Monday, September 06, 2010

Update to "My Map"

Today I was looking back at an old post to find a link to a site to make a colored map for use in my American National Government class. I ended up not using the site, because it was specifically for making a map of the US states you have visited, but it reminded me of how out of date my map is. So I decided to make a new one to show my updated travels since January 2007. It has been a lot of fun adding new states to my map. Someday, maybe I can color them all!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

My little "lasagna garden"

Here are some pictures of the little garden I planted this year. I never got around to making one last year, because here at the new house it needs protection from the deer in the neighborhood. This year I built a really deep lasagna garden and put a 5 foot tall fence around it. Hopefully that will be a sufficient deterrent to the deer. Here are pictures of the garden itself and the veggies growing within.

Here is the whole garden

This is my "yummy pepper"

My Sweet 100 tomato

My Husky Cherry (with some tiny tomatoes on it)

My Talladega Tomato

My Big Beef (which isn't very big yet)

A row of cucumbers with a wire trellis for them to grow on.

One hill of the zucchini with three little seedling, just starting to sprout their first true leaves.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Song that move me

Today I was listening to a CD and a song came on that was just really moving. The sound of the singer voice was the most important part. In fact, most of the lyrics I can't even understand. The song was Reynardine by Fairport Convention, but there are some other songs that fit into that same category. The first one that came to mind was Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam. In these kinds of songs, it is not about the words in the song, it is about the sound of the singer's voice when he or she is singing it. It illustrates the power of the human voice as an instrument regardless of the words being sung.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Religion and Rock and Roll

As this Lenten season draws to close, I find myself going over two song in my head and contemplating their potential for religious insight. The two songs are Like a Stone by AudioSlave and Michael Jordan by Five for Fighting.

Near the beginning of Lent, I read through the Catechism in my Book of Common Prayer. When I got to the section on prayer it said:
Q. What is adoration?
A. Adoration is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God,
asking nothing but to enjoy God’s presence.
Q. Why do we praise God?
A. We praise God, not to obtain anything, but because
God’s Being draws praise from us.
This was the beginning of my musings on these two songs. First, there was Michael Jordan by Five for Fighting. (I actually hadn't heard the song in some time; it just came into my head.) In it John Ondrasik sings about his adoration for Michael Jordan and lists off the many seemingly outrageous things he would be willing to do in order to be Michael Jordan. At one point in the song he says "my god, my Jordan" and if you think about it, it is apparent that Michael Jordan really is his god, at least in the context of the song. And I thought about it in context of the previously quoted excerpt from the Catechism. It seems to me that this is the type of adoration that God wants us to have for him. Then I have to ask myself, do we? Do we just adore God and wish to do anything to simply be in his presence, or do we always want something in return.

That is what brings me to Like a Stone. In this song Chris Cornell sings:
on my deathbed i will pray
to the gods and the angels
like a pagan to anyone
who will take me to heaven
The truth in this song has struck me for a quite a while now. Do we really just pray to God because we believe that doing so will get us to heaven? To get to some great reward that is often even depicted in a material, worldly fashion (streets paved with gold, pearly gates, etc.)? Is it about the chance to be with God, or is it simply a chance to reunite with loved ones who we have lost?

How could an athlete or a singer or an actor, garner so much more adoration from so many people than we are honestly willing to give to the creator of our entire universe? And yet, if many of us were honest with ourselves we would find that we are willing to do more to see or be close to these types of people than we are to truly be close to God. How do we get past the immediate and the physical to adore someone who is eternal and yet not physically visible to us in a manifest form? Are we willing to do the things that God asks us to do on a daily basis? Would we be willing to do them if our favorite athlete, actor or singer asked us to do them? I wonder.

Now keep in mind that I am not leaving myself out of this equation, nor do I have a real answer to my own questions. These are simply some of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head this Lenten season and I felt the need to share them with anyone who felt inclined to read them.