Archive for December, 2014

Tenth Avenue North – Worn

It’s been a tough semester.

Relient K – Oasis, Savannah and Baby

Library Day

This week is finals week. Because of my class schedule, however, my first exam (orgo) isn’t until tomorrow morning. While I did a decent job of studying on Monday and Tuesday, I did next to nothing yesterday. So today I had to put my foot down and get a bit done, preferably with as little technological distraction as possible. So my day has consisted/consists of three study sessions, for three hours each, in three different libraries, getting as much review of my semester in organic chemistry as possible. In between the first two, I got lunch, and now I’m eating dinner after practicing horn for a little while. I’ve survived the first two sessions pretty well, and it’s been really helpful. The major annoyance is how slowly each chapter seems to go. I’ve gone over 3 1/2 chapters in detail, but have about 6 more that I could cover (from later in the semester, I purposefully went over the first chapters we studied first because they needed more refreshing).

The one exception to the self-inflicted ban on technology is my iPod, because music helps keep me focused. In my first session, I listened to Jumping All Over the World by Scooter, Night Visions by Imagine Dragons, and Christmas Songs, by Jars of Clay. Second session: Church Clothes Vol. 2 by Lecrae, Forget and Not Slow Down Relient K, and Maslanka 4. I’m trying to stick to whole albums or pieces of classical music so that I don’t need to change it often. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to listen to for my last session, but I was thinking about Hillsong United’s White Album, or maybe some Tchaikovsky. Ironically, the classical music I think most people are able to ignore are the most distracting for me. Anyway, I’m going to go do that third session.

Jars of Clay – Wonderful Christmastime

Virtual Riot – Paper Planes

Samuel and Velvet Elvis

It would be much easier to just do one of these posts each week, but for whatever reason I tend to procrastinate about writing them…

Sunday, November 9th: 1st Samuel 1. I already read this back in September, but wanted to review it before continuing with the life of Samuel.

Wednesday, November 12th: 1st Samuel 2. The chapters consists of two contrasting passages, one being Hannah’s song of praise to God for blessing her with a son, and the other explaining why the sons of Eli, the high priest at the time, were so bad. As priests, the two sons were corrupt and disrespectful towards God and his rules for the temple, so God chooses to curse Eli’s family.

Thursday, November 13th: 1st Samuel 3. The famous story where God calls a boy Samuel (then working for Eli in the temple) for the first time. Samuel doesn’t realize it at first, thinking it is Eli who is calling, but once he realizes that it is in fact God speaking, God tells him about the curse on Eli’s family.

Saturday, November 15th: 1st Samuel 4 and 5. Israel goes to war with the Philistines with the Ark of the Covenant, lose, and the victors take the Ark as their own (it was common to take a symbol of the gods that a nation conquered, proving the superiority of the victor’s gods. Eli dies when he hears this news, but God is with the Ark, bringing disease and earthquakes to the cities that the Philistines try to keep the Ark.

Monday, November 17th: 1st Samuel 6 and 7. The Philistines return the Ark to Israel with gold figures as peace offerings. Samuel, in the meantime, has grown into his role as judge of Israel.

Thursday, November 20th: 1st Samuel 8. Despite Samuel’s warnings, Israel asks for a king, and God decides to give them one, giving Samuel instructions to find one.

Monday, November 24th: 1st Samuel 9. I was very tired though, so I didn’t get much out of it.

Tuesday, November 25th: Thanksgiving break! I stayed with some family friends, and didn’t have room in my bags to bring the Bible I normally use for devotions, so instead, I started Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, which challenges its readers to rethink their approach to the Christian faith, especially in respect to its concreteness. I read the prologue and Movement 1, entitled Jump. The chapter focuses on how Christianity must be flexible and open to questions and new interpretations, rather than being a set of immovable, indisputable facts about God and Jesus, and how we should follow Him.

Wednesday, November 26th: Velvet Elvis Movement 2: Yoke. The Bible was written by many writers with different interpretations, goals, methods, etc. and is supposed to make us ask questions, and those questions will probably give us even more to ask. It is supposed to make us think.

Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving): Velvet Elvis Movement 3: True. God is present in everything and in every situation, whether a high or a low point, but we should be careful about how we use the label “Christian.” Bell says that “Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective,” trying to draw attention to how ‘Christian’ things are not necessarily good.

Saturday, November 29th: Velvet Elvis Movement 4: Tassels. Bell uses his own story of the founding of Mars Hill, his former church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to explain how we can get trapped by the demands of life, even Christian life. He reminds us that, instead of trying to please everyone and achieve everything you think is good (being a “Super”-[insert role here]), you should be focusing on doing your best to live as Christ would have you live.

Sunday, November 30th: I re-read 1st Samuel 9, and it made a little more sense. Saul is selected by Samuel to be the first king of Israel, as according to God’s instructions.

Monday, December 1st: 1st Samuel 10. Samuel anoints Saul to be king, who then returns home to his father, but does not tell him of what happened. Samuel gathers the people of Israel to present Saul to them as King, but Saul actually hides during the announcement, possibly out of fear.

Wednesday, December 3rd: 1st Samuel 11. The Ammonites besiege a city of Israel, threatening to destroy it or otherwise disgrace Israel. Saul, enraged, threatens the enemy, and follows up his threat by destroying the forces of the Ammonites.

Thursday, December 4th: Prayers for the state of the country and peace.

Eric Whitacre – The Chelsea Carol (Performed by Eric Whitacre, Christopher Glynn and the Eric Whitacre Singers)