Brent is a pastor in Texas who also writes the blog colossiansthreesixteen . I get a lot from reading his blog. Go read it and you will too. Buy him a book, he’s got a great wish list on Amazon. At the end of every year—so far—he asks his readers what they think about it. The year I mean…so I thought I’d participate this year.
2007 had some good points. I discovered Stumble in 2007 and eMusic. I figured out that small things are important at home too. I was forced into using Windows Vista but discovered it’s not too bad. Too many more to remember or write down I am sure. I am also sure that I was probably too busy to notice most of them except for the periphery. I managed to grow my own sweet potatoes and I began to teach my son about working with his hands. Last week we split and stacked firewood and learned to dig and sort sweet potatoes. We both slept well those nights.
It seems like I came to value the church a great deal more than I have in the past as I have been without one for most of a year. Late in 2006 we walked out of our church and, essentially, never went back. It wasn’t without a lot of prayer and attempts to reconcile and things like that. We basically left because we were at a point where we were about to start causing trouble. I don’t like to cause trouble in the church so we left. But the church is a priceless gift and you should treasure it if you have one. Being a member of a church is a privilege and we should treat it as such. Yes we who are Christians are all members of the Body, but we should rejoice in the presence of our brothers. The day may come when we cannot.
2007 was a banner year for music but I also learned a caution as well. I discovered Miles Davis and Kind of Blue this year. It’s rarely out of my CD player. I discovered MP3’s and the delightful power of the eMusic DRM free download. Yea, I am not afraid of the iPod, neither do I wish to embrace it. I spent the summer revisiting some old musical haunts. Metal and Rock (classic and not so classic) and some other nostalgic avenues. Was it that shallow when I was there the first time or was I so small of stature that it seemed like an ocean? Probably. I also discovered the delightfully redone hymns of the Gadsby Project by Red Mountain Church and the worship tunes of Sovereign Grace music. Good stuff all.
Here’s my caution, and it comes in the form of rediscovering a band I used to love and a new one that’s pretty cool too. My wife and I both have medical backgrounds so we watch the CSI’s Miami and NY. We love catching their mistakes but we love watching because there aren’t many. Anyway, I heard a song on CSI:NY that caught my ear and looked it up. It was a Velvet Revolver tune and lo and behold their guitarist is Slash. Being a big fan of Guns and Roses I found it, bought it and a few others and, thus, started on the nostalgia thing I talked about above. I also exposed myself to some rather awful lyrical content. I’m not getting all fundy on you here but it wasn’t healthy…spiritually I mean.
Watch yourself. That’s all I’m saying.
I did some re-reading recently. I read a lot of fiction over the Summer because my brain was on overload after May/June. But one book that continues to affect me is Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul. I also like Luther’s Bondage of the Will and his biography. The non-Bible book that as most altered my thinking is J.L. Dagg’s Manual of Theology. (hurry, there’s only one left.) The theology is good, but the biography in the back is intense. I found one on Amazon and I’ve read and re-read the bio several times.
As for movies? I don’t get out to the movies very often. The nearest movie theater is thirty minutes away on a good day. I buy a lot of DVD’s and we watch a lot of kid’s movies. Transformers was spectacular from a geeky special effects standpoint but the message about the American Dream and buying a car so you can date and maybe have sex was typical. Wild Hogs was great, except for the homosexual humor—what did I expect? One surprise was High School Musical and I am still trying to think if there are any hidden evils in there but I haven’t found any. No sex, profanity, or even suggestive themes. It’s a sort of a ‘you can do it’ movie for kids. I guess you could figure a secular humanism angle in there but it’s just so surprising to see Disney produce a nearly completely family friendly film that I just can’t get worked up enough to do it.
Next year is an election year so pop-culture is popping. I’m always interested in seeing the Candidates pictures in whatever media where the Republican’s look like idiots and the Democrats are obviously posed and have taken a minute to primp before the click. I think it’s a vast left-wing conspiracy. I also enjoyed Joe Torre telling the Yankee’s to get stuffed. I hope he thumps them senseless sometime soon with his new team.