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i’m home on break, and i’ll write more complicated and drawn out things later

but i just wanted to say that if you have not listening to john coltrane, you are missing out on a fabulous opportunity to envision yourself cooler than you might actually be

i’m in pajamas, and i feel like i could order a vodka tonic. and i hate tonic.

merry day after christmas. peace and love

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i’m going to post something today so that katie has something to read

this semester is almost over, and the only real word to describe it is “whirlwind”
and what i think i’ve realized, and what is bringing me steadily closer to God is that i am such a blessed earthen vessel
…which, really, isn’t different from anyone else, except that maybe i’ve finally made that realization

i got to talk to russ today, and he said that gcc folks are atypically arrogant… i’d say we’re a pretentious bunch who feel impervious to the rest of society; haven’t quite managed to be in the world but not of it (we’re either in it totally, or not of it at all), but there’s a few who somehow get it and stop feeling their own opinion really means much

the biggest thing i got from staff seminar is this:

eph 2:11-13
therefore, remember that formerly you who are gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

i’m a gentile… i don’t have a choice. i’m from german, english and dutch descent, i’m a protestant through and through, and have no authentic jewish blood in me. which means simply that had Jesus decided not to die for me – had God decided not to sacrifice His son for atonement – i’d have nothing.

i would not even have God

so for me to think i’m worth anything outside His redemption work is one of the biggest rejections of the Cross

i’m an earthen vessel, blessed beyond what i deserved

as a postscript, it’s 5 degrees in erie

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as i was thinking, i need to add a few more folks to this list. see, i’ve been wanting to create an “essential list to adam a’s music library”

i have 4206 mp3s, and probably another 300 tracks in cds

so, here’s are some of the critical artists for you to get my musical style. i’m going to do this in a series, explaining why i really love this artist/band, and a critical track. i’ll start with the pics:

caveat: this is all “in my humble opinion”

1. the roots – underground rap, and where i think jazz should have gone, merging r&b, with hip-hop sense and jazz style. now hip-hop is largely a death culture, but the roots transcend it with music. and i mean music. critial tracks: essaywhuman?!!!! (organix mix); thought@work (phrenology)

2. ben folds – humble, and can play some of the best rock piano. he is the natural progression of billy joel/elton john piano rock raised in the 90’s pissed off rock. he’s every angry little white guy. he’s matured as a singer/songwriter since going solo, and i think we’re all better for it. i love bf5, but his new stuff means something. critical tracks: steven’s last night in town (whatever and ever…); selfless cold and composed (w&e); not the same (rockin’ the suburbs); you to thank (songs for silverman)

3. sufjan stevens – not so much for what he’s done, but for what he’s doing. his intense project where he wants to do all 50 states is amazing, and thus far, will be one of the most gorgeous sets of music ever created. while enjoy your rabbit isn’t a favorite album of mine, it’s interesting stuff. critical tracks: to be alone with you (seven swans); holland (…michigan…); enjoy your rabbit (enjoy your rabbit)

4. ben harper – the thing about ben harper is that there isn’t much he doesn’t do well. his dirty blues/bluegrass sound is polished in a way that makes you feel like you’re in on something not everyone else is. it’s like a treasure. he would be a delight to see in concert. critical tracks: when it’s good (diamonds on the inside); diamonds on the inside (diamonds on the inside); ground on down (fight for your mind)

5. john coltraine – there isn’t much to say about him, except that when i think jazz, he’s one of two names that instantly come up. and unlike many other jazz musicians, he was still intelligent and thoughtful in his art when he came clean and found Jesus. a love supreme is an opus only perhaps equaled in value for jazz pre-acid (and when everything (i think) went to pot) to kind of blue. critical tracks: a love supreme; in a sentimental mood; lush life w/jonny hartman

-fin round 1-

peace and love

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Five weeks in a prison, I made no friends
There’s more time to be done, but I’ve got a week to spend
I didn’t pay much attention first time around
But now you’re hard not to notice, right here in my town
Where the stage of my old life meets the cast of the new
Tonights actors: Me and You

Each day is taking us closer
While drawing the curtains to close
This far, or further, I need to know
Your increasingly long embraces
Are they saying sorry or please?
I don’t know what’s happening, help me

Through the streets, on the corners, there’s a scent in the air
I ask you out and I lead you, I know my way around here
There’s a bench I remember, and on the way there I find
That the movements you’re making, are mirrored in mine
And your hand is held open, intentionally
Or just what I want to see?

Your increasingly long embraces
Are they saying sorry or please?
I don’t know what’s happening, help me
I don’t normally beg for assistance
I rely on my own eyes to see
But right now they make no sense to me
Right now you make no sense to me

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i get this feeling every so often of just a rustling

it’s a really uncomfortable feeling of just frustration, as though i’m stepping somewhere i shouldn’t or have stepped somewhere i shouldn’t, and am unaware beyond my suspicions

we sang “as the deer” today, and i think it’s my favorite praise song (sans the “the apple of my eye” line… you can’t go “as the dear panteth” and then get all cliche on me)

As the deer panteth for the water,
So my soul longeth after you.
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship you.

You alone are my strength, my shield.
To you alone will my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship you.

You're my friend, and You are my brother
Even though You are a King.
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything.

there are days i really miss God. dr marsh talked today about being hedonistic when it came to God (in saying it’s okay to seek God and delight in Him, because that’s who God is), and asked if we come to church all excited, jumping up and down. i wondered how many folks do

gregg townsend is going to be my spiritual mentor whilst i’m in erie. this is the first time i’ve ever had a mentor, and it’s exciting in its own very intimidating way. i’m determined to be honest and forthright with him from the beginning, and we all have skeletons we don’t want to bring out of the closet

i need to write some songs. i haven’t written one since my freshman year that i was really proud of. that was such a wonderful release.

peaceandlove

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let me add more to that, which i suppose defeats the purpose of why i wrote it, but ultimately, this is about looking back and remembering

we all live in valleys and mountains when we go along. it’s a tried and true metaphor. but one isn’t always climbing… there are plateau moments, and they are the moments where there’s no real fire, but there’s no real burn either. life is just that, life, and it doesn’t inflict itself on your any more than you let it

any more than you let it.

that is what got me tonight at 1:30 in the morning (mt 5:14-16)

and i’ve lived in this spiritual plateau for the semester: one of constant contact with God, but an arrogance on my part to assume that was enough

when i saw beth, we talked about ministry, and she said “i feel like the time i pray for my students could be better spent”, and i wondered about my time in prayer for the students i work (and don’t work) with

and now i feel i plateaued with them in some maybe slight/major way (is anything slight in the kingdom of God?)

so, this all to say the following: i feel God gives us these plateaus for two reasons: rest from climbs we’ve had to make, and an open invitation to climb the next mountain

because maybe there really aren’t valleys at all, but simply unwillingness to climb the mountain again