July 28, 2006

New House! (well, not exactly)

Yesterday afternoon, we signed the papers and we're now homeowners! Best thing is, we don't even have to move! We purchased from our landlord the house we have been renting for the last 11 months. So our address stays the same, as does everything else in the house. This is the first summer since I graduated high school (1997) that I haven't had to move out! We look forward to having you all come over soon to see the house before we start demolishing it... I mean, remodeling it!

July 26, 2006

whose right is it?

a recent thread on a mailing list discussion that I am a part of raised the question of changing the lyrics to songs that have current copyrights (any song that has been published in the last 70 years or so falls in this category). many times, there are songs that are quite useful in worship but have a word or phrase that doesn't agree with that group's theological convictions. the question was posed as to what etiquette and legal obligations were involved in doing this.

I have to admit that I have done this myself in planning worship. there are a few songs that are very popular that have just one line that I cannot comfortably sing in worship (and by very popular, I'm not judging them on their "Top 25 CCLI" ranking; rather by their popularity in the specific community that is using the song, e.g. Sunday morning worship or RUF large group). these lines tend to fall on the Arminian/Calvinist fault line that divides much of the American church today.

this is something that happens quite frequently in hymnals. prolific writers like Charles Wesley don't always write hymns that line up with every theological framework. one such example is from his great hymn "And Can It Be." in verse two, the second line is as follows:
"He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race."
One hymnal alters it this way:
"He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace
Humbled himself (so great his love!),
And bled for all his chosen race.
I have asked a few people that I look up to concerning this subject and I have had a few responses that I tend to gravitate towards. The first is that this is Wesley's poetic way of saying something in simple terms that is rather complex to grasp when you get down to it. The second is that Wesley likely was writing from what he was reading in the Bible, and just because his understanding is not as developed at this point does not mean that it is an unbiblical statement.

jumping back to the issue of changing copyrighted material: the problem is that the original songwriter did not intend their song to have the opposite meaning. it'd be great if we all agreed about many of the basic tennents of the faith, but many times it is impossible to agree on anything, except that Jesus Christ is Lord (which even in some circles is up for grabs).

is it right to do this? if not, then what do we do? do we break the law every Sunday we sing the altered lyric? do we sing the original lyric and trust that God will correct this error in our hearts? do we scrap the song from our songbook? am I too worried that by singing the wrong theology in my worship that my worship will be unpleasing to God?


I think that when I come to worship, I need to repent of my theological thick-headedness. That need goes beyond the songs I sing.

July 15, 2006

happy 400th, ol' remmy!


The Met (Day 4) - 6
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

Rembrandt's 400th birthday would be today, July 15th, were he still kicking around the streets of Leyden. A great deal of the course I took on Christian art dealt with Rembrandt, especially his self-portraits. I can honestly say that I have not seen an artist paint himself with so much... well... honesty.

NPR did a story on this today: here's the page.

July 14, 2006

"Pirates of the Caribbean" | Ask A Ninja

Sarah and I saw "Pirates" last Saturday for my birthday outing. I really enjoyed it! And I enjoyed being a part of history (biggest opening weekend ever, at leats until "Pirates 3" opens). I get the sense that some people liked it, some didn't. What did anyone else think?

For some reason, this Ninja didn't like it, but I don't think Ninjas tend to like anything... except Ninjas. "Pirates of the Caribbean" | Ask A Ninja

July 10, 2006

Tenth of July


Birthday!
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

"so it's my birthday, and I'll blog if I want to!"

okay, so I'm not usually known for poor pun usage on this blog... gimme a break! it's what first came to mind...

so yes, it's my birthday, good ole #27. I have finally reached that point. which point, is not for certain.

yesterday, I got to blow out my candles with the Conley family (minus Wilson; Lauren in photo), and Michael Parks (minus Amy). we had a great time, and I burned the BBQ chicken. oh, and Sarah was there, of course!

Dave and Michelle were kind enough to give me what I really wanted for my birthday: a piano! what kind of piano, you'll just have to come to Pendleton to find out for yourself.

so here's to another 27 more! except that'll make me 54... whoa, I'm good at math... and rhyming...

Fourth of July


Fourth of July Fling
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

so you're saying, "the 4th was 6 days ago. c'mon Luke, get with the program!" well, here's what I have to say to you. "haha! and again, haha!"

don't miss the look on Sarah's face as she considers the next 1.6 seconds...