Unexpectedly, the postlude to OneLife Community Church’s midnight Christmas service was Mumford and Sons’ “After the Storm” and it was quite apropos. Odd to be crying at the end of a Christmas service, but listen to this:
I won’t die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
THAT is the WHY of Christmas.
As the magician explains in Lewis’ The Last Battle, “It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here… you need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy [as it had been destroyed]. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.”
“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
I am going to provide you with a list of songs of the Christmas nature that I deem a necessary listening experience (Amy Grant didn’t make the list this year). You can thank me later.
- In Mansions (Tara Ward and Graham Travis) sing “The First Noel” from their Good Will Christmas album. [download]
Be sure to take a listen to the full Christmas albums of these fine artists, you won’t be disappointed. I know there is lots more good stuff out there, but these are some of my favorites.
In early October I took part in Tough Mudder Seattle:
Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, over one million inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.
We ran an 11 mile course (here my MapMyRun course) with a number of obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty. I definitely couldn’t have done it alone and was greatful to have help getting over various walls that are somewhat challenging for the vertically challenged. The obstacles that I failed miserably at were the monkey bars and the swinging rings, next year I need to actually practice on those to have a fighting chance. Some of the pictures below I took before and after, some David took during, some were from the official photographers, and some are just of a few of the various obstacles. One of the very last obstacles was Mount Everest, a big curved wall you have to run up. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do it, but after failing the first time, I made it up (with some help of course!).
Greg wore his GoPro camera and made a video of some of the obstacles:
There are also two other clips: Arctic Enema and Walk the Plank.
I have already signed up for next year and am really looking forward to it! It was a great challenge and I recommend it to anyone!
So apparently I deleted the wrong database when backing things up. So all my posts after May, 2010 are gone. Oops. Well I don’t think there were actually that many posts, but still, stupid mistake.
I am slowly adding them back using the Internet Archive (the “Wayback Machine”) but all of the comments are lost.
Welcome to Matt Jones’ Random Acts of Verbiage. I appreciate the visit! Due to personal reasons my blog is on hiatus for now. It is my hope and desire to write again, but I do not know when this will happen. You can still follow Matt Jones @ Twitter or check out Matt Jones @ about.me. There are other various ways to contact me, feel free should you have the desire. I will still be monitoring things here but do truly hope to blog again. Thanks for being a reader!
While you are here, please visit Matt Jones’ Random Acts of Verbiage Archive Page to check out my past posts!
A few of my favorite pages and posts:
Mattithyahu – a little about me
Space Saturday Archive – cool astronomy photographs
The Lonely Forest – lots of info, pictures, and videos from the Seattle band
Late Tuesday – lovely music from a lovely band
Jason Harrod Live – a great performance from the folk singer at Seattle’s Zoka Coffee in 2003
The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller – thoughts about Keller’s book
On the Meaning of Christmas – with links to my other various posts about Christmas
Bruce Waltke: Myth, Evolution and Genesis 1-3 – issues of interpretation
Logic and the Universe – irrationality is important too
Providing Water to Families in Africa: Water Filter Comparisons – there may be new technologies out now, but the point is, it’s easy to help!
Some thoughts on John 19:30 – see also Τετέλεσται
The Word: How the Bible Came About – see also Origins of the New Testament
The Three B’s of the Church – Belong-Believe-Behave
Who do you say Jesus is?
A Response to the “Proof of God” Debate – Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron prove God?
The God of the Bible is also the God of Science
Rosie the Physicist – in which I mock Rosie O’Donnell and her “Truther” ideas
The Shema – שמע: Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Ehad
Apostasy and Shusaku Endo’s Silence – difficult ideas to mull over
Creation Science – in which I discussion belief in Creation, but not Creation Science – see also Science vs. Religion
Judges 19 – a difficult passage
What if the Earth stopped spinning?
Peterson on Child Birth – Eugene’s funny
1 Peter 2.24-25 – an exegesis paper on a great passage
New Testament Foundations – notes on the New Testament
The Passion of Jesus Christ
“The Synoptic Problem” and Harmony “Issues” – oh those darn Gospels
Ash on the forehead, beads around the neck – a look at Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday
Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son – a favorite book (and Rembrandt painting)
On Distant Shores – a brilliant Five Iron Frenzy song, especially the bridge
Jesus IS God – it’s true
String Theory Primer – I’m sure it’s all changed now though, darn science
Predestination and Free Will
Aliens Cause Global Warming – looking at an essay by Michael Crichton
So take a look. Categories listed to the right. Browse around. Donate cash. Whatever.