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:

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 and you can check out the real thing at the company’s web page: (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.

Sex and the Swimsuit Issue

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten that Valentine’s Day theme. Today’s topic? SEX.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue came out this week. Could somebody please tell me what women in really skimpy bathing suits (or birthday suits in some cases) have to do with sports? It’s crap like this that associates airbrushed models with beautiful women in men’s minds and we have the misconceptions about beauty that I talked about on Sunday.

You may also have heard about a major study that came out today. It made the front page of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. It reported that 40% of women suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction. The study suggested that the explanation behind some of those cases is “partner turnover,” or simply put, sleeping around. You mean having sex with lots of different people can cause problems? Gee, what a concept. Marriage was invented for a reason.

While we’re hitting the topic of sex, another report was released about sex on TV. Primetime sports an average of three sex scenes per hour. Isn’t that just wonderful? My first thought was that the cartoons are always safe. But then I remembered the recent previews for Fox’s “King of the Hill.” Every one of them I’ve seen has featured sex. Cartoons are not supposed to be naked. There’s just something inherently wrong with that.

I may only be a tiny voice crying out in a vast wilderness, but I’m going to scream just the same. Society is messed up, and something really needs to change.

Art is Hard

Art is draining. For the past two days I’ve spent almost every moment of free time working on an art project for class. I finally finished it tonight, and I feel so tired. And this isn’t even real art. I have a new respect for all the artists out there, be they painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, or what have you. Good artists poor themselves into their work for the benefit of their audience. Take notice of that next time and be a little more appreciative of the effort the artist puts into the work.