & 77. Alex Ebert & Jade Castrinos.
78. Norm Lewis.
79. Christine Ebersole.
80. Ewan McGregor.
81. Samantha Barks.
82. Philip Quast.
83. Lea Salonga.
84. Victor Garber.
85. Sutton Foster.
86. Jesse L. Martin.
87. Bernadette Peters.
88. Ray Charles.
89. Gillian Welch.
90. Peter Gabriel.
91. Celia Cruz.
92. Sam Beam.
93. Alison Krauss.
94. Alfie Boe.
95. Julie Andrews.
96. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
97. Stile Antico.
98. Conspirare.
99. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
100. UNC Achordants.

for discussion:

From W. David O. Taylor, at this post:

It is a shame that conservative Protestantism exhibits such an allergic tendency to mystery. It is a shame that our corporate worship often makes the most minimal space for mystery. We prefer to hear sermons that explain things definitely. We like to sing songs whose meaning we can account for on rational grounds. The architectural and artistic shape of our sanctuaries, whatever they may be, err on the utilitarian side, and if symbols are employed they tend to be safe ones–that’s a fish, that’s a cup, that’s a flame. End of exchange.

“oh, i don’t love you/i always will…”

1. If you’re in Houston, you need to come up to my part of the world and see the Lanier Theological Library. I kind of want to move in. (Plus, they get extra points for having a replica of the TARDIS on the lawn.)

2. My friends Dave and Lindsay and the Nerdist podcast have turned me on to Doctor Who. It’s getting somewhat ridiculous, but my gosh, I love Christopher Eccleston. (I’ve heard it only gets better.)

3. I gave up on reading only 100-year-or-more-old books because it was driving me mad. So I’m cranking through last year’s Pulitzer winner for fiction, and a book about domestic history (yes, I’m a nerd), and might start the last Harry Potter book to remind myself of the plot before I go see the last movie (!).

4. I recently discovered the song “What Happens When The Heart Just Stops” by The Frames, and am now kind of obsessed. (The version on Set List is the best one, I think.)

5. Is it weird that I want to save up some money for dance lessons? (I blame So You Think You Can Dance.)

6. I also blame SYTYCD for my obsession with The Civil Wars’ “Poison and Wine”:

7. So, with all the reading and working and watching stuff and church whatnot and sleeping and job hunting, not a whole lot of stuff has been appearing here. A lot of my thinking has appeared elsewhere on the Internet and isn’t hard to find. One of these days I might consolidate it all somewhere, but we’ll see.