Saturday, May 31, 2008

Real advertisements

[migrated from myspace blog]

Don't shoot the messenger.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Female singers

There was probably a time in high school when I didn't own a single CD by a female vocalist or female-fronted band (but honestly, was there much to choose from as far as good music was concerned?) Eventually I picked up a few here and there. Bands like Velour 100 , Sixpence None the Richer/ Leigh Nash , Evanescence, or Kate Jones.

So it's kind of strange that the two artists I've recently been listening to the most, for two different reasons, are female-fronted groups. I discovered Abigail Washburn because she released a couple of CDs that have banjo savant Béla Fleck on them, and The Sparrow Quartet showed up on a youtube search for him. She plays clawhammer-style banjo to Béla's 3-finger picking, and she also sings. It's clearly bluegrass music, but she's spent so much time in the Chinese culture and language that it makes it's way into her music. Most obviously in the songs sung in Chinese.

And then there's Zooey Deschanel, and her new band with M. Ward called She & Him. I've been waiting for her to release an album ever since I heard her sing in the movie Elf. Ward finally convinced her to share some of her own music, as well as some covers, but most importantly, to sing. Her voice and musical style are about 50 years "behind", but that's a good thing in this case. A very good thing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27

[migrated from myspace blog]

I had to cancel a flight with another instructor's student today for weather. Visibility was 7 miles at the time, but the ceiling was about 700-foot overcast. So instead of going flying, I...went flying. In the clouds. I never got much "actual" instrument time since I did most of my flight training in the southwest U.S., but today I chalked up a full hour in the clouds. It still amazes me when we start to see the ground through the clouds, then about a hundred lower see the runway RIGHT in front of the plane. Thanks May 27, for crappy weather that turned out perfect for flying in the clouds.

I'm not sure why I'm writing about this (and it'll be the last time), but this date just glares at me from the calendar. 2 years ago, May 27 was on a Saturday. My "wife" had flown to Phoenix the day before to help pack up the apartment for my move back, and to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary, both of which were the previous weekend. We never made it to dinner. Somewhere around 2 or 3 in the afternoon we took a break from packing and sat down to rest. Through a unique set of circumstances (involving her Treo phone having saved the last web page she visited, which just happened to be her work email account, and an email from her boss ending with "I love you"), that Saturday turned out to be one which has affected, directly or indirectly, every day since in my life. I guess it's appropriate that this 24-month mark be my last comment on it, since that's exactly the length of time she'll be making payments. But no matter how "moved-on" I can be, May 27 will always look a little darker on the calendar than other dates and leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vatican Astronomer: Aliens Might Exist

[migrated from myspace blog]

"Just as there are a plethora of creatures on Earth, there could be others, equally intelligent, created by God," said Father Funes, the pope's chief astronomer.

Of course, the biggest surprise here is not that Roman Catholic leaders have a theology based on science fiction instead of the Bible, but the fact that Vatican has its own astronomer.

I suppose this official position shouldn't be surprising, since the Vatican have refused to take a position denying evolution, and alien life is an evolutionary worldview.

Father Funes: "We cannot place limits on God's creative freedom."

And we do not. Nor can we demand that He go beyond the limits He placed on His Creation. Nor can we put words in His mouth. What we can do is take Him at His Word.

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said.

Life does not "develop". It was Created. I have to wonder if he's actually read the Bible, or perhpas just chosen to ignore the parts he doesn't want to believe. This view denies that the Earth is specially created for human life in the image of God, and is the only planet so created.

Isaiah 45:18

For thus says the LORD,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited

It denies God's Self-revealed order of Creation: The Earth created on days 1 and 2. The Sun, Moon, and stars on day 4.

The largest gaping hole in this newest position is a denial of redemption to these hypothetical intelligent extraterrestrials.

Father Funes: "If other intelligent beings exist, it's not certain that they need redemption."

Romans 3:23

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Romans 8:22

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

Even if for some bizarre reason "all" included only humans and specifically excluded our imaginary E.T.s, they would live in a fallen universe and suffer the effects of original sin. They would be living in punishment for that of which they were innocent.

They could "have remained in full friendship with their creator" without committing the original sin, he said.

How many "original" sins can there be?

If E.Ts are in need of redemption, he claims they would benefit equally from the incarnation, in which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, assumed earthlings' flesh, body and soul in order to redeem them, which Father Funes called "a unique event that cannot be repeated".

He admits it can not be repeated, but fails to explain how life on another planet could possibly know about it. And if they knew about it, how could it benefit them? Sin entered the world, and the universe through one man. Redemption can only come through one Man.

Romans 5:12

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned"

We share that sin nature because we share the same blood. We share in redemption because we share the same blood.

Acts 17:26

"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings"

The only acceptable sacrifice for human sin is one who is perfect (God), yet is one of us (Man). The only acceptable sacrifice for alien sin is a God-alien, which can not be.

Hebrews 10:10

"By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

The Bible simply does not allow for aliens, evolution, or a big bang cosmology billions of years ago. Such teachings about the Hebrew scriptures not only contradict the Gospel message, but also deny what Jesus believed.

Mark 10:6

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female."

At the beginning. Not 14 billion years after the beginning.

He ought to know. He was there.

John 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Exegesis: critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, esp. of the Bible.

Eisegesis: an interpretation, esp. of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text.
(Also known as taking outside ideas created by fallen, sinful man, like evolution and aliens, and trying to "fit" them into the Bible.)

Matthew 15:14

"And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Swell Season

[migrated from myspace blog]

Yep. I'm going.
Columbus. September 22. Fourth row.