Friday, August 31, 2007

Campin' time

Tonight, our family is heading out to go camping in lovely Miranda, at our beloved Camp Itchapatch. I am looking forward to some sun, a pipe on the river bar, reading, and hanging out with my amazing wife and kids.

Here's a picture of Adelaide and Hugh from last time we went camping:
(Gosh, they are so cute!)


The Jesus Storybook Bible

Our dear friends Kate and BJ Stockman have recently blessed our family with a copy of Sally Lloyd-Jones' book The Jesus Storybook Bible.

This is book described as "...containing forty-six Bible stories from creation to Revelation with beautiful, rich, and vibrant artwork,
The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures and discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation - and at the center of their story, too."

Tim Keller, a fantastic pastor/teacher/thinker/author from New York City, gives this endorsement: "I would urge not just families with young children to get this book, but every Christian--from pew warmers, to ministry leaders, seminarians and even theologians! Sally Lloyd-Jones has captured the heart of what it means to find Christ in all the scriptures, and has made clear even to little children that all God's revelation has been about Jesus from the beginning--a truth not all that commonly recognized even among the very learned."

You can see/download (PDF) a sample of the book

I am really looking forward to reading through this book with our kids and using it to teach our family to see Jesus in all of the Bible. Kate and BJ,thank you for blessing our family with this wonderful book.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Midlake details

As I mentioned before, the band Midlake is coming to Arcata at the end of September. This should be a fantastic show. If you live in Humboldt County and you like music, you should absolutely be at this show.

Here at the details:

Midlake with special guest Maria Taylor
Friday, September 28th, 2007
The Depot
Adults: $5
Senior/Child: This event is for 18+ or HSU Students only
HSU Students: Free
Tickets are available by calling
Or at the HSU Ticket Office

You can also access this page for more info.

Built to Spill is also doing a show earlier in September. I'm not as motivated to go to this one, but it will probably be a good show.


Above average...and still in need of grace

CNN has an article on the reading habits of Americans (shouldn't we be called something that doesn't imply we own the entire continent?), based on an AP-Ipsos poll.

Here are some of the poll numbers and observations:
  • One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year.
  • The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year.
  • Among those who said they had read books, the median figure -- with half reading more, half fewer -- was nine books for women and five for men. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger.
  • The Bible and religious works were read by two-thirds in the survey, more than all other categories.
  • Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all cited by about half, while one in five read romance novels.
  • More women than men read every major category of books except for history and biography. Industry experts said that confirms their observation that men tend to prefer nonfiction.
As a lifelong lover of books, it's easy for me to become prideful about my passion for books, how many I've read and how many I look forward to reading. I'm on pace to read something like 30 books this year, in addition to my regular Bible reading, well above the average.

As a lover of books, it's easy for me to look down on people who don't read as shallow people who prefer watching reruns of Seinfeld or some banal teen comedy to reading a book about the exploration of Lewis and Clark, or a novel that deals with race, politics and religion, or a study on the holiness of God, or the mysterious and beautiful truth of the gift of Jesus' death on the Cross, or the role of men and women with the church and the home. I can think of myself as better than others because I read lots of books, especially books that increase my knowledge of who God is and what He has done through the work of His Son Jesus.

Sometimes, it's this same pride that wells up in me when people look at my bookshelves and tell me how many books I have. Sometimes, it's this same pride that motivates me to religiously update my goodreads page. Sometimes, it's this same pride that causes me to think it's more important to own a book or read a book than it is to learn something from that book.

When I read this poll, my first reaction was surprise, and then it moved to pride. But as I reflect on my life, I realize that it's only by God's grace that I love books, that I have the education I do, that I live in a culture that sets aside resources (little though they be!) to establish and maintain libraries, that I was raised in a family that encouraged me to read books.

While I am firmly convinced that people should read more and better books than they do, I am just as firmly convinced that I am as needy for the grace of God in my life as a man who can't read a word.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Some people think music critics are cynical jerks...

...or so says my friend Joel in his delightfully personal and thoughtful review/essay on Stars new record In Our Bedroom After the War.

I'm sad that Joel won't be writing any more music reviews because he was able to write them without being a cynical jerk, which drew me to start e-mailing him in the first place, and subsequently going on a blind double date with him and his awesome wife Sarah.

God be with them as they travel to China this year and start a new chapter in their lives.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Embarrasing moment of the day

I led music at church this morning, as I do often do. After our band was done playing and I was greeting my friend Joe, he nodded at my midsection and said "XYZ." Dread flooded my heart as I said (without much conviction), "You're kidding, right?" Sadly, Joe shook his head and said, "Sorry buddy...I'm not kidding."

While having the zipper of your pants open is cause for embarrassment, having it open while you are standing in front of a bunch of people for half an hour is unacceptable.

Oh well...what can you do?


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Treat Yourself... some Storyville Coffee.

Storyville's gig is simple: fresh whole bean coffee mailed to you the day after it's roasted. And it is excellent coffee, a fantastic flavor that needs no artificial creams or accoutrements.

They've got an introduction deal going on where you get 4 weeks worth of coffee (and 2 nifty mugs) mailed to you for 20 bucks.

To check out the intro deal, visit their site.

I will receive nothing from this except the joy of knowing someone might enjoy a great cup of coffee.

And 5 G's.


Thursday, August 16, 2007


Stephen L. Carter

At the recommendation of Justin Taylor, I started reading Stephen L. Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park last night and I am really enjoying it so far.

After trying to labor through Upton Sinclair's Oil, this book is a breath of fresh air so far. While both books are set in unfamiliar worlds (Emperor in the upper crust African-American world, Oil in early 1900's southern California), Carter breathes life into his characters while Sinclair uses his characters to push across his screeds on socialism and unionized labor.

There's a great interview of Carter in the WSJ that helped me understand where Mr. Carter is coming from. He has some good thoughts about the "freedom of fiction" and how intimidating fiction is to an author who had written a number of non fiction books.

Anyone ever read anything by Carter?


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harry Potter is...dreadful and vulgar?

Paul Spears say "Yes!"

After reading this delightful and insightful article, I am inclined to agree.

Warning: You will be forced to think critically and read lengthy Chesterton quotes if you proceed.




Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Adelaide!

Today is my daughter Adelaide's 2nd birthday. She is an absolute joy to me and I am so thankful to God for her.

(and yes, it's also my birthday today...I'm 27)


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Midlake in Arcata

For all you Humboldt County residents, the fantastic band Midlake will be playing at Humboldt State University on Friday, September 28th (event details are sketchy, but I found this so far). If you haven't yet heard Midlake's delightful music, use your time wisely and check them out at their Myspace page. (If you don't like Myspace, I'm sorry. I tried virb and purevolume first!)


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

3 years of joy and grace: my wife


I love you! Thank you for your gracious, patient, and faithful love. To be joined in this life with you is a joy that keeps on growing. I thank God for your love.


Harry Potter

As an unabashed follower of Jesus and an appreciative reader of the Harry Potter books, I really enjoyed this quote (unfortunately I don't have a source):
Writers have compared the magic of the Potter stories to the magic that is condemned in the Bible, but that is the sloppiest sort of literary criticism; it's like saying that the Ancient Greeks were opposed to birth control because they fought against the Trojans.

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