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Christmas 2013

I need a place to list the things I want/need to do this Christmas:

  • Visit the giant nativity downtown
  • Ohio Village Christmas: Dec 20?
  • Wildlights: Dec 23?
  • Columbus Grand Illumination: Dec 6
  • Sister Cookie day
  • Buy presents
  • Decorate the house and tree : December 14
  • Angie's B-Day: celebrating Dec 13

Sounds the Same

I heard this song by One Republic on the radio a few days ago:

And I found myself trying to sing different lyrics. Because it sounds just like this one:

 And the bridge sounds like Savage Garden, but I won't track that video down. Just trust.

Binge Watching is the New Reading

Binge watching TV is like reading a book.

I know nobody wants to admit it. Even Nila's giving the idea a strong side-eye in the picture, but hear me out.

I've binge watched a few tv shows over the past few months since we picked up a Roku and dropped cable. For those who don't know, binge watching is just what it sounds like; watching an entire season (or series) over a short period of time, usually watching multiple episodes in one sitting.

I watched 5 seasons of Breaking Bad in three or four weeks. 

With a book, I can immerse myself in the world of the book. I can follow the characters and the story for hours at a time. I can start a story and end a story as fast as I can read the book. 

With traditional tv, I can spend 30 minutes to an hour with a story each work over multiple years and with huge breaks while the show's off the air.


Netflix and it's friends let me decide when and how I watch. If I want to watch American Horror Story: Asylum in one week, I can do it. Even if I have to hide my face and turn down the volume during the theme song. 

The investment of my time with the show feels a lot like my investment of time with a book. I can dive into that world and stay there until I'm finished.

Binge watchers know what I mean. 

2012: The Lost Year

 2012 is not over, yet, but I can't help feeling that it's a lost year. I didn't make any progress on any of my goals and, in fact, I moved backwards on a few.

This isn't entirely true, of course. As a family, Angie, Nila and I have made some progress. Most of it, however, is Angie and Nila's progress.

Angie got her license back, and her business is moving in the right direction. She's full of great ideas that are being recognized as great by the right people. Things are looking up.

Nila, of course, is excelling at Kindergarten (because she's a genius) and she's learning French like it's her job.

As a family, we moved into a new house in a new neighborhood. This felt like a  move forward in April, but has turned out to be more of a lateral move now that we've had time to reflect. The space is larger, but the neighborhood is worse and we're still renting.

We got a new car in February. That IS a move forward. We pay less for gas and have more room. Another plus for the house is that it has a garage and I can walk to work, so no more scraping car windows!

Professionally, I feel like I'm in the same place I was last year at this time. Financially,  I feel like I'm in the same place I was last year at this time. Spiritually,  I feel like I'm in the same place I was last year at this time.
In regards to health, I have actually moved BACKWARDS; gaining weight rather than losing it and exercising less. Probably those two things are related...

I like to think that perhaps seeds were planted this year that will bear fruit in 2013.

I had a great experience in Iraq and I have got my job down to a science, but both things make me feel bored... the former because of relative excitement and the latter because I've systematized a lot of the work, so no problem-solving big problems anymore.

5 Stages of Grief: Economy Edition

If we agree that the economy collapse began in 2008, it's taken music a long time to catch up. This is because we've been working through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bartering, depression and acceptance. I think we've arrived at acceptance as a culture and I give you two examples for that. The first is Starships by Nikki Minaj. This some contains the lines:
Jump in my hooptie hooptie hoop I own that And I ain’t paying my rent this month I owe that
This may not seem like much, but compared to 2009's top song "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, it looks a lot more like my life.
Tonight's the night, let's live it up I got my money, let's spend it up
And then there's the real reason I wrote this post. This song extolling the glories of the thrift store:


Fort and Bravestone

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Anfal Memorial

The following are pictures from the Anfal Memorial taken during my visit on July 5, 2012. The memorial also includes a museum which is not yet complete and a large cemetery in which are/are being buried bodies recovered from mass graves.
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Those Songs

I mentioned in the best of 2011 that Adele's Someone Like You was a certain type of song. It's one of those heart-string-pulling sons that you (or at least I) listen to on repeat. Here are a few more. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

 1. Foolish Games - Jewel

 Best Lyric: You were always brilliant in the morningsmoking your cigarettes and talking over coffeeyour philosohies on art, baroque moved you, you loved Mozart and you'd speak of your loved ones as I clumsily strummed my guitar

  2. Someone Like You - Adele
 Best Lyric:

  3. The Promise - Tracey Chapman

 Best Lyric: If you think of me If you miss me once in a while then I'll returm to you I'll return and fill that space in your heart

  4. Falling in Love - Lisa Loeb

 Best Lyric: 5. Barenaked Ladies

Top Songs of 2011

Here are my pics for the top songs of 2011. Obviously Adele is number 1. I haven't felt this way about a song since Jewel's Foolish Games! I'm going to have to do a post about that song. Stay tuned for that in 2012. The rest of the songs are in no particular order, but my votes for best video go to either Rihanna or Fitz and the Tantrums.

 1. Adele - Someone Like You

 2. Young the Giant - My Body

 3. Fitz and the Tantrums - Don't Gotta Work it Out

 4. The Kills - U.R.A Fever - Apparently from 2007, so I'm a little late to the party. I don't care.

5 . Company of Thieves - Tallulah

 6. Cage the Elephant - Aberdeen

 7. M83 - Midnight City

 8. Foster the People - Helena Beat

 9. Active Child - Hanging On

 10. The Band Perry - If I Die Young

 11. Niki &  the Dove - The Drummer

 12. Nero - Promises

 13. Cobra Starship - Don't Blame the World it's the DJ's Fault

14. Brett Dennen - Surprise, Surprise

 15. Rihanna - We Found Love Mostly for the video

Missions and the Judas Principle

I read a book once that claimed Judas betrayed Jesus because he was impatient for the promises of salvation. I posted about it once, but I can't find it now. I don't remember the book and I don't know who wrote it. If these omissions will make it hard for you to follow my musings below, then you should stop reading. I intend to get these thoughts down in this post without linking to the work of others or justifying my thoughts with other facts. I'm not really sorry about, I just thought I should warn you.

Ok, so Judas was tired of waiting. He took matters into his own hands and "forced God's hand." (the quotes are there to avoid a discussion of predestination) Jesus is arrested and put on trial. Surely God will step in and fulfill the promises Jesus  has been making. He, of course, does, but  not the way Judas expected. 

This brings me to the every-tongue-tribe-and-nation theory of evangelism. This theory states that once the Gospel has been shared to every people group in the world, Jesus will return. 
Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands
I don't disagree. Clearly the Bible states that people from every tribe will be before the throne to worship. Therefore, each group must hear and believe the Gospel.

Paraphrasing an article from a monthly publication of a prominent missions organization:
Thousands of people groups have already heard the gospel only X to go and we'll have the work all wrapped up.
This missions organization has been working diligently to spread the good news of salvation and I can only commend them. I don't mean this as a criticism of them, so I'm not going to name them.

This is more of a thought than a criticism anyway.

The thought is this: Are we (those who spread Jesus) relying on ourselves to bring about the second coming and, if so, is it a mistake?

My answer to the second part of that question is an undeniable yes. If we're relying on our own work, then it's a mistake. If we believe that God can't do His work until we've completed ours, we're wrong. If we think we've discovered a way to force God to do something, then we're making the same mistake that Judas (theoretically) made.

The bigger question is the first part, not whether it's a mistake to rely on ourselves, but whether or not we're doing it in the first place.

I think the answer is that some of us are and some of us aren't. Either way I think most of us focus on the end result of all those tribes finding salvation. Which is great, but the work is done at the individual level and each individual is important, too.

Thought complete, I guess. Any thoughts? But, be warned here, too. I may not respond. It's my blog, I can do what I want. 

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