Friday, September 21, 2012

Word-Nerding - Zechariah 7

I'd define word-nerding as enjoying words - their sounds, definition and/or linking together.

I'm generally not an extroverted word-nerd.  I enjoy smart words and word play; and know a fair share of them but if it isn't the proper word for transmitting the point it may be coming from pride.  That's probably a separate thought for another day.

Instead of saying "good bye" I'd love to say "godspeed".  I love the meaning but it just sounds out of place, I don't say it.  One of the great aspects of "Cry the Beloved Country" is the language throughout the whole book, specifically they depart with a "go well" and the appropriate response "stay well".  So much richer than "good bye".

The other end of word-nerding is tying words together in a way to make the perfect point.

Generally word things (movies, shows, songs, stories, books) plod along from point to point and the words are just a sidewalk to be the path.  They journey to some view but need to be not broken and disjoined as to cause tripping.  Occasionally the sidewalk is crafted in a way that it deserves attention more than just what it leads to; the steps in the journey being just as beautiful as the final destination.

So I had some quiet time before church the other week and was digging back into the Biblical minor prophets and hit Zechariah 7.  Don't think I am as studious as a should be; this is more of a rare thing than a regular event.  I have a New King James and was powerfully struck by the passage.  It's a good passage give it a quick read, and it'll only take about 3 minutes.

The people are asking if they still need to keep the old feasts and fasts.  God responds with asking them if it was for Him or themselves that they did this.  If you want to serve Me seek justice and show mercy.

It also tied into something at Sunday School so I dug up the available NIV and shared it with the class.  It was still good but something was missing.

Here's the NIV (particularly verse 5):
5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?

The missing something?  Here's the NKJV:
“Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me?

I don't think I'm nerding too much by saying that second for Me adds to the verse.  Still effective without it but how did it get there, or how get left out.  Asking very directly if it was for Me moves the conviction of it from being unsettling to causing weeping.

Young's Literal Translation:
5 `Speak unto all the people of the land, and unto the priests, saying:
 6 When ye fasted with mourning in the fifth and in the seventh [months] -- even these seventy years -- did ye keep the fast [to] Me -- Me?

I went to and checked many translations.  It was there in the original text and most easy to read translations drop the emphasis of it being asked a second time.  Not all, but most.

I won't say they are awful translations, it just seems for this passage in particular it is fuller with the more personal questioning of God to his people.  I think it also reveals something of God's character.  Pushing past the point of fasting/feasting as a "religious" practice and into loving God's people - love God as God.  Give him the personal love he is due.  It convicts me to be more than just thankful about the world and his people; but also to be thankful and lovingly obedient to Him.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

That's how I roll - Rollaball

Rollaball looks compelling to watch.  No it's not the 1975 film starring James Caan or the 2002 remake.

I saw the 4-min trailer today care of 22words and it is a Kickstarter documentary. 

A few notes:
Sports Unite.  It unites players on teams, it unites crowds.  Look at the audience watching.

Everyone has hardships - with some it is more obvious that they struggle, but everyone aches.

Hardships are not who you are - A person isn't flat and defined by their struggle.  They are sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and teammates.  Hardships can mold you and forge you but they are not who you are

Life is worth living - people want to get up and celebrate.  Joy wants to burst out in every person in every situation. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Free Music Review - Andy Osenga

An idea hit me this morning - I need to share more.  Music that is, stay away from my kettle chips.

I've been enjoying free music for sometime now and I need to share it more.  I recently had a conversation with someone where I plugged an artist, and at one time they had an offering of their music on Noisetrade (it has since expired).

I'm hoping 1x a week (Tuesdays?) to share a nugget that is available for free.  I had this thought and then Andy Osenga just posted on Noisetrade an oldy of his that I got for free the first time around.  Letters to the Editor, Vol 1.

The timing is also neat in that Andy O is the perfect example of how this process works for the musician and the listener.

Noisetrade artists put their music out there for free and it can be downloaded and enjoyed.  The cost is your e-mail address and zipcode.  The artist gets to build a listener connection.  I say listener because in using these things I've been a listener to many singers/groups and have grown into a fan of a few of them.    You can choose to leave a tip which I have done about 10-20% of the time. I am now an Andy Osenga fan.  I supported (and greatly enjoy) his most recent album "Leonard the Lonely Astronaut".  It's a stretch for my genre preferences but I find the album very moving.

That's how it works.  Something out there for free.  Sometimes artists giveaway music on their website directly so this won't all Noisetrade but that will dominate the idea.

Andy Osenga - Letters to the Editor Vol 1.
The album has songs that are from some fan letters that he converted into songs.  Guitar and vocal layering but a fairly low production amount (which can be a very good thing).  "The Ball Game" is one of my favorites; not just of this album but a favorite song all around.  It's catchy and I like the pace.

A bonus on this offering is "Firstborn Son" from the Leonard album.  It is one of my favorites from the Leonard album.  That song holds the gem of a line "God help the man who helps himself, he needs no other devil".  That line is magnifying glass melting my pride under the light of God's holiness.

So check out this free offering while it's still around.