a realistic dose of cynicism

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Not my own.

oceaneyes

I picked up (er, downloaded. off iTunes!) Owl City’s new album, Ocean Eyes, Tuesday morning at 12:01am. Yes, I stayed up and waited. I can safely say that if you’ve enjoyed any of Owl City’s previous airy, expansive melodies about the mystical tides and oceans from landlocked Minnesota, you’re going to love Ocean Eyes.

Plenty of happy, get-up-and-dance songs like Rainbow Veins and Hello Seattle (actually, Hello Seattle is on the new album. Twice. That’s how good it is.) from their old albums show their faces in Cave In and Dental Care (a happy, upbeat song about going to the dentist!). But there’s a good, sobering dose of reality too.

Track 7, a slow, heartfelt song entitled Meteor Shower. It’s a very quick song, lasting only 2 minutes 14 seconds, and everyone I’ve talked to about it says it ends much too soon. But it’s clearly the standout powerful and solemn track on an otherwise uplifting CD. The lyrics go,

I can finally see,
That you’re right there beside me,

I am my not own,
For I have been made new,
Please don’t let me go,
I desperately need you (x2)

And I was immediately reminded of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (I had to look it up… I’m not that good):

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

And of 2 Corinthians 5:17:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

If Christ has truly paid the price for my sin and spared me from death, then I am truly not my own any longer; I cannot live for myself. I owe my life to Him who has redeemed for me, and I live for him. I exist to bring Him glory.

I am a new creation. I do not live for myself or for the world any longer, but only for Him.

And we very so desperately need God if we’re living for Him and only Him.

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thoughts on the new place

So I’m finally a Newtonite… and I’ve spent 3 nights there already.

Still no roommate (yet). Maybe he’s just giving me an extra day to change all the locks. Or I could look into subletting. But maybe not.

some quotes from visitors (yes! i haven’t even spent a week here and i’ve had visitors already!):
“wowwww…. this place is nice.”
“you have really huge windows.”
“do i have to take my shoes off?”
…YES.

My commute to work is now 18 miles, 20 minutes, one-way, even in constant 40mph traffic. Don’t ask me how that works out mathematically, it just doesn’t.

I’ve visited the Target in Watertown at least 6-7 times in the last few days, spending a truly absurd amount of money. No single item has cost more than $25.

We currently have (at least!) 16 place settings worth of knives, spoons, forks, plates, bowls, mugs, etc… but we only have a single pair of chopsticks. They’re disposable bamboo chopsticks I got from a takeout place, and they’re in the dishwasher right now.

I saw what I thought was 32 rolls of toilet paper in the closet. So of course I went to go buy 8 rolls of paper towels. We now have 24 rolls of paper towels, probably enough to last us two years.

We have a white-beige-brown-black color theme going on. So if you can’t stand adjacent swatches of brown and black, you have been forewarned.

I wanted to bake cookies yesterday, so I had to go out and buy flour, white sugar, light brown sugar, oatmeal, raisins, butter, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, cookie sheets, parchment paper, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a spatula, and an electric hand mixer. Basically everything you need to make cookies, literally from scratch. We have NOTHING.

My closet space is currently not very efficiently utilized. It bothers me.

I received a gift of hand soap the other day. I am very grateful.

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Do not eat watch.

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Martin OMJM, or, proof that John Mayer is uber cool.

Everyone knows John Mayer’s really cool. Even John himself knows it. That’s why he twitters (tweets?) so much; his narcissistic side thinks people care about the day-to-day trivialities of his life. (You know how much I care? I won’t even link you to it.)

Maybe that’s why Martin has a John Mayer signature model… or the Martin OMJM, the technical term. The man has a GUITAR named after him. and not just any old guitar, a $3100 beauty.

I thought Sasha would’ve curbed my GAS for a while now, but seeing and hearing this baby seems to have brought it back in full swing… mmm…

omjm

It’s got the shallow neck profile, a 1-11/16″ nut… Englemann Spruce/Indian Rosewood… and it seems to be signed by the man himself!!

win-win-win-win. So that’s how he plays with the thumb on the low-E without making his fingers fall off.

anyone know where i can play one of these? they’re not at GC…

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John Mayer on Michael Jackson.

John Mayer wrote an article for TIME (obviously because he ran out of space on Twitter) about Michael Jackson.

some tasty excerpts:

…I mean, what are the ’80s? A Rubik’s Cube, 3-D glasses and Michael Jackson. And that’s the giant cornerstone that’s gone.

Michael Jackson proves, in a really sort of perverse way, that maybe we’re not as offended by behavior as we are entranced by music. And think about that. Think about what level of quality you must have to attain to have somebody say, “I know that you’re accused of having molested children, but I can’t hate you for that as much as I love you for your music.”

There’s just one Michael Jackson now. We don’t have to reconcile the Michael Jackson we love with another Michael Jackson. In a way, he has returned to pristine condition in death.

I don’t know if he’s actually smart or just trying to sound philosophical. Maybe he’s just jealous.

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Pointless product of the day: Tropicana Trop50

36001-hi-Trop50

I went grocery shopping yesterday and I saw a carton of Tropicana Trop50. Tropicana markets this product as having 50% less sugar and calories than Tropicana Pure Premium, their regular brand of orange juice.

HOW DO THEY DO IT?! I mean, I can take regular orange juice and only drink half as much as I normally might, or you know, just fill up the rest with water…

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i hate to write, but love having written.

“i hate to write, but love having written.”
-someone said this

It’s time for a real post. I haven’t journaled in a long time… so much so that I feel pregnant… with emotion.

Five songs that speak to me right now:
Coldplay – The Hardest Part
and the hardest part was letting go, not taking part; you really broke my heart

Coldplay – Fix You
when you get what you want, but not what you need

John Mayer – Heart of Life
pain throws your heart to the ground; love turns the whole thing around

Aaron Shust – My Savior, My God
I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned.

Just kidding, I don’t have a fifth song. Sorry. Loose collection of thoughts ahead, organized by subtitle… I should really write a book sometime.

Worship fail.

I failed at playing that last song on Friday. I was too ambitious and too cocky, and God humbled me. Remember, start singing at the correct OCTAVE. Also, don’t try to out-do your own musical ability unless you overcome those obstacles with sheer practice. I didn’t do that. It wasn’t pretty. Epic fail. Time to go back to simpler songs. Simpler strums. Back to basics. Heart of Life by John Mayer.

[In]evitable burnout?
I’ve been playing a lot of guitar recently. Maybe it’s because I don’t have anything else to do (or a life, in general). It’s true, I’m never at home in the evenings anymore. But 95% of the time it’s because I’m doing church stuff… leading small groups, attending small groups, leading worship, attending service, planning meetings, all that stuff. I hope I don’t suffer from the proverbial leadership burnout. AHHHHH.

God’s “good” and perfect love.
This week I’ve had many discussions about God’s will and His perfect love for us. Even if you don’t look at all the miracles and all the generosity, grace, and mercy he’s shown us, His love can be shown and proven by one act: the willing sacrifice of His Son, to save us. And it’s true; if I doubt God’s love, I can always recall and bring to mind the image of God sending His Son to die for us.

But still… I doubt His love. And it’s in my sufferings that I doubt His love the most. I think, “why aren’t good things happening to me?” and somehow that automatically translates to “maybe God doesn’t love me anymore.” It’s kind of silly.

What if our definition of “good” isn’t the same as God’s definition of “good”? If someone’s significant other breaks up with them, would we consider that to be “good”? Maybe we wouldn’t think that as being initially good… or even good in the long-term, for that matter. MAYBE even God doesn’t think that’s “good”.

So why would he subject you to something that isn’t “good”?

Don’t settle for “good” when you can have “better”.
I think it’s because He has something better. “God leads the long and loopy way, working for our greatest good and His greatest glory.” Remember that? He works for our GREATEST good! He won’t let us settle for something that’s ma-ma-dey (canto) or merely okay or fine or even kinda good. He wants the BEST for us! And he won’t let us settle for anything less. That’s awesome.

Entitlement to “good”.
Why do we expect good things to happen to us? When good things do happen to us, we thank God and praise Him. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I still think that I’m entitled to these good things. Where in the world does that come from? Do we somehow deserve it? I don’t think so…

And when bad things happen to us, we think God doesn’t love us anymore even in the face of God’s incredible sacrifice. How do we justify that?

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
-Romans 5:3-5, ESV

Reading adventures
Currently reading Sticky Church. I bought another copy of I Kissed Dating Goodbye; my other one is on loan. Reading that book keeps me sane sometimes… I think I need one for me-me. And also a book called Crazy Love.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #6: Roe vs. Wade

Row_Vs._WadextqDetail

shall i row? or wade?…
how serious can this be?
…for babies. OH WAIT.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #5: Uniqlo Pac-Man

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am i still hungry?
i try not to think of it…
om nom nom nom nom.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #4: The Land of Lost Socks

The_Land_of_Lost_Socks3ljDetail

i can only dream…
every lone sock: finally matched.
so this is heaven.

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