When No One is Watching

What secret lies transpire in the hidden rooms of your heart? What do you do behind closed doors, in empty rooms, when no one is watching? Who do you hate? What kind of a wretched person are you when no one is around to watch you be good? What can you get away with? If no one will ever know, is everything all right? But someone is watching and knows every secret action, word, and thought. You thought you were all alone, but someone was watching, shedding a silent tear for your misgivings.

Americans are Dumb

Okay, you know what? Americans are dumb. Not only does our country stick its nose in other people’s business, but we’re just dumb. This whole Kosovo thing… okay, if you guys don’t agree on peace, we’re gonna bomb the crap out of you. What kind of deal is that!? And then there’s Turkey, beating up on Kurds in northern Iraq. We don’t care what they’re doing. But be it Kosovo or Iraq or somebody else, we come in and kick some butt. We’re the United States of America, we can do whatever the heck we want. Just look at our president.

And another thing, why are we so dumb? What’s the American Dream? Get a job and settle down with a family. Why is that all we do? We go to school, we get a job, we get married somewhere in there, we have a family, we do the same thing for a million years, and at some point we get shoved in an old folk’s home. What a life. Why don’t we do anything different. Why don’t we do anything bizarre. A friend of mine is thinking about joining the Peace Corps. That’s radical. That’s different. That’s a cool experience. It sure beats settling down that much earlier and doing nothing. You know what, the American Dream isn’t all that exciting. It’s rather selfish. And yet it’s our ideal. What kind of a country is this? It’s like a country made up of a bunch of five year old brats. Except they’d be more exciting.

Across the Ocean, the Moon and Hosea

Today I had a conversation with someone on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. How bizarre is it that I can converse with someone so far away? It would take days for me to even drive to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and I’d only be half the distance to this friend. Yet through some phone lines we can exchange lines of text. It’s amazing when you really think about it.

Speaking of amazing, while I was walking to class tonight, the sky looked beautiful. The night sky was a crisp midnight blue (yet it was only 6:30, oh the irony) and the tiny crescent of a moon lit up the expanse. You could still see the rest of the moon, a dark form hiding behind the brightness of the white sliver. To the lower right of the orb was a brilliant pin prick of light, and again to the lower right was another bright dot of white. One of them had to be a planet, but I certainly couldn’t identify it.

I feel kind of bad for the really weak ponderings lately, so I present you with this absurd thought from my devotions the other day. It comes from the tenth chapter of Hosea. I’m totally taking it out of context, and even skipping a sentence or two–but it still makes you wonder. We never think that God would bring the judgment he unleashed on Israel to his church today, but you never know. He over turned tables in the Jewish courts, why do we think we’re safe from his anger? It may be totally out of context and not a proper reading of the passage, but it can still be a call to wake up.

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength… Thus it will happen to you, O Bethel, because your wickedness is great.” (Hosea 10:12-13, 15 NIV)

Hamster Dance

It’s time for stupid web site of the year! Have you ever wondered what dancing hamsters would look like? Check this out: http://www.hamsterdance.com

You know, some days I just don’t have anything to say. I tried rambling on and on, but I decided it just wasn’t worth it. You have better things to do. Come back tomorrow when I have something more important to say.

Valentine’s Day Apart Sucks

You know what, Valentine’s Day really sucks when you’re 700 miles away from your girl friend. I realized that tonight when I was talking to her and just wishing I could be there with her. But I suppose it’s not all that bad, because she really cheered me up.

When we first started talking I was bummed out, and when we finally hung up I was in a very cheerful mood. It’s just kind of hard being that far apart. Most people are shocked when they hear that we’re that far apart and still together. In fact, it was three years ago today that this whole thing kind of started. That would be the joyous day when I put my foot in my mouth and made my feelings known. Of course the official date isn’t for another month or so, but that’s a long story that you single people really don’t want to hear about right now.

That three years part shocks people all the more. I like to think that’s where we have something special. I see so many people who only see love as sex or people who are very quick to get married. They don’t go through the roller coaster ride of the relationship and really find out what the person is like on those hard days. They don’t have time to deal with the really tough issues, and I really wonder what’s going to happen when those issues come. ‘I love you’ is a phrase we often throw around. I wonder how many people really mean it.

Sticky Notes 6

I found a cool new program for my computer today. It’s called Sticky Notes 6. It lets you put sticky notes on your computer screen. It’s really cool and pretty convenient. You can get the lite version at http://www.downloads.com and you can check out the real thing at the company’s web page: http://www.tenebril.com/ (sorry Mac users, you already have a neat sticky notes program, so today’s pondering is pretty well useless for you, except you can keep telling yourself how much better Macs are).

Acoustic Music & Reflection

Oh the wonder of music. Tonight I listened. I saw an acoustic performance by the band Ethan’s Well. I was there by myself, and I sat down with a pad of paper, eager to jot down whatever came to my mind. It’s kind of a cool way to listen to music. There’s just something about acoustic music like this that soothes your spirit, relaxes your body, and engages your mind. I slipped into a very contemplative and reflective mood while I listened to the music. There’s something about music that’s very captivating and appealing. I found myself rather observant tonight, and I watched people’s reactions to the music. They were playing a free show at a Christian bookstore, and people walking through the mall would stop and peak in. I watched a decrepit old man tap his foot and nod his head to the beat. I watched a little child’s eyes fill with wonder and awe, and I saw his big smile as he clutched a new CD in his two hands and gazed at it triumphantly.

I also realized something about this kind of music. Maybe it’s true for other styles, but acoustic especially. The songs are a much more personal and intimate expression for the artist. A lot of rock or ska songs are about much broader topics and usually a lot more energetic. They generally don’t promote reflection. They make a statement, but it’s usually a bold statement, stated plainly and clearly. There’s not a lot of thinking involved (or in some cases there’s so much thinking involved that it loses any significance). Or maybe it’s just Ethan’s Well’s music. I don’t know, I’m just rambling. But it seems like the song is such a personal thing for the artist. And there they are on stage, singing it to a room full of people. They’re putting their heart on a platter for the world to look at. That’s kind of scary. You have to be a brave and strong person to do that. I admire people who can do that. I appreciate it. Just some thoughts about music. It’s kind of fun to just sit there and listen and not do anything else. It’s something one of my roommate’s Josh would highly recommend. Listen closer.

Visiting the Walker Art Center & Minoring in Art

walker.gifYesterday with my 2D Design class I went to the Walker Art Center in downtown Minneapolis. I’d highly recommend it if you ever have a chance to go. I suppose I should clarify my reasons for recommending it. Outside of the Art Center there’s the Sculpture Gardens. Those are just cool. There’s a really big cherry on an even bigger spoon. It’s bizarre. But that just makes it fun. The actual Walker Art Center isn’t quite to my liking. There’s some modern art stuff in there that I certainly don’t understand at all. But I should probably try to be more open minded about it. Being immediately repulsed by something doesn’t mean that it has no value. Some people treat my work that way, and I’m almost insulted that they don’t look more closely. I should at least give some of these modern artists the same respect that I yearn for.

I’m taking a moment today to talk about art because more and more it seems like I have a connection with art. I’ve taken a few art classes here at Bethel, and I’m considering an Art Minor. I don’t consider myself to be an artist, but in some ways I may be inching closer to that title. This week I was working on two art projects that I had a lot of fun with. A portion of that work may be on this site soon. Also, today I picked up a pen and some paper and tried to do some drawing. Now I’m not good at drawing. It’s not one of my skills. But I figured I’d give it a try and practice a little bit. I took a drawing class last year, and I didn’t do too bad. I took a picture of my girl friend and tried to sketch it. I learned a few things. The creation of God is so beautiful and so magnificent, my feeble attempts to mimic it are laughable. The curves are so perfect and precise. The subtle changes in light and dark boggle my mind when I try to copy them. I think the artist certainly has a greater appreciation for God’s handiwork than the rest of us do. Try it sometime, it’s kind of humbling.

A work-at-home dad wrestles with faith, social justice & story.