Saturday, September 17, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Lifesong, the sophomore studio album by Casting Crowns, which broke out onto the national Christian music scene in 2003 with their self-titled debut, is a marked improvement in style and content from two years prior, which while catchy and enjoyable (at least three or four tracks thereof), seemed to lack a governing theme which tied the prophetic or teaching message of each individual song together. This album overcomes its predecessor's shortcomings both thematically and musically, though I leave the musical elements towards more gifted ears than I, my concerns being more thematic and theological than musical.
Critics might say the topical variation of the tracks on Lifesong are a rehash of the same themes in the debut album (church hypocrisy, church apathy, doubt and timidity affecting the faith walk of the believer), but Lifesong sandwiches them between the title track and the concluding track, "And Now My Lifesong Sings," which together comprise an opening and closing prayer that the Christian walk be a daily "lifesong" which worships God not merely in word but in deed. The organizing principle of Lifesong then is one of conforming in thought, word, and deed to the example of Christ and hence being a better witness of Christ's love for the world in the world, while avoiding the pitfalls of spiritual pride and hypocrisy.
The thematic choice is greatly strengthened by the choice to put "Prodigal," a song of remorse and repentance by a backslidden Christian, preceding the closing track. The message: your "lifesong" will only truly sing acceptable praise to God after you come to the Father in humility, repenting of your sins and shortcomings, and receiving His grace.
The only significant departure from the theme is "While You Were Sleeping," which is written more as a warning to the unsaved than to the Church, but moves on the hearts of the believer by reminding him/her of the slumber of a lost and dying world which sleepily ignores and thereby rejects its Savior. I found it a catchy and memorable song, and one which certainly doesn't comprise a complete theological argument in itself, but is a great springboard for a Sunday sermon or two, and quite possibly a coffeehouse chat with an unsaved friend about Christ's mission on earth, death, resurrection, and coming return.
So what does the non-Christian listener get from Lifesong? An honest and well-executed musical exposition of problems and shortcomings by sin-stained believers whose only hope is continual trust in and adherence to Jesus Christ. Casting Crowns are not averse to tackling sins within the church, but the tone is one which urges conformity to the compassion and example of Christ for the sake of ministry to a sin-stained, lost, and dying world. As a prophetic message to the Church, and as a witness to the outside world of Christians acknowledging and confronting contemporary sins and shortcomings by Christians which have run counter to the witness of Christ's earthly mission, Lifesong sings beautifully.
Monday, August 29, 2005
My stint as a game show host
But I'm single and kid-free and such, so my services were quite handy for a little game Jeneen had the couples play, sort of a parlor-room version of the Newlywed Game. I got to be the host.
That was pretty cool, even though I had to keep the questions G-rated due to the lil tykes, that and I wasn't in much of a mood to shock my friends with how crusty and salty I've become with age.
So it was good, but it did make me feel a bit old and a bit young at the same time. Old because here are people my age who have been married, some for less than a year or two, others for about three or four years now. And some of them have had two kids, and virtually all of them own a house, except for Jeneen and her hubby.
The house part made me feel a little young and irresponsible. I lived for three years in a shitty house in College Park burning $ on rent I could have maybe saved living with the rents to maybe a down payment on some shitty house I could have owned and rented rooms out to gullible college kids who would pay me beaucoup bucks. But I didn't.
Yet I felt a bit old considering I've yet to find a woman crazy enough to tolerate me, cool enough to get me, or sane enough for me to trust bearing my children and picking up my dirty laundry from the floor on a day-to-day basis. Dang it, I'm 26 and I'm a dude and I'm starting to feel like I'm missing something in my life by not having an angel to kiss good morning and love like the devil when I get back home .
I also didn't feel like I had any good anectdotes with which to regale them. Maybe if I dug deep enough I would have a few, but not really. And these guys are pretty apolitical so hearing how I single-handedly ripped Howard Dean a new one one afternoon (okay, it wasn't Dean, but for the sake of the storyline let's go there) wouldn't really excite them. Well, it would excite Sheena but only because she's a crazy loon-ball liberal, whom I love dearly as a friend regardless of her desire to destroy our fair country. Ohhhhh snap, Sheena.
Alright, I'm rambling and giving the entire world looking for Shepherd's Pie recipes insight into my life. I'm out.
Friday, August 19, 2005
What's with the ™ you ask?
Coffee Chick's Party; Harvey Birdman
And completely unrelated: I forgot just how funny Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law can be. I watched an episode last night. Was delightfully funny.
There, hopefully that should satisfy you all with a view of my personal life. For my political insights and social commentary, go to Restless Mania, although soon we are switching over to TypePad and will be located here.
Friday, July 15, 2005
update on the coffee shop chick
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Blogging here sparodically
I encourage all my readers to go there for my political wit and wisdom.
I'm unofficially converting this blog, to the extent I blog here, about my personal life, with maybe some political stuff here and there.
But at the moment, my personal life ain't too exciting. I will report this though:
I asked a cute barista at my favorite coffeehouse out in a unique, gimmicky way. Well, maybe gimmicky is too negative a connotation. Basically, I dropped a note in the tip jar asking her to use a code word next time I'm there and she's working if she's interested. We'll see what happens. I'm popping by there tonight. Not sure if she's working tonight. Oh well. I'll keep you updated.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Requiescat in pace.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lane Smith, a longtime character actor who played a small-town district attorney who crossed words with Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinny," died Monday. He was 69.
Smith, who also played Richard Nixon in the TV movie "The Final Days" and Daily Planet editor Perry White in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," died at his home in Los Angeles, according to his wife, Debbie Benedict Smith.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Smith appeared in numerous films and television shows. Most recently, he appeared in the 2000 movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance," starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.
Lane Smith also appeared in the original stage production of "Glengarry Glen Ross" and the revival of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Film credits include "The Distinguished Gentleman," "Son in Law," "The Mighty Ducks" and "The Hi-Lo Country."
Besides his wife, Smith is survived by his son Robbie, 18, and a brother and sister. He also has a 19-year-old stepson.