Thursday, December 28, 2006


I was reading through the news a few days ago, and I came across an article that stated that some archeologists had found a sarcophagus that is believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul. He wrote many of the epistles (letters) that make up the Word of GOD, so it's a pretty big deal.
After talking a little about some of the details, they quote the president of the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: "One discovery we know will never be made and that is the uncovering of a sarcophagus containing the bones of Jesus Christ."

[Read article here]

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


This last spring quarter, I played what is called a recital. Because I am a music major with an emphasis in Saxophone Performance, these concerts, given at the end of my 3rd and 4th years of college respectively, are really important. So I practiced and practiced, and one spring afternoon I played a concert consisting of really hard saxophone music, and they recorded it. As I was leaving to work at Camp-of-the-Woods, I told my Dad that the copy of my recital recording was in the car. My dad had been able to make it to the concert, but my mom couldn't, so he was going to snag it and play it for my mom.

Fast forward six months to today: my whole family is over, and my mom decides to play my recital for my family. She says that she has been playing it for all of their friends, and they've been amazed by it. As my family leans in and the music begins, my first thought is, "Wow, I sounded really good that day. Better than I thought." As the music progresses, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach: it's too good.

Here's what happened - in the week preceding my recital I had made a CD of all of the music that I would be playing on my concert, as performed by professional saxophonists. I would listen to it in my car to pick up on stylistic interpretation and other stuff, so that I could get a better idea of what the pieces were supposed to sound like. It was this CD that my dad took out of my car and thought to be the recording of me. So as my family listened, I had to stand up and tell them that it was not me to whom they were listening. Needless to say, I was a little embarassed.

But today we celebrated the birth of Jesus, the Immanuel that came to cover up our wretched little tunes with his beautiful melody. Thank you for your grace, for your presence, for your power and strength within us. Thank you that we can now come before GOD the Father and not be ashamed, for you have covered our sins with your perfect and spotless righteousness. Thank you for the most beautiful and perfect of promises: "GOD with us." See you soon.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight

Sunday, December 24, 2006


A few days after finals ended, me and some buddies from Davis took a little road trip. We left Saturday afternoon, drove down to the AGO house @ USC, spent the night, then spent all day Sunday at Magic Mountain. We stopped in to worship at Risen, then headed to Vegas on monday and headed home on Tuesday. They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - well, nothing happened. We walked around in the freezing cold, had a blast goofing off, and then came home.

It was a good time to hang with some bros - now, I'm home and getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus with family and good friends. I'll post a rundown on some of the books that I've been chewing on in the next week. Peace be with y'all. See you soon.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:8-14)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Yesterday, I took my final for HIS 131B - History of the Renaissance and Reformation. I wrote more for that final than I've written for any final in my college career; my final essay took up 10 [blue book] pages. It was a good class, and it was largely due to my professor.

On the last day of class, we talked for a few minutes about new material, and then my professor took a few minutes to tie of the things that we had been learning together regarding the happenings of Early Modern Europe from 1450-1650. She recapped on a few of the common themes that we had seen in studying the history, and then she talked for a little bit about her own motivations in regards to her study of history. Her area of expertise is Spain; she could tell you anything you wanted to know about he the country came about, what the politics were like, who ruled when, and everything in between. At this point, she said something that really struck me: "I find that in studying the past, I better understand the present. You might not find these things particularly fascinating, but these things fill me with joy. This why I have chosen to dedicate my life to this."

At that, I could sense everybody in the room perk up - when people talk about the things that they are passionate about, it is compelling. It is a bold statement to say that you have dedicated your life to something; there's a finality about it, a commitment that is irreversible. Here was a woman who had dedicated herself to the study of the subject of Early modern Spain - the truth is that you really dedicate yourself to something, it shows. And this was apparent in her teaching - her passion came through in her thorough knowledge of the subjects and her excitement about us getting our learn on.

A speaker came to our Christian fellowship a few years ago, and he said this: "If you light yourself on fire, the world will come to watch you burn." The world takes notice of those who are willing to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to anything, and I think that this is our calling as Christians - to boldly proclaim with our lives the joy and excitement that comes from dedicating and laying down our lives to follow Jesus. You can't understand something until you love it; but when you do get to that place of dedication, the world will know. I don't know much about history, but I do know Jesus - I pray that my life would be wholeheartedly dedicated to knowing God intimately more and more every day. That's something worth learning about. See you soon.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I subscribe to quite a few podcasts - weekly sermons, Strongbad emails, and various other radio programs. But far and away the one that I've enjoyed most is the one pictured above: This American Life.

They release one every week on mondays, and it's the only podcast that I faithfully listen to. The name pretty much says it: each hour-long show is a quirky aspect of the American life. Each one is unique, and really entertaining - it reminds me of my late Uncle Jack. It's very cleverly written, and entertainment of this caliber that is clean and fun is hard to find. If you're a podcast consumer and you're looking for some wholesome listening, check it out. What are the podcasts that you faithfully enjoy? Be heard in the comments. See you soon.

(Subscribe to This American Life here.)

Monday, December 04, 2006


This song is beautiful.

In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
My silence is my self defense

And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
It's just as well for all I've seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows
(And So It Goes, Billy Joel)