Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Time For a Happy Post...

I've been looking back at some of my older posts and realize I've had a lot of complaining and deeper posts. It's time for a happy post.

Without further delay, here are the random thoughts of life that are making me happy:

1) The weather is getting consistently warmer, the sun is shining, house and lawn projects are getting done, and we are finally getting "settled" into our new house.

2) I sold my XBOX 360 for a number of reasons and that made me sad. But then I rekindled my love for the Super Nintendo and great games like Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball, Donkey Kong Country (1, 2, AND 3!); and hopefully I can find Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles somewhere. Classic system...classic fun.

3) The Cubs are in first place and have been consistently staying there (more or less). What else could I ask for?

4) I realized that I can now do drywall stuff which may come in handy someday. I feel proud of myself.

5) Of all the high gas prices in the country, ours have mostly stayed under $4, and that's okay with me (I'm an optimist)...for now.

That's all. It's been a good past few months. We have really been enjoying life and I couldn't feel more blessed with a great wife, great job, and great community to continue encouraging me.

Let's hope the next post isn't a sad one...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pretending to Make a Noise

Relient K has a song called "Gibberish" and it literally is a song full of gibberish. Sometimes we all talk gibberish, or nonsense, or whining, or begging, etc. The chorus of the song repeats this line over and over: "Stop talking gibberish and just stop talking." That says it all. And so does the picture.

Not only did my mom and grandma say this many times to me, I'm pretty sure James warned us about this in James 3 when he personifies the tongue as a flame, a rudder, a horse-bit, an un-tamable beast, a wild killer, and a confused spring, tree, and well.

"It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell."

I am a huge fan of positive noise. I couldn't be more against people who pretend to make a noise. When the noise is rightly placed, it can sound beautiful, encouraging, and empowering. When a noise is wrong placed, it is simply...a clanging gong. I've met both types of people. The thing about the posers is that there often is no solution to the whining, complaining, discouraging, and power-sucking. Now those who know how to make noise, know how to solve problems and offer tangible and realistic solutions. The saying, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" applies because it offers a solution. When someone comes to me and complains because the communion table was moved and blames others for "moving God aside," I have to wonder where the solution is. Usually their solution is move it back or I'm going to REALLY raise some hell about this. I have always been a solutions person. Let's not worry about how we got there; let's worry about where we got in the first place and then evaluate.

Of course, before you make a noise at all--positive or negative--you have to decide if it's willing to even say anything at all. Are you ready to fight about simple aesthetics while people are starving outside our doors for Jesus and healing? What battles are you willing to die fighting for? And that is for a whole other blog post.

So what type are you? Do you make noise because sometimes the "room" is too quiet; or do you pretend to make noise and hurt peoples' ears (and morals) with a clanging and hurtful gong? I would hope I am the first, but I'm sure, as a drummer, I've made some pretty crappy noise in my life. God forgive me for pretending to make a noise and sucking the life out of so many people and situations.

"And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you'd have a perfect person, in perfect control of life."