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Monthly Archives: January 2009

As a guy I might be biased, and then I might be further biased because I am a sucker for inspirational things. Regardless, I love battle analogies.

I had just finished viewing a large part of the HBO series, Band of Brothers. The film intrigues and grasps. Throughout the duration I found myself viewing the series from an analytical perspective; why did I find the film so interesting? Was it because I was a guy with a passion for WWII history? That is probably a large part of my interest, but I postulated that there had to be something more general, more common that would accommodate a vast range of demographics. Perhaps, I thought, battles and war entirely reflect the human condition.

We live in a constant state of battle. Certainly, the degree of battle varies, but we all, when our lives are shaved into their simplest state, live in war. A war film puts our experience into visual, and I think that when such a film can effectively and accurately portray a war, it drops a small treasure, hint, or reminder of ourselves and humanity.

I don’t speak from experience, nor do I speak as if I would know, but I would venture to say that soldiers often experience what we might call “being pushed up against the wall”. I think it is in those situations that we disregard trivial thoughts, and we prioritize essential goals and matters. When we have no room to wiggle, we don’t waste time wiggling. Boogie down and persevere.

Any speak on overcoming hardships is so legit! Hebrews 12 oozes with this kind of talk: Hebrews 12:1, “. . . let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” and Hebrews 12:7, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?”. Overcoming hardships is essential to the human condition. Battle analogies are a clear rhetorical representation of the human condition.

Look for the analogies. You can view almost any sport as a battle. Each athlete works with the other for a common cause, defeating the “enemy”. School is a battlefield. Your pen is your weapon, and the lecture hall is your arena. Wrestle with the thoughts, and pin them with your sword.

Life is a battle. I especially believe this in a religious context. C.S Lewis in Mere Christianity described the world as being in enemy occupation.

Enemy-occupied territory — that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going.

The human tragedy that so many of us can see on the television is a reflection of our daily struggles. Those struggles, I believe, define us. They are an inherent characteristic of life and growth, shaping and molding us daily. One day we’ll be without this hassle and burden, but that’s our future. For now, we’ll have to dig into our trenches.

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Is our rapid growth in knowledge our downfall? We have impressively progressed in the 20th century, and the 21st century will, if things are and according to an expert on a History channel documentary, have more history than the previous 20 centuries combined. That’s dense.

The idea of this entry is set in context of the end times, the last days of humanity. I’ve been following the History channel all week watching their specials on armageddon. It’s mildly depressing, and somewhat frustrating at the same time. Regardless, it made me think.

Perhaps knowledge is our Achilles’ heel. God banned Adam and Eve from the garden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Clearly, God did not want us to know good and evil concurrently, or perhaps even at all. It is more likely that God didn’t want us to know evil to save us the burden, or whatever implication the knowledge of evil would impress; for God, according to Genesis 1, is found repeatedly finding that what God created is good, and chapter 1 ultimately ends with God seeing that what God created was very good. God, it appears, only intended for us to know good — not good and evil. ((This may be a large part of my conversation and argument regarding Calvinists and Armianists. If it is true that God intended, then what does that reveal about God? Does God plan, and to what extent does God see the plan to fruition?))

Nonetheless, Adam and Eve ate from the Tree and now humanity knows good and evil. That, I suggest, could be a sign warning us of our demise. God is found saying, in Genesis, “The man has now become like one of us [referring to the Trinity], knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever”. ((Genesis 3:22)) It is interesting to note, that if you take from this verse that all it takes to become a god is to know good and evil and live forever, then is humanity not set to become gods? For we know good and evil, and if we are to be eternally saved, then we will be in possession of those two characteristics. This is not relevant to the idea of my entry, although it could be mother to an interesting hypothesis.

The idea of this entry is that our accumulation knowledge could be a hint to the end times. More specifically, perhaps the end will be near when our knowledge provides us the capability to live forever. God “drove the man out” from Eden when he learned good and evil. ((Genesis 3:24)) Perhaps God will take a similar and parallel action when, and if, we are able to live forever as humans.

This is a very interesting interpretation of the creation account, and I will most likely develop it further. For the next entry, I will look to analyse the end of chapter 3, and seek to make theological connections.

I’d like to say that this is just an interpretation. I don’t know if I believe my interpretation. Moreover, I’m not one to deal with eschatology, the theology of the end times; I’m dealing with it in this entry, and it’s a bit uncomfortable. It is certainly an exciting area of theology, but I find that it is too speculative. I don’t think God wants us to know explicit details of the end times; and if I believe that, I don’t know what I think about the book of Revelation. See: Eschatology is too much for me.

The Superbowl falls on my birthday (Feburary 1), and it would be a treat to see Peyton and the Colts match up against Eli and the Giants. ((Peyton and Eli descend from the Manning family. Their father, Archie Manning, is a storied former NFL quarterback.)) ((The Colts were defeated by the Chargers in the wild card round. I won’t be seeing a Manning vs. Manning Superbowl.)) Like many NFL fans, that match up would be hyped and very interesting. However, I don’t think the Mannings would think much of the “showdown”.

Two brothers that start in the NFL. Both have Superbowl victories. The hoi polloi and media gush over these types of story lines. The Mannings and the demographic they represent, however, probably couldn’t care less. ((It’s couldn’t, not could, care less. And don’t give me the, “I’m trying to be ironic,” argument, because you weren’t/aren’t trying.)) I would venture to say that the Mannings see football as their job. Sure they would play each other, but that’s probably nothing more than what they used to do in their backyard. If one of the two weren’t named Manning, this would be like any regular match up. The familial relations phenomenon stems from the obnoxious hype of the media.

To cite another example of this phenomenon, I was able to graduate with a talented musician and composer. His name is Alex Kreger, and he composes music, from what I understand loves jazz and is a growing jazz musician, and played viola to be nice. In my senior year, my high school’s orchestra was given the opportunity to play in the Band and Orchestra festival in New York City at illustrious Carnegie Hall. We had guest conductors, and one of our guest conductors was Alex’s dad, Scott Kreger.

Scott is an established bassist. And so you might see the phenomenon beginning to take shape: Alex, music phenomenon and son, and Scott, music phenomenon and father. Furthermore, Scott would be conducting the piece that Alex composed whilst Alex would be playing the piano.

I was able to interview Scott (because I was filming a documentary documenting our trip), and I was eager to ask him how he felt about conducting his son’s piece. The answer was lame. I was expecting something dramatic, and I wanted him to tear up, cry, and sing praises about his son. He did praise his son, but what he said was along the lines of what I described earlier: It’s no big deal.

Scott saw the opportunity to conduct his son’s piece as just that. He would be conducting a piece of music. Sure his son wrote it, but Scott didn’t change anything about his approach to it. Perhaps he had more input in the music than he usually does, but he still attacked the challenge like he would any piece.

Familial relations phenomenon is all hype, and I absolutely dislike the San Diego Chargers.

I didn’t originally plan on writing an entry for the New Years holiday, if you are so inclined to call the new year a holiday. I’m just writing what I journaled today verbatim.

I find the celebration of the new year a little barbaric, and I mean barbaric in that it seems that we look for excuses to celebrate. I must sound like a Danny-downer. It’s not that I hate parties and celebration. Rather, I just feel that we make too much of celebrating. I suppose New Years warrants a celebration.

Let me take this back. It’s not as barbaric as I thought it was. It’s good to celebrate, but let’s not boast or make a big deal of it. That’s what I wanted to say. Celebrate for the fellowship. That’s all we really want.

It’s interesting to note that we use the new year as reason to celebrate. If you were to live on an island in a community that had no access to the outside, do you think you would celebrate New Years? I’m not sure. Is it our nature to celebrate a new cycle?

I find that I am increasingly beginning to view life as a progression. Not only life but time as well. How we mark time is just that — how we mark time, how we mark our progression. If you consider your life a book, then it would be awful if you didn’t have chapters or paragraphs to navigate.

2009. Two thousand and nine. This is my year. Oomph.

I guess I’ll reflect a little. I graduated this year, and I started college. I fell in love with Taylor Swift. Yup, that’s it.

Just two disparate notes: I apologise for the obnoxious title of this entry. Second, I added a new page called “Inspiration”. It’s pretty inspiring, if I don’t say so myself. Check it out.

I haven’t ended a post this way in a long time: Much love to you all.