I am sitting here at a desk in the Hyatt Grand Tampa typing this post thanks to my amazing wife! After she got off work she came home and blindfolded me and put me in the car for a surprise. After waiting about five minutes in the car we took off and eventually ended up in the Hyatt Grand parking lot right next to the airport! She is so wonderful!!! So instead of spending our last night at home we ate dinner at Maggiano’s, swam in the pool, relaxed in the hot tub, had some beer and desert in the bar during the first two innings of the all star game, and now I am typing this post!
So instead of waking up at 4 am we will not have to get until about 5:15 and I am already checked into my flights for tomorrow. Amber actually got on earlier and reserved me a window seat for my Miami-Seattle flight – she is so awesome!!!
While we were having dinner Amber gave an appropriate toast to what we hope this trip symbolizes for us. She said that this trip represented the beginning of our journey to start this coffee house. So we toasted and I added my amen!
Please pray for my wife and I over the next three weeks. For me, that God will further burn this passion into my heart and that I will gain wisdom and knowledge. For Amber and I that our relationship will continue to grow regardless of physical distance.
The discussion going on between Senator Sessions and Judge Sotomayor is fascinating! Without going into to much detail the argument is about objectivity/subjectivity.
Sessions believes, from a modernist perspective, that objectivity is possible (indeed he is not even questioning it) and all judges must adhere to objectivity.
Judge Sotomayor, from more of a postmodern perspective, admits that we are all, including judges, subjective beings and only when we admit that can we strive for objectivity.
Simply because Sotomayor admits to being a subjective being does not mean she will not be an objective judge. If fact, I would argue and agree that only when we admit our subjectivity, when we know and critically examine what events, facts, and experiences have influenced our lives, only then can we begin to try to strive for objectivity.
I think a judge admitting they are a subjective being striving for objectivity is similar to a pastor admitting they are a sinner but stiving to be like Christ. But like a church who wants a perfect leader, Senator Sessions is not comfortable with a judge admitting who they are.
I don’t mean this post to be political, rather I am just interested in the modern vs. postmodern view of objectivity that seems to be on trial in this hearing.
I am going to Seattle in a week!!! Since I last posted I have found a place to stay and bought my non-refundable plain ticket. Turns out my wife has had family there this whole time! So I will be in Seattle from July 15th – August 6th, during which I will be doing a short term internship at Q Cafe. I am really pumped to learn how the cafe is run and just be able to get help and encouragement with some of my ideas. I am also going a few days before and staying a few days later than the internship so I am hoping to get around Seattle to a few more coffee houses, museums, a Mariners game, and maybe even one of the parks outside the city.
That is all the good stuff about the trip, now here is the negative stuff – my wife and I will be apart the longest we have ever been since we started dating in 2003! I will be gone for those three weeks, get back, and two days later my wife leaves for a business seminar in Atlanta for four days. Which doesn’t sound too bad but less than 24 hours after that she is flying back to AR to stay with family for a week. We figure we will see each other for only about 72 hours in a 5 week period. The thought hadn’t really hit us until this week. Probably because we have had a lot going on between going back to AR in June and moving last week – oh yeah, we moved into a house last week! So anyways, just the act of sitting here writing this is making me feel sad and a bit lonely.
STUFF I’M LOVIN’!
MUSIC – Two of my favorite artists/bands have just released new albums that really take their art in a new direction. I have always been impressed with Mewithoutyou’s and Derek Webb’s incredible writing ability and therefore will always follow them regardless of their sound. I say that because, at least in the case of mewithoutyou, many people will find the new sound remarkably different, but I welcome the changes!
- mewithoutyou – It’s All Crazy, It’s All False, It’s All a Dream, It’s Alright! – Everyone knows that mewithoutyou’s music is always passionate. Often, in the past, that has come in the form of hard crescendos and screaming, but the band takes a turn in this album, mellowing the sound into more of a hornsy folk album rather than post-hardcore. Ok, that sounds way to reviewish. Suffice it to say this album is awesome! As usual Aaron and the guys explore deep spiritual issues that are more than often lacking in any other form of music, “Christian” or not. “The Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie” show cases Aaron’s amazing story telling ability (which I have actually heard is adapted from Suffi folklore but am not sure). “A Stick, a Carrot & String” and “The King Beetle On a Coconut Estate” are incredible, deep songs exploring the incarnation and the mystery of God. As always, mewithoutyou pushes the limits of Christian music and this album does not dissappoint. With songs like “A Fig With a Bellyache” and “Allah, Allah, Allah”, I wouldn’t doubt if this album earns a ban from Lifeway!
- Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome – Derek just released his controversial new album on his website Tuesday; however, right now you can only buy it on his website as it will not be available anywhere else until sometime around September 1st. Anyways, this new album falls more in line with his One Zero Remix album and Moby that his acoustic albums as he has teemed up with Joshua Moore on the new record. So, if you are a fan of Derek’s acoustic and more traditional sounding work then this new album may not have much appeal. That said, if you are a fan of Derek Webb then I can assure you it does not disappoint as this may be the best produced of all Derek’s work thus far and, as always, the lyrics are always on target. Derek has a knack for offensive, incredible lyrics that expose the darkness of organized Christianity and the darkness of our hearts. This tradition can be traced from the beginning in “Wedding Dress” to “T-Shirts” in his sophmore album and on through too many songs to name in his previous two releases. Well, Derek has continued to strip his language bare to earn him a ridiculous explicit warning for dropping the *shit* bomb in one of the songs. In context the language is completely appropriate and I am thankful that Derek fought so hard to keep it in there. The song in question is “What Matters More” and is full of a righteous anger at the gap between what we say we believe and the way we actually live. He continues to explore certain themes from his previous two albums, including our relationship with the government in “The State” and our seeming need to substitute God for lovers less wild in “The Spirit Vs. The Kick Drum”. Unfortunately I have had the album for less than 24 hours and have not explored many of the other songs much more that listening to them a couple times. Other exciting news, Derek will be playing in Florida three times in October! Unfortunate news, I may only be able to go to one of the shows!
- Peter Rollins – The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales – This book is incredible!!! It is both remarkable and unfortunate how absent parables are in today’s Christian writing and teaching, especially in light of how prevelant it was in Jesus’ teaching. So with this book Rollins offers us 30+ parables to chew on, wrestle with, or any other metaphor you want to use to describe book that requires a lot of openness and reflection. Rollins rightly comments that the reason parables are not used today is because they do not make faith easy or turn it into three bullet points that the mind can understand. Rather than challenging and changing your mind, parables challenge and change your heart. GREAT book that should be read slowly, carefully, and openly!