Thursday, March 24, 2011

Talk Thursday//Musical Taste Buds

Anyone that knows me even minimally knows that I am a country music afficiando - I practically bleed country music. (Figuratively, that is. If I were 70% country music, I wouldn't be a human. I would be...the Opry Land Theatre or something. But I digress.) My other musical preference is rap & hip-hop. If I can pop 'n lock to it, I'm gonna jam to it.

And for years, I lived under what we lovingly called my country music & rap "rocks." I like other types of music generally but when it came to getting new jams to "car-eoke" to, it was always somethin' outta Nash-Compton.

Until recently.

Within the last twelve months, I have decided to intentionally expand my musical taste buds to include things outside of my natural repetoire.

First there was the discovery of the joy that is Tyrone Wells & really, the whole "singer/songwriter" genre, including She & Him, Rosie Thomas, Jon Foreman & Joshua Radin. Much to my friends delight, I am choosing to invest in The Classic Crime, Anberlin, Eisley & Family Force 5. And currently, I'm working on new "pop" groups, such as Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars, The Avett Brothers, and Arcade Fire. These are more difficult for me because I deliberately chose to not love what everyone and their mom on Facebook & Twitter love. (I just like to be defiant.)

But 2 songs into each of these artists, I just can't say no. There's a reason people love them. And I was too stubborn to get on the band wagon.

There's couple of bands that I have yet to be exposed to, so the jury is still out on them. But in an attempt to be more well-rounded and generally awesomer, I will tour through MuteMath, 30 Seconds to Mars, B.o.B., Vampire Weekend and City & Colour. And with all the hype around Adele, I'm going to attempt her down the road.

So in our traditional "Talk Thursday" style: what's your go-to preference for music? Are you trying to expand your musical taste buds? And has this been a good or difficult process for you?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Note to Self:

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever listen, read, watch or observe any doings of the westboro "baptist church" before going to bed.

It will only make you hot with rage.

The upside: you pray 1,000 harder for Jesus to move in people's hearts.

I am not generally a hateful person (squirrels, robots and bananas aside). And I try (and sometimes fail) to think the best of people and not talk bad about people behind their backs. And I try really hard to trust that the Holy Spirit actually resides in most people who profess to follow Christ.

The phelps phamily of the westboro "baptist church" is one group that I have not yet learned to do any of the above yet (Jesus is still working on me). When I think about the message of hate they spread...when I think about the havoc they wreck on lives of thousands of people...when I think about how terribly they pervert the name of Jesus Christ in the heart breaks.

And they are not the only group who takes this God-awful (yes, I mean that literally) approach to human interaction and biblical reflection. There are millions of individuals who daily live hate rather than love, who show apathy rather than compassion, who proclaim God's wrath and completely disregard the joy of His mercy. And there are days when I do it as well: when I don't love those around me the way Christ asked me to, when I fail to proclaim His truth with my words and my actions, when I turn a blind eye to the "least of these."

In the moments where I realize that I too have fallen short of God's glorious intention for my life, for my relationships with others, with my relationship with Him, I think: "how much have I ruined someone's impression of Christ today?"

Seeing these people utterly pervert the message of the Bible makes it easy for me to understand why someone would gladly chose not to become a Christian. If I didn't absolutely believe that Jesus Christ is so much more than what these nimrods make Him out to be, I wouldn't allow myself to be clumped with them either.

Yet, I hold on to the promise that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He loved without restraint, He called out those hypocrites who blasphemed the name of God by turning His house into a casino, who cared more about a person's appearance than their heart, who loved themselves more than they loved the disenfranchised and the marginalized. Jesus Christ loved the broken, the down-trodden, the hopeless. He loves the single mom who has to dance exotically to pay rent; He loves the teenager hidden in the "closet"; He loves the alcoholic who panhandles for more booze; He loves the middle-class family who "do" church on Sunday, but have no idea how to follow Him once they leave the building; He loves the burn-out pastor, the woman struggling with depression, the bickering couple, the deadbeat dad, the seminary student who gets caught up learning about God rather than loving God.

None of these people are outside of the vastness of God's love. For each one, God wants to give so much more than what they think they can have. He wants to give His love and mercy and His perfect plan for relationship with Him. His love changes people; it changes people into people who love like God loves, who live like God intended them to live, who desire to be what God called them to be - holy, righteous sons and daughters of a Holy God.

"Christians" who hate don't exist. People who don't know the love of Jesus hate.
You'll know real Christians when you see them - they are messy and screwed up and broken, but by God...they love.

And I just need to pray a lot more that the love of Jesus will change a particular family in Kansas.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Talk Thursday//What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar?

3.5 weeks.

That's how long it's been since I've tasted chocolate. Or soda.

3.5 weeks.

That's how long I've been slightly craving a Kit-Kat and a Dr. Pepper.

I decided that I needed a "jump start" on the weight loss thing. And these two indulgences seemed to be the best starting point. However, now that's it's been 3.5 weeks, I'm just about ready to cave. Because of this, I give you the list of what I would do for any form of chocolate or a DP:

* Dance like Shakira in front of all of my co-workers.

* Key the hood of my car.

* Kiss the bathroom floor.

* Wake up at 5am.

* Hug the cat.

* Email an ex-boyfriend.

* Turn off my cell phone for a day.

* Slap my sister in the face. (Not this one, the other one. Not necessarily because I like this one more, but because the other one is here. And she doesn't read my blog. =) )

* Hike up Tiger Mountain Summit.

That's what I would do for the sweet ecstasy of chocolate and Dr Pepper. But that's because I'm a sadist and apparently like to cause myself pain for the sake of "healthiness."

Are you abstaining from anything these days? Do you miss it? And if so, what would you do be able to indulge?

Hopefully it's not this:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

When I lived in Maple Valley, I had this awesome shower curtain in my bathroom:

I didn't know it was possible to miss a shower curtain, but apparently it is. So since living in Auburn, I haven't had a place to put this great piece of decor.

However, today I decided to think "outside the box." Creative, decorating genius overcame me and I decided to put up a new curtain on my bedroom window:

Shower curtains are the new window curtains. Tell your friends: it's gonna be a thing. =)