26 December 2005

What I Learned from Furby

The Christmas shopping season. What a time. You get to look at all the cool new toys that they have, while thinking to yourself, "I wish I had had something like that."

While walking around a local toy department, I was shocked to see Furbies. I remember when Furbies first came out, costing around $50, if you could find one. Every kid wanted one. That lasted about a year, maybe a year and a half. Then the bubble burst (my first lesson: bubble economies). But now they are back. Which means that bubble economies are cyclical.

But I also learned something far more valuable than economics from my Furby. I learned important life lessons that will stay with me forever.
  1. If you find a hungry, wild animal, go ahead, stick your finger in its mouth. It won't be hungry anymore, and you'll come out of it ok, too.
  2. If you throw anything against a wall hard enough, you can get it to be quiet.

My Furby has long since been sold, but they are coming back now, so many other kids can learn the very same valuable lessons that I will cherish forever.

Rock on.

22 December 2005

A Brief History of a Quagmire

During the 1950s, as European colonialism was slowly but surely ending its reign, the Brittish government pulled out of an African nation called Sudan. And then things went to hell in a handbasket.

Mutliple militant governments have come and gone. The most recent one has faced multiple rebellions. So they called in the cavalry, an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed. This militia is directly responsible for the attempted, on-going genocide of thousands (180,000 lives lost). Despite "condemnations" (yet little action) on part of the UN and an African Union peacekeeping force, the attacks continue.

With international pressure mounting, you would expect that the government would call off the militia, and try to remove it by force, if necessary. However, they are sheltering rebels from neighboring Chad, in return for assistance to the Janjaweed.

Refugees from the region of Darfur, who flee to the country of Uganda, are forced to live in fear of being forced to fight in Ugandan rebel armies, also based in Sudan and sponsored by the Sudanese government.

The United States, who had been sponsoring the AU mission, pulled its funding. Despite protests from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Congress rejected plees to re-instate the $50 million that had been going to the mission.

This is your chance to help out. World Vision and Invisible Children are fighting to bring aid to the refugees and those still in Sudan. Visit their websites. Make a donation. Write your Congressman. Try to convince him that the Sudan needs our help. Do something.

Rock on.

12 December 2005

I Thought We Said, "Never Again"

After the Holocaust, "Never Again"
After Rwanda, "Never Again"
After Bosnia, "Never Again"

The list goes on. Every single time there is attempted genocide, the world cries, "Never Again". And yet it goes on.

This post is dedicated to all of the people who have lost their lives due to inaction. Especially to the people of Darfur, in the Sudan, who continue to suffer, and yet their stories don't even make it onto the news.

My challenge to the readers of this will hear the cry of the Sudanese people and not let it die into silence. Do not let this happen again. Evil will only thrive if the good men do nothing. It is time to do something. Write your congressman, donate money, do SOMETHING.

"I think if people see this footage, they'll say, "Oh, my God, that's horrible." And then they'll go on eating their dinners."-Hotel Rwanda

Rock on.

02 December 2005

Decisions, Decisions

All I can say is, "Wow."

I've started re-reading the New Testament over again, and I'm just blown away. It's really inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I really don't know where to go with my blog. There are so many verses that I can comment on that I don't really know what to comment on.
Any ideas?

Rock on.

17 November 2005


There are a lot of things that I do not understand in the Bible. Heck, there are a lot of things that I don't understand, period. But especially in the Bible. Mainly in the Old Testament, but even Jesus and Paul say some things that make me sit back and think, "Ok, I'm totally lost now." And don't even get me started on Revelation.

To tell the truth, it has always kinda scared me when I stumble across things that I don't understand. Especially in the Bible. It's kinda like, "What if I'm missing something huge here?" But then I started reading C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone struggling with any aspect of faith). In one of his chapters on faith, Lewis states, "Whenever you find any statement in Christian writings which you can make nothing of, do not worry. Leave it alone. There will come a day, perhaps years later, when you suddenly see what it meant. If one could understand it now, it would only do one harm."

What I believe that Lewis is getting at here is that when you run across a passage in the Bible (or most other books, for that matter) that don't quite click with you, don't panic. Don't tear your clothes and say, "Woe am I, for I am ignorant." Instead, drop it for the time being. Keep on going with your readings. Hopefully, you will come across something else that makes sense of what you read earlier.

Rock on.

12 November 2005

May the Geeks Be with You

Wow. I spent 15 hours watching Star Wars last night. My friends and I started with Episode I and watched all the way through to Episode VI. The fifteen hours includes intermissions where we broke out the toy lightsabers and hit eachother with them and the obligatory pizza and soda breaks (Warning: Eating too much pizza may be harmful to your digestive system).

We also kept a body count, keeping track of all of the body parts that were cut off (including only humanoids, there were like ten hands, two heads, and several arms). Creepy, eh?

During this marathon of geek-dom, I realized how incredibly pointless my Friday nights really are.

Rock on.

06 November 2005

Put Back the Stars, I'm Out of Place Tonight

Over the weekend, I went camping out in the middle of the boondocks. Among other things, I sat by the fire, ran around in the woods, and looked at the stars.

There is something incredibly comforting about looking up at the stars at night. Especially when you think of how the stars have always been used as a navigational aide. People today are seeing the same stars that guided sailors thousands of years ago. To me, though, stars serve another purpose. They serve as a constant reminder that God is with me; that HE will serve as my guide through life. As I stare down the long, dark stretch of road that is senior year, I become very frightened. It seems that every aspect of my life is presenting me with a choice to be made, a fork in the road to choose. Looking at the stars this weekend, I felt a sudden reassurance that God will get me through life and that He will love me no matter what.

Rock on.

(P.S. - For those interested, the title of this entry is pulled from the lyrics of Blindside's "Put Back the Stars" off of The Great Depression.)

27 October 2005

Killing Two Birds with One Blog

Ok, so this isn't exactly what I had in mind. When I started writing this blog, I was all excited, and saying to myself, "I'm gonna update this twice a week! Go me!". That hasn't really happened.

In another aspect of my life, when I decided that Christianity had to be one of those all or nothings for me, I said, "I'm gonna read my Bible like three times a day." Unfortunately, that didn't really happen. Well, it did, but in waves. A week of reading my Bible everyday, a month of taking it to church and FCA and no further.

I have mentioned this to a few people, but haven't really acted on it (as I am oh so known to do), but now I'm going to use my Bible and my blog as accountability for eachother. Don't be alarmed, I speaketh not of judging my Bible by my blog, but instead of using my blog to keep me reading in my Bible and my Bible to keep me writing in my blog. So my blog is not only going to be where I put my rants and raves, but also where I post my thoughts on Bible verses. Some of my thoughts may become "rant-ly-ish-esque", but oh well.

Read on.
Rock on.

26 September 2005

The Difference Between Happiness and Joy

Happiness. To many, this is what life is all about. Many acquantances and friends have told me that they walked away from God because they weren't happy and now they are. So many people have told me that living for themselves makes them happy, and that is why they do it. It makes them happy to escape from their problems. However, I have news for these people. Happiness is fleeting. Nobody will always be happy. It is impossible. I've heard it put that "happiness happens".

There is something else out there though. Joy. Joy, unlike happiness, is eternal. Will you always be in a good mood? No. Will you always have it easy? No, but you won't be with happiness either. Where joy and happiness go seperate ways is that when the going gets tough, it is joy that helps you get through it.

During hard times, those who are searching after happiness flee their problems, through anymeans necessary. Those who have joy in their lives overcome their problems, and though they may occasionally stumble, they overcome with flying colors.

Rock on.

05 September 2005

Lessons Learned While Rocking Out at the Light

Saturday (9/3/05), I had the opportunity to attend an awesome concert. The strange thing about it is that despite the fact that it was the weekend, I actually learned some things.

I learned that people often make the mistake that Christian rock is not as heavy as secular rock. This is simply not true. One of my friends was working at a concession stand at the concert. I went up to buy some lunch and started talking about an awesome mosh pit I had been in. He kinda stared and said, "At Rock the Light?" His tone said, "At a Christian concert?" It seems that people still have Christian music set as a guy with a guitar singing praise songs and hymns. However, Christian rock concerts have mosh pits. I will let some of my readers (I very much doubt that I have many) pick their jaws up off of the floor. I have been told that Christian rock gets no respect because it has no musical merit and that it cannot possibly be heavy. Christian rock is still rock. It is very heavy, very energetic, and verily, verily, I say unto thee, it is very good. And the cool thing about it is that the heaviness comes straight from God. For interested in checking out some artists, you don't have to go very far. UnderOath, Relient K, Norma Jean, Blindside, MxPx, Emery, and Mae are all readily available and run the gammit from skater punk to indie to metal.

Another lesson is how little some people care for others. There was a striking contrast between the people who would actually stop dead in the middle of a mosh pit to help someone up and the people who would yell, "Get on with the show!" when a rep from World Vision was on stage pooring her heart out about the devastation of AIDS in Africa. What is even more shocking is that those yelling at the rep were the often the ones who would scream, "I love Jesus!" when prompted to do so. The "modern" Christian: faithful when it's fun (aka when a musician was on stage singing), not when it actually requirers something, such as doing "unto the least of these". Gee, I wonder who told us to do that.

Rock on.

31 August 2005

What's in a Name?

To all the people who are wondering about the name, it comes from two sources.

First and foremost is 1 Peter 2:4-5: "As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priest hood, offering spirtiual sacricies acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
In Tennessee, there is a camp, Camp Living Stones, where I first became aware of this verse, and also where I accepted Christ.

The second source is my love of rock music. While I listen to most forms of rock, "Christian" rock holds a special place in my heart. However, to quote Switchfoot, it's more "Christian by faith, not genre."

Rock on.