Archive for January, 2009

So, it seems that I’ve been doing most of my writing on the subway, lately. It amuses me greatly that THIS is what I do when I’ve got time to kill and nothing else to do, especially since I spent the last several years of my life detesting everything about writing. Maybe it makes a difference now that I’m not under deadlines and restrictions in my writing – the only research I do is for my own pleasure, and I don’t have professors chastising me for submitting things late.

Realistically, though, I never thought I would be so happy not to have to drive everywhere I want to go. There’s something quite relaxing about simply getting on the subway to go where I want. I don’t have to worry about missing an exit or somebody cutting me off in the middle of an intersection, and I certainly don’t have to worry about the consequences of blogging while navigating city traffic – remember kids: don’t blog and drive (or text and drive, for that matter)!


My New Baby

I hadn’t taken the time to write this story down yet, so I thought I’d better. Here goes:

The weekend of the lunar new year was one of great celebration for me, as I was finally able to find myself a new guitar! It was a grand adventure finding it, since we weren’t able to get to Seoul to check out the Nagwon musical instrument arcade, but after a lot of asking and a LOT of wandering around town, we found our way to the Galleria department store. This place is an adventure in and of itself, and we wandered through 12 of the 14 floors looking for the musical instrument shop.

After an interesting experience at the information desk, we were practically led by the hand through the store to our goal. Sweet success was upon us, and I gleefully sat down to start sifting through the racks to find something that both suited my needs (acoustic/electric) with a sound that I liked. Now, anyone who knows me knows just how picky I am about the sound of my guitars, so I meticulously tested every one several times trying to find the right one. After quite a bit of testing, I reluctantly settled on one that was both beautiful and great sounding.

I asked the salesman if I could take it home, and he went about gathering the accessories together for it. The first of said accessories was, of course, the case. He brought over two different colored cases for me to choose from, and I made my choice. Then the magic really started to happen. He opened the case and behold! There was another guitar inside that I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying yet. I asked if I could try it, just to be sure that I wasn’t passing over a ‘hidden gem’, and I immediately fell in love with its sound. I tried the guitar that I had originally picked again just to be sure, and the difference in sound was like night and day!

Now, I’m not saying I had been planning to buy an inferior guitar by amy means; it was still a brilliant-sounding piece of hardware, but this other one was like a dream. I’ve played guitars that were more than two (or three) times the price that didn’t sound this nice to my ears.

For those of you out there who are interested in such things, the brand of the guitar is one I’ve never heard of, and can’t fond any info about either. The name on it is Sha Ron, and it’s made in Korea, with an Artec Edge-TN pickup (I’ll not have a chance to hear it plugged in till the weekend, and I’ll post the results of that test when the time comes, but so far it seems really decent). The more I look at it, the more I suspect that it was likely handmade, too, which makes me that much more excited about it, because it means the tone will do nothing but get better over time.

This weekend will really be the first chance for me to really put it through its paces, as we’ll be going to our first worship team practice Saturday morning, and I can’t wait to be able to start playing with people again. I’ll post again with the results of that adventure when the time comes.

looking Ahead to Easter

There’s been a passage of scripture running through my head for quite some time, and I’m still wrestling through the significance of it. I was first turned to this passage while listening to a sermon by John Piper, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.

The passage in question is 1 Corinthians 15.12-19. I won’t write the whole passage here, but the key verse that got me to thinking is verse 19: “but if our hope is in Christ for this life only, then we are of all men the most to be pitied.”

A great many people, even if they aren’t inclined to believe in God, still like to believe in the idea of heaven, that there is something beyond this life that calms fears about death. However, more and more there is a growing rejection of this idea in the world as simple superstition.

The scary thing is that this rejection of an afterlife is even starting to find its way into the church. I’ve heard christians say (and indeed I thought the same way for a long time) that it doesn’t necessarily matter if there really is a life beyond this one – just living a Christian life is a worthwhile pursuit.

That’s where this passage comes into play. The context for verse 19 is the Apostle Paul rebuking those in the Corinthian church who were saying that there was no resurrection from the dead (ie. no afterlife). The premise of Paul’s argument was that if there was no resurrection, then logically, Christ could not have been raised from the dead either. This would effectively unravel all of Christianity, as Christ’s resurrection is central to our faith. We aren’t free from sin if Christ is not alive, and we’re therefore still trying to earn our way into God’s favor.

This is where we arrive at verse 19. If all of this is true and we are trying to please God on our own strength of will, then the entire basis of our faith is misplaced and we’re living lives of self-sacrifice and (in much of the world) persecution for nothing. It’s no wonder that Paul says that this would mean we would be “of all men most to be pitied.” Without Christ’s death and resurrection, then there’s no reason to believe that we would get into heaven (if such a thing would even exist).

Because of Christ, however, we have not only the promise of salvation and freedom from sin, we have the promise that that freedom will culminate in a new life after we pass from this one. As a direct result of this, we are given a chance to live a new life here on earth as we look forward to the day when we will be made perfect in Christ.

There’s much more that I could write on this topic, and I may at a later date, but I just wanted to take some time and share my thoughts for those who might happen to be interested. I’m still deciding what I want to do with this blog, or whether it will just be a conglomeration of random rants and raves. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to let me know.