Friday, October 28, 2011

It Was Supposed to be About The Music

I started this blog 4 years ago under the title "Stumbling Out of Starvation". At the time I was playing in a band, working part time as a dishwasher, preparing to audition for university, and was living at home. Now I'm not playing in a band, working full time at a summer camp, preparing for grad work in university, at home. The things that remain the same over four years are quite funny.

I seem to go at this music thing in fits and starts. I wish I was better able to get things off the ground. It seems the desire to relax and recreate overrides the desire to make music. I guess I'll try again now and see where things go.

I did a bit of clean-up on my band camp page. It doesn't have any new content yet, but maybe I can change that if I work at it. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Thought About Waking Up Obsessed

I seem to be experiencing some serious mental haywire. These days I keep waking up at 3 AM with a brain that's stuck thinking about some random topic. Last night it was climbing. Tonight I have a distinct feeling it will be this song. I don't really know what all this means (actually, I'm pretty sure it means nothing) but it would be nice to be stuck on a more useful topic like resource inequity, or the Riemann hypothesis. I wish there was a way to force myself to think about specific topics in my subconscious.

Some Thoughts on The Book of Jonah (Part 3)

We're getting some serious mileage out of this one conversation. Here we are at thought number three.

So we already talked about Jonah being dead, and how this fact generates a much stronger image when Jesus talks about the sign the "evil and adulterous generation" will be given.

There is a way that I have heard others teach about the Christian walk. It goes something like this. One begins in a state of rebellion or ignorance of God (step 1). Eventually, God catches up with them and through this experience they undergo a sort of death to their old way of life(step 2). After this "death" they begin a new life where they walk with God, listening to his instructions(step 3). The journey doesn't always go so smoothly though. There are problems along the way and often we find ourselves grumbling and complaining at God for the way he's chosen to do things(step 4).

If you look at Jonah, it fits this model almost exactly. Jonah begins by rebelling against God and running in the opposite direction of where he's told to go (step 1). Then God catches up with him using a storm, he gets thrown over the side of a boat, and he dies (step 2). After being resurrected, he goes to Nineveh and prophesies to the people there (step 3), but not without a last confrontation to end the book (step 4).

You would think that God knew what was going to happen when he assembled the story of human history.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some Thoughts on the Book Of Jonah (Part 2)

So where were we? Oh yeah, I had just finished telling you about Jonah dying.

Jonah dying puts a new spin on this whole story. Man tries to run from God, but God catches up with him and he gets thrown overboard. Then he dies, before being resurrected so he can go and prophesy to the people of Nineveh. Not exactly something you'd hear in Sunday School class. It gives the story a bit of a different take than what I was taught when I was a kid.

This makes another part of the bible make a whole lot more sense though. This part is in Matthew and in Luke

But he answered them, “An evil andadulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39-40 ESV)

I have always been confused about this passage. What is the sign of Jonah? Is it just the three days? That makes sense but I've never really felt satisfied by this response. If it's just three days, why not use another occurrence of three days. Why not talk about the three days of darkness in Egypt during the Exodus or some other  Old Testament of three days? I am sure that Jesus chose his words carefully and if he was speaking about the sign of Jonah, he probably meant more than might be immediately apparent.

So what if the sign of Jonah is a prophet who died and then is brought back to life after three days to call people into repentance. Then Jonah dies, and is dead for three days before being brought back to life. What an incredible miracle! In the same way, what an incredible sign that Jesus should die and after three days, come back to life. That would be truly be a sign worthy of the son of God.

But wait, there's more! And I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some Thoughts on the Book of Jonah (Part 1)

Foreword: I'm looking at going to seminary next year. As a result of this I'm trying to practice writing about scripture. This is a first attempt.

"Jonah died"

My coworker said this to me yesterday over lunch. A church group was in retreating and had left their instructional material on the table. They had been studying Jonah and the printout was sitting on the table. Even if you haven't had much bible teaching, you've probably heard of the story of Jonah. It is a popular story for Sunday school classes everywhere.

Jonah is told to go warn the people of Nineveh (the Assyrian capital) that they need to repent or they're going to die. Jonah gets up and sails in the opposite direction. Storm comes up and his ship-mates throw him overboard because he's responsible for the storm. Jonah is eaten by a fish, then spat up on a piece of land where he gets up and finally goes to Nineveh and warns them about the coming judgement. To Jonah's surprise, they repent. This makes him very bitter and angry and him and God have an interesting confrontation at the end of the book that ends with God saying "who are you to tell me how to act?".

The commonly held view among most people I know is that Jonah was swallowed by the fish, he prayed in the belly of the fish for three days, and then he goes on his merry way. That's not what it says in the book though. It says...

The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. (Jonah 2:5-6 ESV)

There's two times where Jonah talks about going down to the deep or the pit. You can interpret it figuratively if you want, but if you look at the Hebrew, both words are used to describe hell or death. So when my co-worker said

"Jonah died"

...he was being quite serious.

More thoughts to come.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Concerned Citizen

I work with a lot of Jr. High aged kids these days. Sometimes I wonder where they're getting their ideas about life from.

I'd really like to write about more specifics but my time in the PC bubble at Queen's makes me hesitant to cite any specific examples. All I will say is that I don't know what's going on with our kids.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


(apologies for the punctuation)

Sometimes I send people emails.

When you send an email you are usually begging for a response.

I send someone an email and then I wait for them to respond.

Early on it is an active waiting. I hope for an email each time I open my inbox.

Later this active waiting turns into passive waiting. I think about how I sent an email to someone some time ago and they have not responded.

After a while it turns to questions. How come they haven't responded? Are they mad at me?

Eventually I just forget I ever sent the first email.

Then the cycle repeats.