Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Valuable routine | Not X-men | Matchbox return

Now that all my traveling has sort of settled down, I've been trying to get back into routine. A couple of those things is going to church and Bible study. Not that I didn't go to church at all the past two months, but going to one church to another in different cities (and countries), it's just not the same. No connection with the community. I've been able to get back into the young adult Friday night Bible study at one church, and even though I've still have yet to pick a church around here in San Jose, it's nice to go to church closer to home.

And it's paying off. Being around other Christians discussing passages from the Bible is putting me back in a place where I'm more..."spiritually aware," I guess you can say. Even praying with others feels great and not socially awkward. Thinking on the Word and knowing it excites you is an encouraging thing.


I finished "Heroes" today, the hit new series of last season. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and probably a better take on the story of "mutants rising" that the first "X-men" movie tried to do. But that's not being fair because "X-men" had only three 2-2.5 hour movies to tell the story, and "Heroes" had 23 forty-minute episodes to tell theirs. Even if the battles weren't as fantastical as "X-men," all the government conspiracy, character conflicts, and plot twists made "Heroes" much more complex.


Matchbox Twenty is coming out with a new album about a month and a half. It's about freakin' time. Their new released single is kind of weird sounding, and I mean that in a "it doesn't sound like Matchbox Twenty" sense. Maybe it's because we've been hearing so much Rob Thomas on the radio lately that it just suffers from that. Pretty poppy, if you ask me. Great drum-work, though.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Light Gives Heat"; Cowart

"Catch the rain empty hands
Save the children from their lands
Wash the darkness from their skin
Heroes from the west
We don't know you, we know best
This is not a test

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
But light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears
The light gives heat"

-Jars of Clay's "Light Gives Heat" from Good Monsters

I was researching on the web for some good African music to back the video, and I gave Jars of Clay's song "Light Gives Heat" a look. It has been on the back of my mind, but I haven't given it much thought because I don't think it'd really fit the footage. I came across an article from JOC's organization Blood: Water Mission that talks about the explanation of the song's lyrics and origin. It was really fascinating to hear Dan Haseltine's view of humanitarian causes for the issues in Africa, and I thought you guys would like to give it a read.

"Light Gives Heat" by Dave Palmer from the Sept. 2006 issue of CCM Magazine

"'Light Gives Heat' is really one of those 'in the moment' songs. This is how we really see the Western world approaching Africa--feeling in this day and age that we know better than Africans how to build their communities, how to heal their wounds, how to serve their sick. But the Western ideas aren't really the better ones; and it really takes Africans owning their place and their community to speak and to serve and to love people well. So that song is part critique of the way the Western world has approached Africa; and, then, the other side is our confessional, trying to be repentant of what we have done to perpetuate some of those bad forms of seeking justice." -Dan Haseltine

Also, Kuya showed me a photographer's website the other day because of its artistic and simplistic design (which totally inspired me, but that's a different topic). The site has an amazing essay on Africa, and the photographer Jeremy Cowart did a great job presenting his photographs.

Jeremy Cowart Photography | Africa

Take a look. He also has studio work with a lot of celebrities that's fun to look at as well.


The journal is up on my travel blog: Ethiopia 2007

I had to change the names and be really vague in some information to keep anonymity and safety for the people who work and live there.

Pictures are not up. Those will go up later.