Wrapping Films

A long day at work can really take the desire to do anything productive right out of you. I am actually looking forward to the 4 hour shifts of “wraping” and then shoving off to class. I am looking forward to my classes…but after looking at the peoples pictures…once again I am surrounded by unknown faces, and the ones I do know, I wish I didn’t. (except for Bryan in my Film class.)

I went suit shopping with my brother and his girlfriend this past saturday…I am gonna look GOOD for this wedding…I am gonna get a pinstriped black suit…quite classy.

I renewed the movie pass for 15 dollars at Blockbuster. So far here is the new list of films I have recently watched:
The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
Bill Cosby Himself (Standup)
Bonheoffer (documentary)

Who knows what will come next..

My birthday is coming up soon and I am having trouble thinking up gift Ideas…all the things I want are major purchases that cost more than 200 bucks!..oh well…that is what a job is for.

The Religion Rant

If you only read a little bit of this, let it be the first and last titled paragraphs.

This is the Face of Christianity
TBN
These are the most recognizable faces from TBN, the “America’s most watched faith channel.” Not having cable, I find myself watching this network disturbingly often. I enjoy the appearances by Mr. T, Deion Sanders, M.C. Hammer, and John Tesh. The TV personalities sit on gold thrones and interview Christian celebrities and ask viewers to call for prayer. I have no problem with prayer, music, or using the medium of Television to spread the word of God. My problem is with the current way that it is being done. The picture that the world sees of Christians, is one of pink-haired women crying their mascara into streaks while they sit on gold thrones. According to TBN Christians are uber-conservative losers with bad taste in music, drama, and decorating. I don’t know any Christian that acts the way some of the people do on that network. The only good thing that I have seen is Kirk Cameron and his Australian friend teaching people “The Way of the Master” which sounds like some sort of Kung-Fu movie, but is actually a way to talk to non-believers about Jesus…it is pretty good. The more I read Relevant Magazine and the more I learn about the way that Christians can interact with culture, the more I realize that there needs to be some serious change. TBN is not Christianity as a whole. It is a wierd conservative evangelical off-shoot that squanders money, misrepresents our Lord and does a disservice to believers and non-believers alike.

Praise and Worship Music
I have always loved the Organ. I love the way the low notes shake the Pew and rumble your heart. I love old Hymns, I have formulated the opinion that the music and memorable tunes touch the heart like nothing else can, and the well-thought lyrics touch the mind. The power of such amazing music and Lyrics make the Worship experience complete for me. In choir, when we would sing an old solid hymn like “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” With Giant Organ blowing every possible note, and all the members of the choir singing as loud as they possibly could without it being shouting, the song would literally make me tremble and bring tears to my eyes. If you look at the lyrics of the hymn mentioned above or “And Can it be That I should Gain?” or pretty much anything by Charles Welsey, you can’t help but notice the beauty of the word’s themselves. This is Praise and Worship music! This is the Utmost for His Highest!

The Place for CCM
I realize that contemporary Christian music sung in a lot of churches and chapels serves a different purpose than these old songs. It gets people’s heads out of Hymnals and up to a screen, it reaches those who aren’t familiar with the old hymns, it is easy to catch on to, and easy to play. Instruments such as guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, etc can be added and attract a whole different audience who might never be interested in “traditional” church music.

My Stance on CCM
What I do not understand is why anyone would want to trade in the previously mentioned, earth-shaking hymns for songs with such shallow lyrics as “Cry of My Heart” or “Open the Eyes of My Heart”. I Think that the Tunes of the old hyms are just as catchy, if not more so, than any praise song. I also believe that the Music that we play at worship services should be our best. An electronic drum-set being played by an inexperienced 25 year old, or an out of tune guitar played by a man who only knows a few chords is not our best. We should have music that is worthy to be played to the ears of our Lord. (I do believe that god loves all praise no matter if it is out of tune, as long as it is heartfelt, and I think that bad music is better than no music at all, but I think you get my point) We can So better, and we should want to do better.

The Sanctuary
I like having a sanctuary, I like stained glass, I believe that the house of God is a Holy place that should feel as such. I am turned off my gymnasiums, and malls that function as places of Worship (I realize that God dwells everywhere, but this is just my personal preference) I want to worship in a place that architecturally promotes the worship of God. I have always loved the history that is held within the wals of a church. Carved wood, stained glass, steeples, organ pipes. There is something about it (even if it is in a new church) that makes the weight of God and his presence more tangible. God is Beautiful and I believe his house should also be. For me the comfort is in the churchy-ness. Some find comfort in rooms that can function as basketball court, theatre for plays, or mixers for singles. But I want to worship in a Church, a Cathedral, a building in which every detail is thought out and specifically crafted to enhance the worship experience, from carvings to acoustics, from seating to ventilation.

Church Family
Having belonged to the same Church all my life, I know many other members, and they know me. Whenever I go home, people ask me about my life, and are genuinely interested in what I have been up to. I do the same. My church is an extended family who has watched me grow, has prayed me individually, and has committed to caring for me. My church is small, and becoming smaller and I do think that plays a factor. I do see how large mega-churches can make people feel at home. How can a faceless mass watch to make sure that you are following the Lord? How can a place with such a rotating cast of preachers, speakers, and song-leaders care for you as an individual? I know that some of these churches have small groups that help to bring smaller groups of people together, but that doesn’t do it for me. I want a church that wants to know me, and wants to be part of my family.

The Church Ideal
It may sound as though I am stuck in a rut myself, fully enjoying the closed-minded, change-resisting, pew-sitting, non-movie-going, suit-wearing, non-clapping, stone-faced, traditional church of the old Dutch forefathers who planted the first CRC in America. But I am far from it. I do not think that this is acceptable. I believe that the Church should interact with the community and become a force within it. It should interact with culture, popular media, politics, and every other part of everyday life. It should embrace everyone equally and try to help all sinners to find Jesus and follow his will. It should not fear change but also not change for the sake of change. It should make all people feel welcome and comfortable. It should use technology in a benneficial and appropriate manner, and use it effectively. The Music should be beautiful, catchy, thoughtful, and well-played. The Sanctuary should feel Sacred. The people should be like family. And God’s Presence should be evident in every aspect.

Ok, I have been wanting to get that out of my system for a long time…I am pretty sure that most people won’t even read it, but for those of you who did, thank you and let me know what you think.

Olympics and Retired Cd’s

Dance Elements
I have been watching the Olympics on and off this past week and have decided that the women’s gymnastic floor routine is so retarded…They are forced to add “Dance Elements” into their flipping spinning stuff. The guys only have to do the cool flipping stuff. but since they are girls they have to wave their hands and leap like ballet dancers. This requirement makes this event the most boring and least cool in an otherwise awesome grouping of skills. Eliminate the dance crap and add more life-threatening flips.

Retired CD’s
The radio in my car has been broken for a few months now…I can only play cd’s I used to listen to WYCE and get a good variety of music while learning about new bands…but these pat few months have been hard. I buy a new cd a week and listen to it over and over again. I worry about killing my music, and by killing I mean playing a cd so much that I know every word, note and can’t even listen to one song without humming the next one on the track listing when that song ends. I worry that I won’t want to hear these cd’s again because I listen to them too much. I am curious if this has happened to anyone else. I have retired cd’s from my rotation even though I love them a lot. I love them so much I hate them.

So here is a Question for everyone:
If you were an summer Olympian, what event would you compete in.

I choose…badminton    I liked playing it in PE in high school…and think I have some potential

Beans and Jerry

So I have once again resorted to pictures in order to please the masses. I hope that the pictures of the highlights of my life can bring a smile to your face.

This is is my garden, it is a beautiful sight filled with purple and chartreus coleus, blue flowering salvia, dusty miller, vinca and my giant, mutant, posessed bean plant. this beanplant was supposed to be about 8 inches tall and produce like 6 beans…well now it is taller than me and taking over the whole 6×10 foot plot of dirt that I have. Notice the large green mass of leaves to the far right of the picture, that is the bean plant, and it has proveded me with 2 tupperware containers full of beans…and more are coming!!!

This is Jerry, the last time you saw him, was when he was just a little boy with big balls. since then, he has found his place within the household and has bumped out Raelson for being the werdest resident. This picture was taken by Andrew while him and Jerry were “Playing”

And Finally here is a link to the best video ever. It is of Jerry attacking his little bear, he used to hump this bear for hours at a time but ever since we chopped off his balls, he only chases it when we put it on a string. the second part of the video is of jerry jumping for a piece of trotilla that tastes like freezer. I made the music on “Garageband” a program of loops and stuff that my brother has. the picture that closes the video is one of Jerry crawling out between two mattresses…wierdass. I hope you enjoy:
Jumpin Jerry

Here is a question for all:
What is your most hated vegetable?
Mine I believe is Asparagus.

Nostalgia, Backpacking, Taxonomy

Getting All Nostalgic
I started this Blog a long time ago…(November of 2002) It was originally a place for me too post possible concerts I wanted to go to, it was nothing to be looked at, just a list…but then when I decided to go to Alaska for the summer. I decided that intstead of mass-emailing and other crap like that, I would just put it on here. This blog has proved to be a fun passtime for myself, and a good way to remember what happens over the course of the year. I hope that all of you have enjoyed my musings and continue to read and leave comments. Anyone can leave comments by typing in the sidebar to the right,by clicking the “email me” link to the left or by becoming a member and clicking on the comment link at the bottom of every post.
Here are some of my favorite entries over the past year:

-An Old Rant:
Nov 11, 2003

-First Topic-Organized Post (This has become my personal style ofnga.com/Thorea
blogging and, in my opinion, makes things easier to read):
February 9, 2004

-This is a great story that I wrote about a bunny:
March 10, 2004

-A Creative Approach to Pet Mishaps:
April 8, 2004

-One of My Favorites
June 15, 2004

Backpacking Recap
I had a very fun time backpacking with Dave. We hilked 20 miles, saw snakes, deer, swam in a lake, took a nap on the forest floor, and got to see some nice areas of the Manistee National Forest. My legs hurt a little bit (especially the front muscles of my lower leg) but all together it was quite pleasant. Pictures are coming, (we took a whole roll!)

The Taxonomy of Josh
I admit that I am kind of a loser when it comes being social. I don’t really go see movies or go out to eat, or any of the cool things that most people my age do…I don’t go to many concerts and I am too young (and not really interested in going) to the bar. I just go to work, watch movies, buy cd’s, write on my blog and play with my cat. I am more interested in taking pictures of a good lightning storm than calling up someone to “go out.” I would rather walk down the train tracks as the sun sets in a beautiful blaze of orange and pink, than bumming around GR. I would rather spend a weekend eating “Yard-O-Beef”, surrounded by mosquitos, with my legs burning with lactic acid than go to Cedar Point. I am a different breed than a lot of people, and I realize that. I have places that need improvement and I can piss people off. But I would rather be interested in the overlooked than just accepting what I am told.

* Please call me if you want to hang out
* Please make suggestions for what I should write about
* Please leave me comments, I don’t even know who reads this thing
I watched Changing Lanes last thursday, I thought it was good. A proper balance between action, suspense, and personal struggle.

Boring Spirits

Well I must have done something wrong because my comments have come to a drastic dropoff, I shall try to recover control of this Blog and steer it back on course

BOOOOORING!!!
I realize that most people who read this don’t really give a crap about where I am going backpacking and other details of the hike, so I will refrain from boring the masses.

The Spirit of Mold
Last night I gathered all my backpacking gear together so I would be ready to pack it all with Dave tonight…I discovered that inside my cookset and one Nalgene (both had been sitting in the basement closet since the end of April) a large amount of mold. not white mold, not green mold but a blackish brown super mold that was strong I am convinced that it was more demon than fungus. This is the kind of mold that kills small native villages and wipes out entire species. I decided to do my best to scrub it off since I needed to use the pots and bottle for the trip. You see the mold had grown on a nice base layer of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal that had been fermenting in the dark space of my basement closet. I boiled some water and scrubbed until I couldn’t scrub any longer. it came off, but it took a little bit of non-stick with it…Let this be a lesson to us all “Never let food sit un-attended so long that it grows i’ts own spirit!”

I will tell you of all my weekend adventured on monday, but for now all I can think about is my feet on wild earth!

blah…

I am going backpacking on friday after work. I am excited about it, but now I am getting kicked out of the library because I got off work at 8:00 and blah blah blah blah blha…..i’m spent

Movie Month and Fame

Movie Month Conclusion
Ok so I got a little print out from blockbuster as a little bit of a ceremony for the expiration of the great movie pass, it turns out I rented 30 movies in the month of July, and 55 in the past 4 months…I am slowly but surely eliminating all my options and that is kind of scary…I am scared that when I have a girlfriend and she suggests movies to rent, I will turn all of them down becasue I have seen a large majority of the good ones. I am just glad that new movies keep on coming out. My final film was 13 conversations about one thing I liked it and thought it brought up some good ideas, a definite thinker of a film.

I am Famous!!!
While walking on Grand Haven’s beach yestarday with my Brother and his Girlfriend, I was made aware that a sample of my music has been used in a short program for non-english speakers a total of three times…You can hear the only available program by finding the program “The spark that sets a fire” on the Spotlight webpage. you see Liz (my bro’s GF) works for this place called “Words of Hope” and writes and records inspirational programs for people learning english…she used a sample of one of the tracks that my brother had on his website! I might get to record some other instrumental stuff specifically for these programs that will be sent around the world! so in conclusion…there are people in other countries learning about Chocolate and Fire who are subconciously listening to “Vintage Sunset part 2” by Josh Leo