2007-01-31

the blues - switchfoot

Is this the New Year or just another night?
Is this the new fear or just another fright?
Is this the new tear or just another desperation?

Is this the finger or just another fist?
Is this the kingdom or just a hit and miss?
A misdirection, most in all this desperation

Is this what they call freedom?
Is this what you call pain?
Is this what they call discontented fame?

It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in

I'm singing this one like a broken piece of glass
From broken arms an' broken noses in the back
Is this the New Year or just another desperation?

You're pushing till you're shoving
You bend until you break
Do you stand on the broken fields where our fathers lay

It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in

There's nothing here worth saving,
Is no one here at all?
Is there any net left that could break our fall?

It'll be a day like this one
When the sky falls down and the hungry and poor and deserted are found
Are you discontented? Have you been pushing hard?
Have you been throwing down this broken house of cards?

It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in

Is there nothing left now?
Nothing left to sing
Are there any left who haven't kissed the enemy?
Is this the New Year or just another desperation?

Does justice never find you? Do the wicked never lose?
Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues?

And nothing is okay
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in

2007-01-26

Pan's Labyrinth...

I feel like one single act of selflessness could overcome all the damage and destruction in the world...

Troops Authorized to Kill Iranian Operatives in Iraq...

Can I just say that it infuriates and saddens and makes my heart ache that we fight terror with terror? What the hell are we doing?

2007-01-20

it's time to be interactive :)

So, I would just like peoples' thoughts on the following sentence:

"When justice is bought and sold just like the weapons of war, the ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor."

2007-01-18

in god we trust - derek webb

in God we trust
and the government is on His shoulders
in God we trust
through democracy and tyranny alike
in God we trust
He uses both good and evil men

in God we trust
so we fight for peace and He fights for us
in God we trust
even when He fights us for someone else
in God we trust
even when He looks like the enemy

in God we trust
even though our hearts are bankrupt
in God we trust
for more than just the value of our dollar bills
in God we trust
but there’s no gold behind these notes of reserve

in God we trust
even through our great presumption
in God we trust
even though He favors no nation-state
in God we trust
even when the blessing is a curse



So, I wanted to just put up some thoughts about this song...

The first verse, I think, is speaking to the fact that we in American Christianity often place our safety in the fact that we live under a democracy which allows us freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc... but that as Christians, we should trust God enough that the form of government we live under or the character of those in power shouldn't matter. That our faith should be the same whether we are applauded for being Christians, merely allowed to say we are Christians, or whether we are killed for it.

The second verse - saying that we trust God and follow where we believe He leads us, and when we fight for what He fights for, He fights along with us. Yet we ought still trust Him, even if we find Him fighting against us. We should take this as an error in our judgment, not God's.

Third verse - pretty clear I think - that we ought to trust God for more than our financial security.

Fourth verse - we are often very presumptuous in our faith... we have our set of presuppositions about the world and we are pretty reluctant to ever consider that they might be wrong, and they color the way we treat people and the way we view ourselves, including that many of us seem to believe that America is God's chosen country, which I don't believe is true at all. Also, we must still trust God, even when what He knows is a blessing for us seems to us like a curse. Which is actually fairly often, yet we seem to think that our perception of life is absolutely the correct one.

Anyway, that's just some of my own thoughts about this song...

2007-01-14

violence...

the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that violence is not the way to go. period. how do we expect to get rid of violence with the use of violence? like Martin Luther King Jr. Said: "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time -- the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression." As Derek Webb writes in his song "My Enemies Are Men Like Me": "Peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication. It's like telling someone murder is wrong and then showing them by way of execution." How do we expect to end the history of violence in the middle east simply by adding another party to the fighting? There is more going on in the world than just what we see on the surface, and to be quite honest, I think there are powers that we often don't think about watching this whole situation repeating "keep fighting, keep fighting, very good... yes, kill more people..." How do we ever expect to contribute to peace on earth, except by being peaceful? Again, I think that becoming a part of the violence, even if it is to eliminate a person who is perpetuating violence, does something more to the fabric of the world than just what appears on the surface. I don't know... I'm not going to say that it's never the right thing to become involved in a war, or to defend yourself or others against violence... I just think we would do well to think VERY seriously about the whole topic and to not just take the (seemingly) typical stance of "they bombed us, let's bomb them" or "they bombed this group of people, let's get em!" I think there are deeper consequences for killing a person than just the removal of their presence from the earth, and we would do well to seriously consider whether it is worth it in any given situation.

2007-01-10

the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

Thus said to me my father: "Constrain them to join in building a tower, and you shall make them like brothers. But if you would have them hate each other, throw food amongst them."

And he said also: "Let them bring first to me the fruits of their toil; let them pour into my barns the river of their harvest; let them build in me their garner. For I would have them serve my glory when they thresh the wheat, and all around them the golden husks glitter in the sunbeams. Thus, instead of being a drudgery for the getting of bread, their task becomes an anthem. Thus, too, they are less to be pitied when their backs are bowed under the heavy sacks they carry to the mill, or bring back white with flour. Like prayer, the burden on his shoulders magnifies the man. So you may see them proudly smiling when they hold aloft the sheaves, like many-branched candlesticks, the spiked ears darting flashes of gold. For a civilization is built on what is required of men, not on that which is provided for them. True it is that, after the long day’s work, this wheat supplies their food. But this is not the side of things that means most for a man: what nourishes his heart is not what he gets from the wheat, but what he gives to the wheat.

"Again I say it! Despicable are those peoples of the earth who chant others' poems, and eat alien corn, and hire architects from other lands to build their cities. Such people I call 'sedentaries.' Never will you see them clad in those veils of shimmering gold which hover round the threshing-floor.

"It is meet that I should receive, even as I give; so that I may be able to continue giving. How happy is this giving and taking which helps my people on their way and enables yet more giving! And, though the taking makes the body thrive, it is the giving alone that nourishes the heart.

2007-01-08

Matthew 5:38-48

"You have heard that it was said, `AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

"You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."



Okay, there are a number of things in here that get my brain going. First of all - "do not resist and evil person." The King James Version says "That ye resist not evil." Rather, the prescription seems to be "if someone does evil to you, treat them with kindness in return." I have to admit, this is often really hard for me. I mean, I don't consider myself a violent person, and I probably wouldn't turn to violence if someone sued me or slapped me or whatever, but I would be quick to meet that person with cold silence, indifference, and probably to defame them at length to all my friends. I have to admit it wouldn't be my first reaction to give them what they were suing for and then some, or to just turn my cheek and say "have at it."

"do not resist an evil person." Does it strike anyone but me how much time we spend trying to resist evil people or evil actions (whether actually evil or only perceived as evil)? And yet Christ's response is, "don't resist evil, love those who do evil." Perhaps love is the only real weapon we have against evil.

The next thing that gets me thinking is "Give to him who asks of you" - the corresponding passage in Luke 6 says "Give to everyone who asks of you" (italics added). So what does this have to say for people we usually rationalize not giving to because we're sure they will buy booze or drugs or they are just too smelly to get that close to or we don't want to touch their hands because we are on our way to eat or whatever other kind of thing we can think of. "Give to everyone who asks of you" is pretty plain. Now, if at the time you have nothing to give, that's another story... though I suppose giving could mean buying them a drink or food or whatever... (let's face it, you all have debit and/or credit cards that you could use to buy someone a drink or a piece of pizza or something if you didn't have any cash on you)

He says all of this that we might be known as God's children, because God pours blessing on the good and evil alike. Also, He states that it is pointless to only love those who love you, to only help those who help you, to only give in expectation of return.

Now, the last thing that really makes my head spin, is the last sentence: "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." I mean, that seems pretty cut and dry... be perfect, as God is perfect. All I could possibly offer there is conjecture. Other than the fact that I know what kind of a major switch it would be for me to be perfect. This is one of those I'm just hoping falls under the "responsible for being perfect, but covered by grace (yet not excused from growth)" umbrella.