Friday, December 23, 2011

I've begun studying Isaiah over break. Its one of those books of the bible that we hear in passing all the time, as so many prophecies come from it, but most people have never really read it. Well, I have actually really read it before, but I've never really studied it. So I figured, what the heck, let's do it.

Anyways, my current thoughts on Isaiah, both from prior readings and my current study, are this:
Isaiah is a book that centers around two things: Comfort and Punishment. I feel like Isaiah himself would call it blessings and woes or forgiveness and justice.

It seems that the theme of the book is summed up in Chapter 1: 18-20. (The commentary I bought says just verse 18, but there's far too much woe to be only the good...)

1: 18-20
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword."
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Just like all the other prophets, Isaiah says "obey the Lord's commands, like he told you too. Its best for you, really!" And follows it with, "and if you don't follow God's commands, you're going to get what you want, which isn't God and results in a lot of things you really don't want."

It's funny though, that all of this is manifested through Jesus, a constant figure in Isaiah (though shrouded in some mystery here...). He is the comforter, the forgiver, and the savior that the book continually addresses.

Yet he is also fully the lord who promises to take all of Judah and Jerusalem's food, water, leaders, and skills (chp 3:1-2) and the one who "lifts a banner for the distant nations" to come (to Israel/Judah) and "like young lions growl and seize their prey and carry it off with no one to rescue."


But the passage I like most so far is this:

In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those whoa are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.
The Lord will wash away the filth of the Women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgement and a spirt of fire.
Then  the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy.
It will be a shelter and shade form the head of the day, and a refuge and hiding place form the storm and rain."

After Israel goes through a whole bunch of rotten stuff, the dedicated few left in the kingdom will be cleansed and purified. And the glory of God will surround them, and there will be a canopy of protection around this select remnant. Pretty cool.

Its just a picture of the future kingdom that I haven't seen in a long time. A very physical one.

The question then becomes can this promise of a physical kingdom be generalized to the ingrafted branches of Israel? (Romans 11:11-24) (which includes this guy...)

I'm going to go with yes.

A final thought: It often seems that scripture and the christian life is so simple in principle, but so difficult in action.

Basically, I feel like the only thing I have been taught (by scripture, sermons, life, etc,) recently is obey God's commands and be blessed, abandon them and get what you want (which actually sucks.).

That doesn't make it easy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Since its christmas time, I feel a christmas post is warranted:

First here is some Christmas songs that shouldn't be:

1. Santa Baby
I don't think whoring yourself out to santa is the best way to get what you want (a yacht, a ring, and a baby blue convertible...) Even if the lyrics never intentionally say "momma wants to get with Santy", it seems pretty dang implied.

2. Christmas Shoes
If you don't remember this, watch it here.
Never has there ever been a more depressing christmas song. I won't start on the musical side of it.

3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus:
Here is thing, for those kids who believe in Santa Claus, to see Mommy kissing him would be, um, how do I say this, crushing? Not only is your mother having what seems to be a one night fling, if not an affair, its with some guy in a red jump suit. So who's your daddy now?
Yet, its played off like it is a jolly good thing to see Momma and Santa making out under the mistletoe. The lyrics say, 
"Oh, what a laugh it would have been, 
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night!"

Daddy would have laughed that Mommy was being unfaithful with a large, perpetually old, mythical man!

Sure its implied that Santa Claus really is daddy because Santa isn't exactly real. But still, I'm going to call not cool. If our culture is going to lie to everyone under the age of 10, they should at least do it so that kids don't have to be crushed by divorce AND lies.

4. Last Christmas:
Originally written by George Michael for Wham! so you know its good.

5. What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas:
Does Christmas even exist in Star Wars world? Wasn't it a long long time ago, in galaxy far far away, ya know, before Jesus?

6. Anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks, for obvious reasons.

One Christmas song that is so intentionally horrible it should continue being:

Yes please.

Now, for a short rant on a commercial series:
It's Game on Santa is the worst, worst possible way to sell your products.

Apparently people who give you nice stuff for free are hateable purely based on their physique. Or maybe Mommy is jealous after Santa went back home to Mrs. Claus after their brief one night make out session last christmas. She gave him her heart, yet he gave it away. Yet instead of giving it to someone else this Christmas as Good Ole George Michael would, she's taking it to him with a best buy beat down.

Oh and she hates her dog.

Like I said, bad commercial.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some thoughts:

-When you have sinus surgery, you think everything is out to get you in the face. Doors are trying to open into your nose, every frisbee and football is coming straight at your face, and everybody has a secret urge to punch you that they are using all of their will power to resist. Someones going to crack soon.
When did I get paranoid?

-The number of seconds in the five second rule is directly proportional to how tasty the food your eating is. Brownies get a full minute, even if they are gooey and pick up a ton of dirt. 3 day old little caesar's pizza gets around 3 seconds. I expect fruitcake gets negative time.

-The internet can be wonderful. There is a lot of trash out there, but good ole prospectors can sometimes fine the gold. These can entertain you for hours:

- I really need to get cracking on finding a summer internship. And my homework.

-On a more serious note, I am seriously considering unbecoming a football fan. I love Clemson, and I love watching football, and I love when the tigers play well and win. I mean I can even enjoy it when they lose. But people care WAY to much. There's too much hate. And I'm not just saying between Clemson and Carolina fans. 

I sat in great seats for the Wake Forest game this season with my mom. Clemson wasn't looking their best, though they did scrape a W. Anyways, at one point in the third quarter the people beside me, who had been yelling negative things at the coaches ALL GAME LONG, got in an argument with a woman four rows in front of me. They seriously screamed at each other for 2 or 3 minutes. In order to break up the fight, a guy in between them got up and yelled at both of them. 

They were all Clemson fans. They all hated each other. 

After they finished screaming the girl I was sitting beside was murmuring to herself about how "these our seats and if they don't like how we yell then they should leave."

It was the worst football experience I have ever had. If I hadn't had a commitment right after the game (surprise birthday tailgate, what-up!) I would have gone home.

If you think that's an isolated experience, go scroll down your Facebook newsfeed. Everybody's hating on everybody about Clem/Carolina and its been a dang week.

Its an inflated piece of leather. It doesn't matter.
Nobody remembers who won the Clemson Carolina game in 1999.

Clemson won, and went 6-6. Carolina went defeated that season. I just looked it up, and I still don't care.

We will see how many games I go to next season, I feel like hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, climbing, and resting might all be better alternatives. Football just doesn't seem worth it.

-Expect another blog post in a day or two.

Song of the day:
Your New Twin Sized Bed- Death Cab for Cutie

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Foods that sound gross and are delicious:
Cream cheese (and cream cheese icing)
Sour cream
Refried beans
Hot Dogs
Zucchini/Pumpkin Bread

Foods that sound gross and are (or at least probably are):
Pickled pigs feet
Baby food
Blood sausage
Carrot cake (y'all can fight me on this one, but i'm right.)

Foods that sound good but are gross:
Fruit cake

Why do they sell that?:
Chicken necks

Foods that sound gross and probably are delicious but I refuse to try:
Pork Rinds (Deep fried pork skin?...)

Unrelated to todays' ponderings on food:

I really have been sitting in Philippians 2:12-13. It reads,

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."

Isn't it strange? Like this whole salvation, following Jesus thing? We are called to work out our salvation, with fear and trembling. We are supposed to try.  But at the same time that we are called to work it out, we are told that it is God who works. Some cognitive dissonance there, huh?

Its almost like we are supposed to try, but we should expect to not be able to do it on our own. Or maybe trying is learning to try in a way outside of our natural human design, one of humility and asking for help. Can you tell I still don't get it?

Don't be an Antinomian. Grace doesn't entitle you to a right to sin. (Though Jesus will take his glory there anyway.) (Romans 6:15ish)
Don't believe that works save you either. (pick your favorite reference)
But remember faith without works is dead. (James 2:26ish)

Jesus is redemptive, but he asks you to follow him.

Peace and Joy. And humility,

Song of the day:
We will run- Gungor

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Psalm 121 

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
  He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.
  The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.
  The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

Monday, September 26, 2011

From dust, to dust.
For dust you are to dust you will return.

People are hard, and you're one of them.

Recently I have found myself somehow in the midst of all kinds of junk. People losing friends and family to illness and accident, people hurting longtime friends, people making bad decisions, people struggling with depression, and most of all other people being clueless how to respond to all the stuff that is happening around them.

This world can be a weary place. That is something I have definitely been taught over my almost 21 years of life. It is something that I will never forget.

But the thing I always forget to remember is that I am one of those ignorant, difficult, hard, dust filled people too.

Yet Jesus lives, and for whatever reason, decides to take this sack of dust and sow some good seed on it. Suddenly, I the dust become the good soil.

Yet it is not I, but the living water that changes me from dust. And the dazzling son that sows the seed.

Thank goodness for redemption.

Let's hope and pray for determined spirits that run toward the kingdom, that we may not make the return to dust ever. The part that deserves to return to dust has returned. I'm clean. And I'm wet and muddy and in the sunshine.

Let the crop grow.

Genesis 3:19
Matthew 13:1-9,18-23 / Mark 4:1-8,13-20 / Luke 8:1-8,11-15
Titus 3:1-7

Peace and joy. And Hope. Lots of it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's been a while since I have blogged. My life is crazy right now.

Here's a quick experience,

So last night, after a long day of friends, football, fun, and sweating (I'm sorry sweating doesn't start with an f) the roommates and I and a couple other friends were hanging out at our place. Eventually, I was like bump staying awake i have to be up at the crack of dawn, so I went to shower and then go to bed. After my shower, as I was laying in bed with the lights off, I felt the strong urging of the holy spirit to go and ask whoever was out in my living room still if we could pray. I didn't. I felt guilty, but I didn't.

This morning I woke up and didn't feel guilty or shameful anymore. I felt like I had chosen the wrong thing clearly, but in doing so I had just chosen against some blessing that was set aside for me in prayer that night. It is beautiful to see how Christ's mercies really are new every morning for me, the prodigal son (or maybe just the elder son who hangs around home but isn't really about his father's business). It was also really good to realize that the prayer/situation that I neglected out of fear (of what i dunno) I was being led to was in order to bless me and my roommates. Now I find myself wishing to obey not for obedience sake but for my sake.

How good is freedom. And how good is it to remember why we are asked to obey.

1 John 5:3

Peace and Joy....     and Freedom!


In other news, here's a pretty little proof I did for homework tonight:
Let * be an associate binary operation on set A with an identity element, e. Proof that the inverse of an element is unique if it exists.

Let y and z be inverses of x. We want to show that they are equivalent.
y = y * e                         (Identity theorem)
y* e = y * (x * z)            (z is the inverse of x)
y * (x* z) = (y * x) * z   (associative property)
(y * x) * z = e * z           (y is the inverse of x)
e * z = z                          (Identity theorem)

Therefore, by transitivity, y = z and the inverse of x is unique.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Notes of the day:

CT scans don't take very long. Only about a minute and a half. But when the nurse says you can't swallow your saliva for that short of a time it is still really difficult to do. Especially when the whole reason you are there is sinus issues resulting in constant drainage down your throat.

The US government has the standard American family monetary problem, living outside of its means. All I'm saying is that if the debt keeps growing, pretty soon 20%+ of our annual budget will simply be interest payments. Yuck.

The new Mutemath single Blood Pressure is out on iTunes, along with the song Odd Soul. Its worth a listen to.

The only thing I don't like about OSX Lion so far is the inability to manually rearrange my desktops/full screen apps on mission control.

I got a twitter. I think i'd really like it if the musicians/celebrities/artists/athletes and such that I actually want to hear about would tweet 25% as much. As of now its ok.

A quote:

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” -Søren Kierkegaard (Not saying i'm an existentialist...., just saying its a good quote)

A Poem:

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?
-Amy Carmichael

Growing up is hard.

Monday, August 1, 2011

have you read the script?
could you picture it?
... is it worth the risk?

everything i love
is on the line,
on these neon signs.

but i need to know- when you looked away,
was it something that i said? was it something that i said?
well okay, okay, i need you more than i did before.
now that the concrete is nearly set.

here in the second act i’m living in repair.
strange how the heart adapts when its pieces disappear.
and there, on page 28, i’m so tired of drying glue,
i begin my grand attempt at building something new.

though i tend to write
the epiphany more immediately,
i guess i’m trusting that there’s such a thing
as elegance in dissonance.

God, i’m skeptical of pulling scenes.
was it something that i said? was it something that i did?
please don’t get me wrong- i still need your help
as history repeats itself

here in the aftermath, i’m pulling at the seams.
strange how the heart adapts in the absence of routine.
and there, on page 29, i find “new” and make it mine.
but i can't help casting shadows on all i leave behind.

maybe i could afford to change a bit...
even let go of the reigns?
every torn out page was worth the risk
now that the stakes have been raised.

so here in the final draft, i've given all i have. 
strange how the heart expands in the absence of a plan.
there's nothing left on the page, but i'm okay with that,
for i found my resolution
was designed for stronger hands.
-Ryan O'Neal

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I am weary of this world. And I think it just means that I hold on to it too tightly.

Over the past 48 hours I have read enough headlines to make me want to give up. We've got some crazy 'fundamental christian' killing around 80 people in Norway. We've got the United States government bashing itself internally and on the verge of defaulting. We've got Casey Anthony and the hatred by everyone surrounding that trial, and the fact that a child is dead. We've got a train in China derailing and killing 32 people. We've got war. We've got hunger. We've got natural disasters. We've got a lot of crap to deal with. And this is just the headlines that I've read in the past 24 hours.

And then I look at my own life, and those close to me. I've got a dead dad. I had a friend tell me today that their dad committed suicide when they were younger. I see friends in pain from parents divorce, from breakups. Friends in financial struggles, and friends feeling hopeless as they fight to try and fix the broken-ness of the world.

And the worst part is, I think its been this way for thousands of years. Look at Paul, in Philippians (1:21-26ish) he discusses his desire to depart and be with Christ, yet out of love chooses to continue to bear his burden that was ordained for him. (Acts 9:16- "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name"). He seems a little weary to me.

In this world there will be suffering. And that's tough when you sit down and realize the implications of that.

Basically, you could say I'm depressed. But I think weary is a better word.

Its funny though, out of all of this hope stems. Slowly, but surely, the hope of redemption for the world, and justice for the world seem to break apart from their somewhat paradoxical standing and be reconciled together in the person of Jesus Christ and his hopefully soon return.

Thank goodness for hope.

On a related note, I think its interesting how the cup is a symbol of both suffering and blessing in scripture. David's cup overflows in the presence of his enemies in Pslam 23. Jesus prays that the cup be taken from him in Gethsemane. How keen.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I just want everyone to know that I really dislike how the following words are spelled. This list will probably be added to soon.


In general I hate spelling.

There's a slight chance for a deeper blog post soon. just sayin'.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I need to go on a rant about somethings. It isn't a real rant, but I still give it rant status.

The following things make absolutely no sense, yet everyone accepts them like they are normal and wonderful.

First of all, every single perfume, cologne, and deodorant ad or commercial I have ever seen makes no sense. For example:

Ok, so other than the cologne bottle being thrown in their for about, oh, 2% of the commercial, this is completely unrelated to anything doing with cologne, let alone ones sense of smell. It has an attractive man, ocean waves, and music to go with the 4 second narration and brand name. If you don't feel like watching the commercial, I believe the clip order is like this: ab muscles, neck sweat, waves, back muscles, pretty face, pecs and sweat, waves, ab muscles, dive, facial shot, more chest sweat, cologne bottle, waves. I would just like to point out that nothing in that, aside from the cologne bottle is related to the product.
But, Boyer, it has acqua in the name! True. I'll concede that. But I have a feeling that this cologne does not smell like the ocean. And I guarantee it will not make you instantly ripped and shirtless. And it certainly won't make you sweat super fast. In fact, last time I checked, cologne is supposed to make the wearer smell good,  (but all they usually do is make everyone around that person ask what that strange smell is) and I can't see smells.
Bottom line, apparently sex sells (we already knew that though...) and sex makes people forget that cool visual affects with attractive people is unrelated to smell (and reality).

However, I will say that old spice makes commercials so ridiculous that they make sense. I mean Ray Lewis covered in bubbles riding on a giant, jet-powered raven that blows up saturn with laser-beams from its eyes is intentionally ridiculous. I'm going to hope it was designed as a satire, because it pretty much serves as one. (Old spice commercials here.)

Who thought that a great addition to any garden would be a lawn gnome? They are creepy and purposeless. Besides, who really owns a hat that is 2/3 their body length and stands straight up? Sorry travelocity. (not really.)

This one has a couple of exceptions, but the amount of throw pillows you find on any hotel bed (and I'm sure most beds that are not in my house or apartment) makes no sense. On a bed, you need pillows to sleep on and possibly a pillow that you can use to support your back while watching TV. Nobody, absolutely nobody needs a set of 8 throw pillows, complete with 3 pairs of decreasing size squares and a pair of tootsie roll shape pillows. Nobody needs a 6 inch by 6 inch pillow and a perfectly cylindrical pillow seems ridiculous and unwieldy. Most importantly, in order to sleep on a throw pillow covered bed, you have to throw your pile of pillows somewhere else to even get to the covers. They serve no purpose. Go google image 'throw pillows on bed' and you'll see this image first.
All shapes, all sizes, and way too many tassels. It's an epidemic. Thanks for nothing pillows that stay on my floor.

Alright, I'm done. Ban perfume and cologne ads (naked and half-naked people don't necessarily smell good), ban lawn gnomes (dumb hats is reason enough), and ban throw pillows.

On a side note, no one can look cool while running out a garage door they just closed from the inside before it shuts AND successfully step over the laser safety beam. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm home. And I love it.

I'll probably keep blogging a little bit. Just if anyone is interested.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Everyone has been asking me all semester how big Greenville is. All I have to say is compared to Sydney its small. But I actually sat down and consulted my good friend wikipedia and now, on my last night here, I have a really good answer.

Feel free to skip over the detailed section...


The city proper of Greenville has a population of 62,000 people, which is well out of the top 200 that Wikipedia lists.

The Metropolitan-statistical area of Greenville-Mauldin-Easely has a population of 637,000 people,  making it the 83rd largest Metropolitan statistical area. A metropolitan statistical area is defined as a collection of counties with at least one core city with a population over 50000 and the area around it that has a high degree of socio-economic integration via commuting ties. There are 366 of these.

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley is ranked 82 out of 942 of Core based statistical areas with population of 640,000. A core based statistical area is the same as the metropolitan-statistical area expect that the core population must be greater than only 10000. So something is wrong and Greenville area should be 82 and 82 or 83 and 83....

Now for the shocker.
Greenville is ranked 45th out of 718 Primary Statistical Areas with a population of 126500. This is the most well defined and extensive ranking out of all the other ones mentioned. Each Primary Statistical Area is defined as single or multi-core metropolitan areas that aren't in any other metropolitan areas.

I am from the 45th largest metropolitan area in the USA. I would have never, ever guessed that.
Even if you look at the other rankings, top 100 is pretty surprising to me.

Greenville is also the 6th largest city (city proper that is) in South Carolina, even though it is the largest metropolitan area in the state. Mt. Pleasant, Rock Hill, North Charleston, Charleston, and Columbia are the ones that beat it, in order from smallest to largest.

Ok, I'm done. I just think Greenville is the perfect size.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I've reached the end and I don't really know what to say. My room is half packed, the house is a mess, and tomorrow will be a day full of chores, but tomorrow is the end. My last day.

I feel bad that I don't feel bad to go home. All of me is ready to go, though not in the I'm 100% miserable here and all I want is home kind of way, but the home is where I belong kind of way. (Not to say that I haven't had several of those 100% miserable times...)

Now that this marathon is done, and it wasn't always easy, I can look back and definitely say that my time abroad was good. I got to see and do a lot of cool things. I got to meet a lot of people from all over the world. I got to try out the big city life (not for me, surprise!). And my faith was definitely tested. I had long, long, seemingly endless periods of doubt and dryness and loneliness. But in the end, Jesus wins. It seems to be somewhat of a reoccurring theme in my life. Cancer lost. Doubt lost. You get the picture.

I am thankful that God is. And I am thankful that out of a world full of people he choose me to give a little bit of faith too. It is a gift that is deep and filling, and probably isn't as big as a small seed- yet.

Australia, you've been good. Hard, but good. I've loved sleeping under the stars in your desert, riding the waves on your coast, and laughing at your lazy animals.

But it is time to go home.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First, if anyone is actually reading this, stop what you're doing and go here or here and download Josh Garrels' new album Love & War & The Sea In Between. It's free and it's phenomenal.
Ok, now back to my adventures. This past weekend I took a trip to the Gold Coast, which is the Australian hybrid between Orlando, Florida and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Many of you are thinking, "gross, why would anyone go there?" (and I agree Myrtle Beach is dirty and unpleasant), but I assure you the Gold Coast only combines the good elements of these two places. Bascially its a large touristy beach town, with miles of beautiful beaches and Australia's theme parks.

I only had two full days here, so I didn't bother with any of the theme parks. I was much more excited about the beach. The first day I went whale watching in the morning and surfing in the afternoon. Whale watching was really cool. Whales are big and interesting. (However, dolphins are far cooler. They like to play with boats and people and stuff. How can you not like dolphins?) Surfing was a struggle as the waves were way to big out back (not to mention way to dumpy for me. A dumpy wave is one that pretty much breaks instantly in a big crash, as opposed to a slow breaking wave. Good surfers like dumpy waves cause they give you barrels) so I couldn't surf them. Then they kinda stopped and re-broke like 10 ft from shore, in an extremely dumpy fashion. Meaning I didn't really surf, as much as paddled around and hoped that the waves would change. But I love the ocean enough that I had a blast.

Day 2 I really just laid on the beach. Got some sun. The ocean was too cold without a wetsuit to really swim in, so I just enjoyed it with my eyes. That afternoon there was like a free concert festival on the beach, so I moved up the beach 100 yards and enjoyed that until 7 o'clock when there was fireworks.
The only band worth mentioning was Australian singer-songwriter Pete Murray. He was good.

I just want to let everyone know that I think kids between the ages of 1 and 5 are awesome. First of all, when they hear music they dance. I could see like 10 kids on the beach, through the crowd, that were all grooving to all of these random bands. And they were too awesome. None of their dancing was mind-blowingly good, but their joy was. Why don't grown ups ever dance just because? Let alone dance badly for joy's sake?

Here's some pictures:
Seagull is winning this war.

In other news, I'm stateside in a week. Success!


Song of the moment:
Farther Along - Josh Garrels

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

12 days till home. Oh I miss it so.

In the meantime, while everyone keeps missing me, you should:
1. Listen to this song:

2. Read this:
Phillipians 4:4-7 (emphasis added)

Philippians 4:4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I miss everyone and can wait to see you soon.


(exam 1 in 1 hour. Looks like I am studying realllllllly hardd......)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let's talk music. It is something that I love.

First a couple tracks that have been played a lot recently on my computer/ipod:

Meheni Rachi by The Dharohar Project & Mumford & Sons
Who knew that Indian music, bluegrass, and beautiful vocals could mix so well! Though I have to admit the Indian music is my least favorite part....

The Sea of Atlas- Sleeping at Last
These guys (I guess he is just a single guy now...) have been cranking out 3 songs every month for the past 9 months. His latest ep has this beautiful track on it, after a beautiful instrumental lead in track. If you don't listen to Sleeping at Last, then you should. You will be hard pressed to find a better lyrics, and his music really is wonderful, peaceful, relaxing, and ingenious.

Caught in the Air- The Frozen Ocean
I downloaded his album off of noisetrade (if you don't know what noisetrade is check it out for free a week or so ago, and I like it a lot. However, this track, the lone instrumental one, jumps off the album to me. So good.

Background- Lecrae ft. C-lite
I'm not a big rap fan. And I'm not a big Christian Rap fan. But this song really is good. It is catchy, well produced, and Lecrae's lyrics are seriously solid. I really think he raps more truth in just about any one song than the majority of CCM artists do over their whole careers, with this song being one of his weaker examples. Anyways, its good, positive, and well true.

The Storm- Elenowen
Once again a noisetrade download. This duet is really talented, with both having great voices. I can't honestly say I have heard anything else of theirs, but this song is enough to make me appreciate them.

Now for some other things.
First, I downloaded this sweet little Java applet called Super Analyzer. (Located Here -I make no claims on the quality or content of it...)  It analyzes your itunes library and gives you stats, which saved me the trouble of doing it myself. Here are some interesting screenshots that I found surprising and also not surprising...

First interesting thing: I'm surprised at how low Mutemath is and how high Coldplay is on my most listen artists. No one should be surprised that Sufjan killed everybody that badly though...
Second interesting thing: The absence of Lost and Gone Forever by Guster and The Joshua Tree by U2 from my most played albums. I half expected Lost and Gone Forever to be my most played...

Other interesting statistics:

Track Count: 8,276 tracks
Play Count: 29,377 tracks played
Total Time: 3.5 weeks
Total Play Time: 2.9 months
Artist Count: 903 artists
Album Count: 1,590 albums
Genre Count: 30 genres
Total Library Size: 47.4 GB
All Songs Played: 82% played at least once
Library Age: 2.0 years
Average Growth Rate: 80.3 songs/week

How interesting is that? I have almost listened to 90 days of music on my computer in the past 2 years. I don't know whether to be proud, ashamed, or to stop studying so much...

Another thing that I found on my own was how much longer I have to listen in order to hear every song I have once. The time: 4 days, 7 hours, 17 minutes, and 13 seconds. Dang.

Alright, I'm done typing things that no one (other than me) cares about.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Outback, round 2.

If you didn't know, the Australian Outback is mainly a desert. A desert by definition has less than 10 inches of rain a year. This isn't much. That didn't stop it from raining all three days I was in Alice Springs though. No worries, the river still didn't flow. It didn't rain hard enough.

The good news is a little rain has never stopped me; in fact it often encourages me. There's nothing I'd rather do than through frisbee on Bowman in summer storm. However, I had no discs, no Bowman field, no clemson, and nobody to throw with so I made do with ATVing, biking, and exploring the desert park.

The Desert Park was somewhere between an aviary, a zoo, and a national park. They had lots of different birds, showcased the three major outback environments (Sand, dry riverbed, woodlands), and had all of the animals I hadn't managed to see yet in Australia. My new favorite: the Thorny Devil. Check him out:
First of all, they walk with a swagger (seriously). And they are able to drink with out putting their mouth in a puddle because they can draw water up through special channels from their feet. What more do you want in a lizard? The legless ones were just weird...

ATVing, or quad-biking as they call it here, was fun. They are really easy machines to operate and it was really cool to ride around the cattle station for simply the rides sake as well as to see how the cattle farm is operated. 

Anyways, ATVs aren't very safe in my experience. And I only have one morning of it. We had been riding for around 4 hours, and we reached the top of a hill. All of us cut our bikes off, and listened to a spiel about how to ride down the super-steep incline on the other side, we were encouraged to not be afraid to give it all the brake it has got because gravity will get us down. 

I was the last one to ride down the hill. I gave the guy in front of me a little room, then gassed it enough just to start rolling. Then I gave it some brake. Then I gave it some more brake. Then I gave it all the brake i could give it. My brakes were broken. And I was now careening down a super rocky, super steep hill on a 650 pound vehicle. For whatever reason, I wasn't too worried about myself at the time (in hindsight I should have been). I was however worried about the dude I was about to ram though. All I knew to do was yell. So I did. I just yelled really loud that my brakes weren't working. And then it hit him. Literally. But luckily neither of us flipped, and his brakes slammed on held both of us.

Bottom line, I could be very broken right now, if not dead. But I came out without a scratch.

So now that my near death experience has been covered, and (this song proved itself relatively true) we can move on.

My last day in Alice I rented a bike and rode 30 miles through the bush. I rode to a place called Simpson's Gap that actually had a small flowing creek! It rained the entire time, but I figured I'd be soaked with sweat if it was dry anyway, so what's the difference. It was a really relaxing ride, and Simpson's Gap was really beautiful, and it was relatively cheap! The best part however was seeing some wild kangaroos, including a mom and her joey. 

Just to settle all debates, Kangaroos are better than Koalas.

Anyways, I have got around 2.5 weeks left here. Exams, ho!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone back home.

Peace and Joy,


P.S. Lion comes this summer. Roar. and iCloud is super exciting. Is it bad if I watch the Apple Keynote?

P.P.S. I lost my phone. I never lose things. This is extremely demoralizing.
First some pictures, then i'll do another post with the past couple of days of adventures:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Outback, round 1.

I am finishing up my six days in the outback as we speak. The harsh desert that fills the majority of Australia has been good to me. Here's a brief overview of a few adventures:

After I flew in to Ayers Rock Airport, I boarded my three-day, two night tour with a collection of strangers. Let's just say the group on my camping tour, where we are hiking and sleeping under the stars, was not what I expected. There was about 5 younger people, plus me, but there was 4 middle-aged to older ladies. They were a hoot, though I'm still not sure if in a good way. One was a Yogic Swami (I'm not sure if there are other types of swamis...), one was the kind of old lady that doesn't really know when to be quiet, one was just super awesome, and one I would describe as posh, talkative, and not afraid/ashamed to say what she was thinking. She would always tell us how beautiful, tasty, wonderful something was in a form of a question- "Isn't that sunset beautiful?", "Isn't that fire lovely?", "Isn't that tea divine?" You get the picture. It made me chuckle the entire trip.

But on this tour we hit the three biggest features in the outback: Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and Watarrka (Kings Canyon). Uluru is what everyone thinks about second when they think of Australia (after the Sydney Opera House), but it was by far the least impressive of the three natural formations. It may be the largest monolith in the world (350 meters tall), and it may wonderfully change colors at sunset, but its a big rock nonetheless. And because I thought I would be a good person, I choose to respect the Aboriginal culture and I didn't climb it, which seems to defeat the point of seeing a big rock in my mind. Nevertheless it was super impressive, and I got some wonderful sunrise photos of it.

The Olgas, however were balling. The local Aboriginals believe that they are the heads of the creation spirits, geologists believe it was an enormous monolith that cracked and was worn into lots and lots of giant round rocks (or something...), and I believe that it was simply beautiful. We hiked up in them to the Valley of the Winds- it was perfectly calm. Our guide was just in shock because he says it is usually so windy that they can't even stay at the lookout long. None of the Olgas are as tall as Uluru, but overall they are much much much bigger and encompass a much bigger area.

Kings Canyon might have been the coolest of all of the formations though. It was a giant canyon, open on only one end. It looked pretty standard at first, but then we climbed up on top of the canyon and walked around it. As far as you could see on top of the ridge were domed rocks. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. All of them were a brilliant red color, and they were all about the same size. We walked around them, saw what explores found and called "the garden of eden", saw the canyon from the top (which was far more impressive) and climbed down. Solid tour.

However the best part of the tour was sleeping under the stars. We slept without tents, simply in swags. Swags are like bed rolls- imagine sleeping on a Camp Greenville mattress cut in half (half as thick) inside of a nylon sack. You've got a swag. But the swags weren't the cool part; the stars were. I have never seen so many stars. They were brilliant, shining, and shooting. I didn't bother counting the regular stars, but I saw at least 10 shooting stars in the short time I managed to keep my face outside of my sleeping bag (the desert gets frigid at night). The stars were the highlight of the trip so far, possibly of my entire trip to Australia.

I have more adventures to tell you about, including almost dying. But no one wants to read about me any more so I will write about the past 3 days in a couple of days.

In the meantime, enjoy these memories from my childhood:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Last night I was wearing my Eleuthera Bible Training Center shirt. Pretty standard right?

Anyways, last night someone came to me and told me that they were from Eleuthera. That was mind boggling.

Let me break this down a little bit for you guys: Eleuthera is a 110 mile long island in the Bahamas with a population of around 8000 people. Sydney is about 9500 miles away from Eleuthera, with a population of 4-5 million people. The fact that someone from Eleuthera stumbled across me while I was in Australia when I was wearing that shirt is just ridiculous. We even knew a couple mutual people! It was a little much needed encouragement.

Anyways, I really really miss church and community back home. I only expect that to grow as I am hitting the "Now what?" part of my trip. My last class is wednesday, then I have 26 days with only 3 exams. I am traveling for like 10 of those days, plus packing and cleaning (I will be doing a lot of cleaning of our house...), but that still leaves me a lot of free time. I feel like I have done most of the cool stuff in Sydney, and I can only study so much...

Anyways, I hope that everyone back home is having a wonderful summer!

Peace and Joy


Saturday, May 28, 2011

More adventures:
So last night we went and ate at Pancakes on the rocks, which is basically Sydney's version of Waffle House, except they specialize in dessert pancakes (and the restaurant is nicer). Anyways, I got this awesomeness:

Afterwards we walked around Circular Quay and had a wonderful time celebrating Christine's birthday. We even had Kinder Surprises for dessert after dessert. They are illegal in the states, so I got to have a rebellious stage for the 5 minutes it took for me to eat my chocolate and build my toy! (If you are still curious go here for more info

Anyways, it was the start of Vivid Sydney, meaning that there was some cool light shows going on everywhere and most importantly the Opera House was lit up! Here are some pictures. (side note: For the first time in a long while, I am happy with how these turned out)

Unsteady hand + boat =  Indie
Peace and Joy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Its my 101st blog post. Not as exciting as the 100th.

I have a couple of fun/funny things to share.

First I had a crazy dream last night. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wright, was giving a math test to me and  a collection of people I know and have gone to school with from over the years. I know what your thinking, probably something along the lines of "Boyer's a math major and he's dreaming about math tests. Nerd." Well all I have to say is this wasn't the good old math test that I enjoy, because I do enjoy math tests (occasionally) because I am a nerd. But this was some crazy several hundred page booklet filled with things, which I realized upon waking, weren't math. And everyone else in the class understood it all and did well. And I was failing miserably. And it lasted longer than the SAT. It wasn't a nightmare, but it was definitely one of those strange strange dreams that you feel restless the entire time during. And why was my fourth grade teacher there? I haven't thought about her in years.

Second, I want to share this video:

This is a video about Ben Underwood,  a boy born with sight but had both his eyes removed after complications with retinal cancer around the age of two. He eventually taught himself to "see" with echolocation, like a dolphin. First of all, this makes him freaking ballin'. Second this is extremely inspirational. But more than anything I see reflections of the redemptive story of Christ in this. It just makes me feel good inside.
The video is one of a five part series on youtube, but the last four aren't really worth watching in my opinion. It just follows him as his Mom tries to get him to use a cane as a tool to be able to live in the world in an even less handicapped way. The director spends a lot of time showing him as a little stubborn and unwilling to accept what to him is a sign of being handicapped. All I see is how un-handicapped he is, as he is a true 14 year old, which stubbornness is a good sign of.
On a sad note, apparently Ben passed away from complications with cancer around the age of 17.

Third and finally, I have had multiple people make comments about me being skinny. Which just makes me laugh cause I don't think I am skinny, nor do I care really what I am. It just makes me interested to weigh myself.

Peace and Joy,


14 "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD 
   as the waters cover the sea."
Habakkuk 2:14

Song of the moment:
The Hairbrush Song- Veggie Tales

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's my 100th blog post! Everybody celebrate!

After everyone is finished celebrating the rather surprising fact that I have actually had 100 things worth posting on my blog AND I have actually posted them, you can read a couple stories from the past week(s):

First a little background, one of my roommates broke both of his feet and was in the hospital for about 10 days. This sucks. However, he is home (in Australia) now and in a wheel chair, and is being a champ about everything. But since going out into the city is a little more difficult, as you can imagine, we have been hanging here a little more. The game of choice is monopoly.
I am proud to say, that for the first time in my life, I completely finished a game of monopoly. Never has this happened before, and there's a decent chance it never happens again. Here's the play by play: Three hours and forty-five minutes into the game, I had a devastating roll. Rolling doubles, i was forced to land  on property with a hotel not once, but twice. 2500 fake dollars in debt, I sold my houses on boardwalk and park place, mortgaged everything, and came up short. Yuck.
Even more ridiculous than me actually being patient enough to finish a game is the fact that all of the property names are different over here.
Though it wasn't on the roof or in a pillow fort at the Dixon's, like we tried so often in my childhood, I am just really proud I finished. And it was actually really fun.

Unrelated to board game adventures revolving around greed, last night we had Mega-Boom connect group. This essentially meant that four connect groups (the Hillsong equivalent of small groups) got together and had a super awesome party with worship and communion and things.
The night was kicked off with a rousing group singing of Rebecca Black's Friday. (If you are completely in a bubble and want your ears to bleed from the awfulness of this song, click here.) This was complete with delegations to specific peoples specific parts of the song. Wanqi had to rap and she had never heard the song before. hahahahaha
A short clip of Nathan and Germaine killing it:
And here is a link to the Bob Dylan version which is awesome: Bob Dylan- Friday

After singing friday, we had worship, communion, and prayer. It was great. I am thankful that God works. And I am thankful that he works even when I think he would choose not to.
We then proceeded to hang out around Sydney Uni and eat a late night meal. I told the people I was sitting with about "Yeah college, no parents!", "its funny because...." and "I'm going to go to the woods and die" and a couple other sayings that i have restrained myself from saying here because no one would understand. Luckily, I got to use several in the following conversations.

Anyways, I'm sure that post was far too long. Down under is pretty cool.

Peace and Joy,


After 14 chapters of being upset at his bride and his chosen people being unfaithful to him, and promising justice and destruction to those who are unfaithful, yet forgiveness and love to those who return to him, this bomb is dropped through Hosea:

Hosea 14: 9
"Who is wise? He will realize these things.
  Who is discerning? He will understand them.
  The ways of the Lord are right;
  the righteous walk in them,
  but the rebellious stumble in them."

I like it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

In other news, these are too awesome.

Been a busy week. I had 5 assignments due, and I successfully did them.

Anyways, here is a couple of fun things I did and learned this week that in no way relate to presentations on mathematicians or papers about australian cultural stereotypes relationships to the aboriginal peoples:

Thursday, after frisbee practice, I went to the on campus bar with all the guys and gals on the team. Nothing crazy there, they go every week, and I finally bought a change of clothes to join them. Anyways, two things I learned:
1. In Australia, after happy birthday is sung, everyone always yells "Hip Hip HOORAY!" three times. I like this. They also have some crazy rhyme that involves chugging a beer, (it ends in "down, down, down, down, down.....) I wouldn't be surprised if there is a lot of these in America, but the bottom line is singing happy birthday last a lot longer here. haha
2. I finally had someone explain cricket to me. Never do I want to play this game. I would lose.

Friday I went to Manly and went surfing. I struggled this time, but the beach was gorgeous.

Today I volunteered with Hillsong City Care. The group I went with went to a suburb I have never been to and we ended up working in a lady's garden for like 4 hours weeding and mulching. It felt good to work with my hands again. The woman we helped was older, but she was also the full time caretaker for her elderly dad, who can't talk or walk anymore. Other than her dad she lives alone. She made some small talk with us before and after we worked and said she wanted to buy us cupcakes but Coles (one of the major grocery store chains here) was out. It was just clear that life was hard for her and that she was tired.
Anyways, after we finished some of the guys who have been doing this for a long time and helping her for a while talked about how much she had opened up and become "friendly" to us. They said she had moved from acting like she hired the volunteers and she was a client to being relatively kind and talking about her grandkids and stuff.

I only mention this because it was just a good reminder that love does change people.

Its cold here, to the point I am thinking about buying a space heater. Every morning when I have to force myself out from under the covers into the frigid air in my room I am kind of forced to remember that it summer back home...

Song of the moment:
On the Ocean by Guster

Peace and Joy,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I remember the other thing i wanted to say last post:

The beard is back. Not in all of its glory yet, but its getting there.

In other news, I am running out of things to blog about. So don't expect much from me here anytime soon. My life pretty much consists of finishing school and surviving right now. In another week, i'll only have 1 essay left to write before finals and hopefully I'll have something fun to talk about.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some random things:

Had a fun discussion in Australia class today (not a class discussion, but a discussion while class was going on...) about the Australian stereotypical view of Americans. Here are the four key points:

1. Fast food
2. Guns
3. Walmart
4. Stupid/Arrogant

Score one for America?

Its starting to get cold here. And because we don't have heat (or AC) its cold inside as well as outside. I'm wearing long pants and a jacket usually. Everyone can think of the last time they saw me wearing both of those and be surprised.

List of all samples Kanye West has used can be found here, plus links at bottom:
Kanye West: Original Samples Collection
I found this interesting because the dude has some great taste in music. Steely Dan, Daft Punk, Prince, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Al Green, MJ, Aretha Franklin, and Steve Miller are just a few that jump off the page at me.
This list doesn't include 808 and Heartbreak or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy so it should me even longer. I also think there might be correlation between why people like Kanye so much (his music at least) and the fact he knows the good stuff himself.

I still suck at essays.

I have less than 3 weeks of class left. Crazy.

Thats all I've got for now, felt like I had more to say when I started. I'm definitely missing G'ville a little bit too.

Peace and Joy,