June 2005


general30 Jun 2005 03:26 pm

note: finally got around to it… it’s a bit lengthy…


Not Guilty.

On all ten counts including the lesser charges.

i didn’t pay any attention whatsoever to the trial so i don’t know if this is a tragedy or a cause for celebrating the great system of justice in place within this nation. What i do know is that i didn’t have a heads up on traffic conditions yesterday as i was on my way home because the news channels all thought that i would rather hear Joe TalksAboutNothing outside the courtroom trying to figure out what was going on inside the courtroom and why there wasn’t an audio feed. Seriously, for a half hour that i listened that’s all he talked about. Would it kill someone to tell me about the accident up ahead? Of course, when they actually got the audio feed and the verdicts were read, well, then i was on the phone. i MISSED OUT ON THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY to hear NOT. GUILTY. live! ten times. see i don’t know, but for me, that ranks up there with missing a Point of Grace concert. I really don’t care. and i really don’t understand why anyone in the nation or the world other than those directly involved with the case needed or wanted to hear this live. certainly not as important as oh, say, knowing that there’s a traffic zone that’s still active during rush hour and that i should go a different way… let’s be practical here folks… at this point of a rant, i suppose i would say something like, “i digress” but i think merely talking about it is enough evidence of that digression… so in efforts of redeeming this topic… let’s talk a little bit about the legal system…

i’ve started to realize through court-based television dramas (mostly Law & Order but once in a while i’ll watch Kevin Hill as well) and incessant news coverage of celebrity trials exactly what the legal system has become… a two way street that we use to convict people for their transgressions AND acquit people who are smart enough to find a way out… seriously, lawyers are trained to find loopholes and convince the judge or jury to “interpret” the law in a way that allows their client to go free… basically, we have become a people who use the law as a convenient way to justify our actions… when we can’t do that, we try to get new laws written that will make our transgressions look more favorable… and then i think back… and i’m not certain how much we’ve become this type of people so much as it’s always been the way of the world…

Let’s look at the history of human existence… Adam and Eve walked with God… they weren’t subject to judgement of any kind, because the world was perfect, they were blameless… until they sinned… i’ve often wondered how long it took, since it’s never mentioned… not that it matters, but i wonder how long it took, in a perfect world for man to find a way to sin… how long before the serpent began plotting… how long before it all fell apart… anyway… after sin, the judgement was still pretty personal and dealt with case by case so to speak… there was no law written down, but there really didn’t need to be… wasn’t the fruit from the tree that granted the knowledge of the difference between good and evil? So from that point on, from the point of sin, Adam, Eve, and all mankind following knew and have known whether or not what they were doing was right or wrong… actually, i wonder… no, never mind that’s a big can of worms… maybe another time… so the judgement of sins was between God and man… Cain killed Abel… he knew it was wrong, he felt guilty and God spoke to him directly and judged him and punished him… from then on humanity quickly spirals down a path of sinfulness apexing with the story of Noah and the Flood…

And yet, despite the fact that the world grew that sinful, so much so that God would want to destroy the whole thing… there still wasn’t a written law… we have the establishment of many nations, the tower of Babel incident, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah… all the way up through the rise of Egypt as the major power in the world… and it’s plain that mankind is bent on running rampant with sinfullness again… but still no “official” law… There was a convenant between God and Abraham… the instructions… “”I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (Gen 17:1-2)… walk before me and be blameless… that says to me that God is still testing us to use the knowledge we have to make wise decisions…

fast forward to the great exodus… God’s establishing Israel as a nation, a kingdom… He sets up an hierarchy of judges and leaders… He establishes a system of order and the law… why now? because it didn’t work otherwise? God knew it wouldn’t work? He knew that we would run off and sin… and He knew that we would take this law that He gave through Moses and try to use it inappropriately… so why now?… well, i think as a nation, Israel needed a formal system of law… a structure of justice that would set them apart from other nations… it’s implied that Egypt had a legal system in place, since they had a prison and court and all that… so for Israel to be a legitimat nation, they needed a legal system… God provided that with the Ten Commandments…

so the ten commandments became the standard of excellence for the Israelites… and some folks decided that they wanted to be holier than the rest so they began adding laws… and rules and it seemed to them that the more rules they abided by, the better they were… and so it escalated until, by the time Jesus was beginning his ministry there were thousands of extra laws and rules added to the original Ten Commandments…

So, imagine that you’re on the side of the road and the police officer who stopped you for doing 55 in a 35 is awaiting your explanation… “but officer,” you say confidently, “i have my seatbelt on, and my headlights are on, and the brakelights work and i used my turn signals at every intersection.”… and so it is that when you’ve broken one law, you may as well have broken them all… it doesn’t matter so much that you’ve abided by 90% of the laws… you’re being convicted of the 10% you didn’t keep… the law is not in place to save you… all the law can do is convict…

there’s a well-known comedian who had a sketch a while ago that talked about how he was sick and tired of his friends bragging about doing things that they were supposed to do… “I haven’t gotten drunk and beaten my wife” or “I haven’t held up a mini mart” or “I pay my child support” that kind of thing… and he would reply, “but you’re SUPPOSED to do all that”… basically, why on earth do you deserve credit for doing what you’re supposed to do… i used to think that this was simply a funny comedy bit, but then i happened accross Luke 17 where Jesus tells a parable to his disciples bout this very subject… his conclusion (found in verse ten): “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”… the attitude that says we have kept the law needs to be replaced with one that realizes that we have only done what we are supposed to do…

so basically, we’re still up a creek in a sense at this point in history… Jesus is on the earth and He’s been telling everyone that the law doesn’t save you even though that’s what everyone has been taught for years… and that’s what they all believe… no amount of good things that we do can ever save us from the evil that we do in the same breath… and then comes grace…

Grace is what really ticks people off because grace is only attainable as a gift… you can’t earn grace… grace is like foodstamps in our economy… you can only get foodstamps if you ask for them from the governement… and then you only receive them if you’re found to be needy enough… and that’s the thing… we’re too proud… pride has been the thing preventing us from experiencing all that God has to offer us from the beginning… So we don’t want to ask for grace… so we bury our noses in laws… we busy ourselves with “good” activities… we try to establish a good reputation among good people, hoping that association will boost our eternal status… and when we’re caught, pulled over… we point to these good things as a diversionary tactic… hoping that what all that we should’ve done and did outweighs all that we should’ve done but didn’t… we play the game of checks and balances… but, none of it works… our only hope… the only way is grace…

with an ear to the train tracks…

Derek Webb – How To Kill and Be Killed (DVD)
Fernando Ortega – Live in St Paul (DVD)

i see the inevitable coming…

peace… love… bdg…

general29 Jun 2005 09:43 am

busy day… busy busy day… (see below)…

EDIT: 15 Minutes! i’m still a bit nervous, and i have a headache to boot… also, one more review to go… and it’s not pretty…

my ears are bleeding…

Dizmas – On A Seach in America
Andy Hunter – Life
Spring Hill Worship – Rocks Cry Out
The Ambassador – The Thesis
The Ambassador – Christology: In Layman’s Terms
Lingo – All Things 2 All People

my eyes are bloodshot…

[broken image]

peace… love… bdg…

general27 Jun 2005 03:15 pm

waiting… i’m waiting for a lot of things today… waiting for the bathroom to be available.. waiting for my boss to be accessible… waiting for a pretty important phone call, or email, i’m really not that particular… but i really need to hear from this individual… it’s about well, i haven’t told you yet… but they’re not calling… and they should… and it’s ridiculous that there’s only one stall in this building… and i’m nervous… and i already was nervous… i’m normally pretty good at waiting… maybe it’s Andy Hunter’s music making me anxious… maybe it’s this growing stomach ache… maybe it’s just that i’m nervous… and i already was nervous… i said that before… see… well… let’s back up a bit…

Thursday… routine call to a publicist about a CD… oh, never mind… i just got a phone call…

earful…

Dizmas – On A Seach in America
Andy Hunter – Life
Spring Hill Worship – Rocks Cry Out
Locke and the Chris Wilson Five – Loose Ties
The Ambassador – Christology: In Layman’s Terms
Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

… ok, so i’m just kidding… i did get the phone call, but i’ll continue on with the story… so anyway, i’m greeted with “oh, i was just thinking about you”… sometimes good, sometimes bad, but most often it means that i have work in store for me… indeed that was the case… well… two of the three cases i suppose rang TRu… the publicist continues… “i was talking to so-and-so, the editor of such-and-such magazine and they’re looking to include a regular feature in each issue about hip hop and they asked me who was the best person for them to write it”… apparently, i and one other writer came to mind… yeah… one of two… granted, we’re talking about Christian music and hip-hop to boot… and there’s still not that many writers out there that realize that the two can co-exist comfortably, but still… one of two… that’s pretty cool… so… in Seinfeldian terms… yada yada yada… and i’m going to be writing a feature article in a very well-respected bi-monthly magazine, i’ll be interviewing people to get the content of each article and molding the interview into a 900ish word masterpiece… or at least something that people can read and pretend to enjoy… not my parents of course, because they hate hip hop… but other people… i’m withholding some information for the time being… some of you know more… but i’m still not quite convinced that i won’t fall on my face and fail… so, let’s just say… by Thursday, i should have interviewed someone, by 11 July i should have a well-polished feature turned in, and in theory it’ll be published in the Sept/Oct issue of such-and-such… oh, and yes, if you’re wondering, it is a paid submission, but i’m wondering more and more how on earth there is such a thing as a full-time writer… ah, i’m nervous… see… well… let’s back up a bit…

it’s good to take stock in your situation every so often… the confines of a calendar offer opportune times to do just that… i’ve made it a habit to sit down and think about where i’m at and how i got there, where i want to go and how i should get there a few times each year… and once a year, in regards to the TRu, i take the time to write these things out… but, i’ll be honest… the State of the TRunion isn’t nearly all inclusive of the goals and such that i place before myself… one example of something left out of the TRunion, but heavy in my thoughts was a goal i had set to get a feature published in a print magazine… seriously… i sat down and thought about what the “next step” might be as a writer and that’s what i came up with… i thought to myself, “this is what i want to do, and i want to do it before the year is up”… and, go figure, before i even get a chance to take any actions to achieve this goal… i’m on the phone… a routine call with a publicist about a CD… and now i’m nervous… and i already was nervous… see… well… let’s back up a bit…

actually, let’s not… there’s simply not enough time… the point is that time and time again… God’s managed to amaze me with His generosity… over time, i’ve learned a certain degree of patience and realized that He has a better plan for me… He hasn’t granted all my goals… and certainly not in the ways i expected or even thought i wanted… but sure enough… He takes care of me… guides me… leads me… takes care of me… and i’ve learned to be good at waiting… even when the world around me moves at a breakneck pace… even when the very answer is traversing at that same speed and i have to reach up and grab it as i speed by… calm in the midst of the storm… peace… in the midst of … anything… this is my God… why am i so nervous…

eying…

peace… love… bdg…

general23 Jun 2005 11:05 pm

i have the reviews from last week linked up for you…

CMCentral

  • Matthew West – History
  • John Reuben – The Boy vs The Cynic
  • Dr Charles G Hayes and the Warriors – The Remix
  • Bobby Bishop – Government Name
  • and my oh my… like woah… more to follow…

    ps. Pistons? ooh… close game so far…

    peace… love… bdg…

    general21 Jun 2005 04:15 pm

    so, here’s a little interim update… i have a larger entry in the works discussing the differences between living under the law and living under grace… it began taking hostage of my thoughts a few weeks ago when a passage of Galatians came up in a Sunday School discussion… anyway… i have started it and it’ll probably take a while to get to… and you’ll know that i started earlier last week actually writing it as it starts off with ties to the Michael Jackson trial… interesting? maybe, well, i hope so… i hope that somebody out there benefits from it… anyway…

    good news… it looks like the comments and kudos are back… it’s simply not cool to take them away from people like me who are self-conscious enough about the lack of comments… (sarcasm)…

    i’m tired….

    i have the reviews from last week linked up for you…

    CMCentral

  • The Myriad – You Can’t Trust a Ladder
  • MxPx – Panic
  • Kate Miner – Prodigal Martha
  • Half Handed Cloud – Thy Is a Word, Feet Need Lamps

    theTRu

  • Listener & EQ – Ozark Empire (Morning Walk TRu)
  • NOTE: i so should’ve had a review up at Renown Magazine yesterday, but i totally forgot about my commitment until it was far too late… fortunately, JoH is on top of things and had an extra review to run… silly me… next week though, i’ve promised him two reviews… dun dun dun…

    so… i haven’t heard back from Snapple… i’m starting to doubt that they received my complaint and i’m currently looking to find another way to contact them… i will have my revenge!… on a related note, i was able to pull a switcheroo on the whole cell phone thing, avoiding purchase of a new phone for the time being… i pretty much have the same phone as i destroyed, but it’s my wife’s and she has willfully downgraded to a non-camera phone that we were able to get for free… not too bad, swap out the sim chips and presto! we have free new cell phones… GSM is wonderful…

    somewhat related news… as i figured this to be the source of funding for a new cell phone… my iPod is up for sale… yes… i’ve had it for a little over a week… and it’s already up for sale… but here’s the thing… i had this guy all lined up to buy it, i named a price and we agreed only to have him squirrel out of the deal talking about a warranty… geesh… you try to give a guy a deal… so, yeah… it’s up for grabs… i’ve deceided that i’ll be happy to ship it to any address in the states for $150… it’s the 4 gig (1000 song) iPod MINI, there’s a small inscription on the back that says congratulations, it comes with a belt clip, a set of earbuds (still shrink wrapped), the cable to connect it to a computer for charging and loading/unloading files… the only use has been to charge it and unload the files that it came loaded with… if you’re interested send me an email at iPod/at/five13design.com…

    anyway… i have a number of things i’m working on right now… of course there are the album reviews for this week… and a document i’m calling my philosophy of artistic criticism… and several items for the TRu… and something for this space right here… well, more that it would move away from this space right here… but you know… also after i finish this thing about the law… i have some thoughts on time management… ironically enough, i haven’t been able to make time for it… and i’ll begin my efforts on “the project” that i mentioned in my State of the TRunion Address… and i’ll work on loving all of you better…

    oh, and is it just me or does Matthew West look strikingly similar to the dude from Law & Order: Criminal Intent… separated at birth perhaps…

    earful…

    Matthew West – History
    John Reuben – Boy vs Cynic
    Bobby Bishop – Government Name
    Dr. Charles G Hayes and the Warriors – The Remix
    The Elms – Burn the Fields
    Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

    eying…

    [broken image]

    peace… love… bdg…

    general20 Jun 2005 12:22 pm

    Mr. gambiT, your subconscious mind is driven most by Peace

    You have a deeply-rooted desire to make peace in the world. Whether through subtle interactions with loved ones, or through getting involved in social causes, it is important to you to be able to influence the world in a positive way.

    You have a deep respect for humankind. You care about the future of the world, even beyond your own involvement in it, and you inspire others to feel the same way. Your innate drive toward peace guides you in daily life towards decisions that are respectful toward yourself and others.

    Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are.

    Tickle’s Ink Blot Test (careful, they’ll try to make you a pervert)…

    i do have an entry in the works… yes…

    peace… love… bdg…

    general16 Jun 2005 01:52 pm

    these are always fun… (To Snapple Beverage Company)…

    Greetings.

    First let me say that i’ve been a faithful consumer of Snapple products since the early days when it was the only fruit beverage and iced tea bottled on the market. When there were commercials and other advertisements everywhere you turned. On average, i still drink at least one bottle of Snapple a day. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for me to be driving to work, as i was this morning, crack open a snapple iced tea (today it was Rasberry) and enjoy the beverage despite all the traffic around me.

    Unfortunately, this morning, as i turned the bottle cap preparing to drink, things took a turn for the worse. I heard the familiar pop of the safety button on the cap and the crackle of the plastic wrap securing the freshness of the beverage, but at the same time i felt fluid gushing out on my hands and into my lap. This was quite confusing because Snapple Iced Tea is not carbonated, nor was the bottle upside down, nor was the lid completely off. And yet, the gushing continued. The bottle was half empty before i realized that a chunk of of glass from the bottom of the bottle had fallen off into my lap, freeing the tea to fill my seat and lap.

    Twenty ounces of Rasperry Iced Tea goes a long way. Unless of course it all gets soaked up into a car seat. The seat was fully saturated and in need of a thorough shampoo and cleaning. The interior (steering wheel, gear shifter, etc) was sticky and needed to be washed and wiped down. My pants, soaked through and in need of cleaning. My cell phone, on which i regularly conduct business, left drenched and dead. Pictures i had taken of my children, unrecoverable, contact list – erased from the memory of a phone that won’t even turn on. Not to mention the productivity lost, as i was an hour later to work than i should’ve been and will have to replace my cell phone and restore all the information.

    Now, i understand that certain risks are taken when consuming your beverage in a moving vehicle – small spills and other distractions are to be expected. However, an exploding bottle was and should’ve remained an inconceivable possibility. My faith in the safety of your product has been shaken to say the least. Do i need to open and consume your product in an enclosed facility to guard against future blow outs? Why would your bottle do something like this? I can’t for the life of me make any sense of it.

    In closing, i’d just like to say how disappointed i am in Snapple because of this strange occurrence. I’m certain that it’s an oddity since i’ve never had such an experience before, but still, it’s caused me great frustration and aggravation today and the only explanation is that you released a faulty bottle. I could have been seriously injured or even killed! My son, who’s currently potty training, saw me in my soused outfit and assumed that i had wet my pants. He immediately called me “naughty,” but after i explained what had happened, he said, “oh, Snapple is naughty!” Out of the mouths of babes… Snapple was naughty indeed.

    Please let me know how you will address this issue. I’ll look forward to your response.

    Sincerely.
    me.

    initial notes: their “contact Snapple” form wasn’t coded properly and wouldn’t actually send the message. since i know my way around code, i was able to work around that dilemma… but it didn’t make me any happier… i’ll keep you posted as to their response…

    peace… love… bdg…

    general13 Jun 2005 04:38 pm

    aargh… i really wanted to… i really did… though i can’t say i’ve been entirely unproductive… work has gone really well… and it’s time to go…

    listening…

    Listener & EQ – Ozark Empire
    The Myriad – You Can’t Trust a Ladder
    Kate Miner – Prodigal Martha
    MxPx – Panic
    Half-Handed Cloud – Thy is a Word and Feet Need Lamps
    Shaun Groves – White Flag
    Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

    seeing…

    [broken image]

    peace… love… bdg…

    general10 Jun 2005 03:37 pm

    i feel bad… actually i feel hot… actually, i feel alright overall… but i am behind schedule of course… so i can’t say much here… but i will definitely mention all my reviews from this past week and some other items that are worth checking out… first off must be the 2005 State of the TRunion Address which i posted this week… you may not know what that really is because you may not be all that used to reading the material over at TRudATmusic.com… it’s okay… i appreciate that you read this… also over at the TRu, a new Moment of TRu will materialize sometime tonight… and then there’s the reviews… one of which stirred up quite a hornet’s nest over at the CMC forums… because apparently a hip hop fan can’t fully grasp rock music… heh… good times…

    CMCentral

  • Sivion – Mood Enhancement
  • Last Tuesday – Resolve
  • Mark Harris – The Line Between the Two
  • Krystal Meyers – Krystal Meyers
  • Disciple – Disciple

    Renown Magazine

  • John Davis – John Davis
  • okay, i think that’s about all i have time to say… or all i have to say… or just all… hey, you have a great weekend…

    listening…

    Listener & EQ – Ozark Empire
    Black Eyed Peas – Monkey Business
    Coldplay – X & Y
    The Myriad – You Can’t Trust a Ladder

    seeing…

    [broken image]

    peace… love… bdg…

    general07 Jun 2005 01:24 pm

    it’s monday… i’m about to leave… the chess match i think i probably told you about has gotten quite heated… i think that i enjoy a challenge far too much… i wrote a review today, but dag nabbit, i have four more at least to write this week too… i’m trying to open minded about the whole thing… but well, it just keeps haunting me… anyway… i have some things to say about a system based on the law vs a system based on grace… but i haven’t had the time… and there’s no caffenated coffee left at work… well, unless you include butter toffee which i sure don’t… on a related note… looking around the kitchen i see some store-bought cupcakes from last Thursday… i had on on Friday as the result of some kind of a cruel dare… it was so disgusting that i’m thinking of eating another… the frosting is thick like toothpaste and as tall as the cake part… there’s nothing good about these cupcakes other than they contribute to some sort of an office fear factor…

    it’s Tuesday and i ran out of time and words yesterday… hopefully i’ll find them today as i have oh say four reviews to put together… among other things… it’s way too hot to think right now too… i think someone just messed with the a/c and they need their fingers broken… so i finished Blue Like Jazz this morning as i drove into work… that’s right, i read while i drive… you try driving 15 miles in just over an hour without finding creative ways to pass the time… anyway… i realize that i’m far more emotional in the morning than i am later in the day… i suppose it’s that i’m not fully wakened to my senses or that my skin thickens with each time i get cut off in traffic and mumble unkind things under my breath… or with each interaction with people that i try hard to like but fail miserably… by the end of the day, i’m a calloused, fairly insensitive man with leather for skin and a lack of concern that can easily be mistaken for patience… anyway, my point is that as i read the final chapter this morning, i was very touched and moved by the description of an intimate relationship with Jesus… being so close that you can see the lines in his face… and loving him so much that merely mentioning his name and thinking about all he’s done brings tears to your eyes… means so much to you… but see, if i read that this afternoon or later today, i may not even have felt the same connection… i read it with my guard down and God took advantage of that and spoke directly to me, moved me to tears… it’s ever so true that His mercies are new every morning… because by the end of the day i don’t even see them…

    anyway, i’m off to work and think critically about some music… or something…

    listening…

    Mark Harris – The Line Between the Two
    Disciple – Rise Up
    Krystal Meyers – Krystal Meyers
    Last Tuesday – Resolve

    seeing…

    peace… love… bdg…

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