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Matt Jones Blog Hiatus

September 28th, 2012 No comments

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 @ 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:

So take a look. Categories listed to the right. Browse around. Donate cash. Whatever.


“I Celebrate The Day” by Relient K

December 4th, 2007 5 comments

I should be grading/writing/reading/sleeping/etc. right now, but I thought I would post this quick because I think it is an amazing song and a great addition to the season of Advent (and I haven’t posted in a while… as per usual).

For a group of guys who wrote some crazy and bizarre songs, they sure know how to write some amazing theology that can make me cry. They are very similar to Five Iron Frenzy in this way I think, especially as compared to the song On Distant Shores, one of my personal favorites. Ponder these words as you enjoy your season of Advent. (Emphasis mine.)

I Celebrate The Day by Relient K

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You’ve touched my life
Because here is where You’re finding me, in the exact same place as New Year’s eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We’re less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I’ll compare the things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life

Categories: Meaningful Song

The Lonely Forest

May 31st, 2006 5 comments

The Lonely Forest is a band created out of the creativity of John Van Deusen (Vocals, Keys, Guitar) and supported by three wonderful musicians Braydn Krueger (drums), Tony Ruland (guitar) and Eric Sturgeon (bass). John Van Deusen was another musician that my sister, Erin, introduced me to and I have been impressed with the tunes he has been putting out since he was 16. The creativity of this group is matched only by its talent. They have a broad range from slow, quiet pieces to hard piano driven rock. The chances are pretty good you will like their stuff. They all seem to be pretty down to earth guys and I think they can go far. I always look forward to their rockin’ shows and wish they had more CDs to listen to!

I now have a Lonely Forest Lyrics page! John has kindly provided all the lyrics to their God is Dead project (which includes all of the Regicide EP) as well as some of the new stuff from the Nuclear Winter project. Seriously. Lonely Forest Lyrics!

Since I have made a number of posts about the Forest, I decided to make this page with all the posts easily accessible for all the Forest fans! It has been a while since I have updated, but I hope you will enjoy some of the older stuff! Also, here is my The Lonely Forest YouTube playlist which contains all (or at least most) of the videos I have taken over the years.

  • February 27th, 2010: The Lonely Forest signs with Chris Walla’s new label - Exciting news from the Death Cab for Cutie lead singer!
  • April 27th, 2009: The Lonely Forest’s “We Sing the Body Electric” - check it out!
  • July 30th, 2007: The Lonely Forest’s debut album: Nuclear Winter - A review of the album.
  • June 16th, 2007: The Lonely Forest at the Fremont Fair - lots of Nuclear Winter stuff! (pics [vids to come])
  • February 9th, 2007: Snodfest - more new stuff and a John cameo with The Tallest Building in the World. (pics and video)
  • February 2nd, 2007: A Late Tuesday Going Away Party - LF was part of an amazing night of music to say goodbye to Late Tuesday. (pictures and video)
  • January 19th, 2007: The Lonely Forest at Common Ground - playing lots of new stuff! (pictures and video)
  • December 13th, 2006: The Lonely Forest at the Historic University Theater - Another cool Seattle show. (pictures and video)
  • October 13th, 2006: The Lonely Forest on Tour - I was able to catch the first three shows of their west coast tour! (Pictures and Video)
  • September 2nd, 2006: Lonely Forest at Bumbershoot - The Lonely Forest showed Bumbershoot and EMP’s Sky Church who’s boss (Pictures and Video)
  • August 4th, 2006: Lonely Forest at the Pickford Dreamspace - Bellingham digs The Forest (Pictures and Video)
  • July 10th, 2006: Lonely Forest at the Crocodile Cafe II - The Crocodile Cafe was blown away by The Forest (Pictures and Video)
  • May 31st, 2006: The Lonely Forest at Chop Suey - Another rockin’ show from the boys! (Pictures)
  • May 9th, 2006: In The (North) Round 1 - A John Van Deusen solo with Late Tuesday‘s Tara Ward and Megan Slankard as part of the Round North series. (Pictures and Video)
  • April 23rd, 2006: The Lonely Forest at the Crocodile - One of their John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest CD release shows. (Pictures and Video)
  • April 11th, 2006: The Lonely Forest - my review of their EP John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest. (Music and Lyrics)
  • March 14th, 2006: Round 10 - A John Van Deusen solo (with Braydn backing him up) with Joe Day (from Mindhead) and Benji Verdoes (from In Praise of Folly) as part of the Round. (Pictures and Video)
  • February 13th, 2006: John Van Deusen and EMP’s Sound Off - The Lonely Forest (pre Tony Ruland and Eric Sturgeon) won EMP’s SoundOff, this is from the semi-final round. (Pictures and Video)
  • November 14th, 2005: John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest - A kickin’ show at Common Ground. (Music, Video, Pictures)
  • July 14th, 2005: John Van Deusen - A first look at John Van Deusen and his solo project Yossarian. (Music)
  • Music from my various posts (all are MP3 format, right click and “save as” to download):

  • From their EP John Van Deusen & The lonely Forest: Now Onto Other News - I Blame Us
  • From their EP Yossarian: Yossarian - Dresden - 8-6-45
  • From their EP Regicide! (non-production versions): Opium Blues (Live on KEXP) - Tooth for Tooth (Live on The End) - God is Dead (Streaming from The End)
  • Video clips from Lonely Forest shows (NOTE: Lage File Sizes. Right click and “save as” to download):

  • If you don’t want to download, all clips can be found on my Lonely Forest YouTube page.
  • The Lonely Forest (February 9th, 2007): Hangman (.mpg, 62MB - YouTube - There is also an instrumental intro to this that may have a name that I don’t know…) - Cygnus (.mpg, 43.5MB - YouTube) - Unknown (.mpg, 14MB - YouTube) - Instrumental (.mpg, 16MB - YouTube) - Leader Holding His Head (.mpg, 37MB - YouTube) - Unknown (.mpg, 31MB - YouTube - The intensity has mounted! Be sure to check out John punching his keyboard and throwing it around and Eric throwing his bass! Stop breaking things!) - Self Surgery (Tallest Building in the World) (.mpg, 30MB - YouTube)
  • The Lonely Forest (February 2nd, 2007): Unknown Instrumental (.mpg file, 16 MB) (iPod Video - YouTube) - Of The Deepest Reflections (.mpg file, 19 MB) (iPod Video - YouTube)
  • The Lonely Forest (January 19th, 2007): Cygnus (.mpg file, 44 MB - YouTube) - Nuclear Winter (.mpg file, 43 MB - YouTube) - The last four clips are from songs that I cannot remember the names of because they are too new! If anyone happens to know their names, let me know! - Unknown 1 (.mpg file, 52 MB - YouTube) - Unknown 2 (This is a pretty kickin’ instrumental - .mpg file, 16 MB - YouTube) - Unknown 3 (.mpg file, 35 MB - YouTube) - Unknown 4 (.mpg file, 31MB - YouTube)
  • The Lonely Forest (December 13th, 2006): Cygnus (.mpg, 40.8 MB, 3:48) - Stars and Moons (.mpg, 24.0 MB, 2:14) - Nuclear Winter (.mpg, 40.3 MB, 3:45) - All of Me Is this really the name of the song? I always call it “The Dune Song” (.mpg, 45.9 MB, 4:16) - Unknown Another new one from the Nuclear Winter project that I don’t remember the name of. Especially take note of Evan’s (of Capital Basement) lovely interpretive dance moves! (.mpg, 42.1 MB, 3:55) - Are You Afraid of the World? (.mpg, 58.4 MB, 5:26)
  • The Lonely Forest on Tour (October 13th, 2006):
  • The Lonely Forest (September 2nd, 2006): Father and God is Dead (full, .mpg file, 44.6 MB, 5:40)
  • The Lonely Forest (August 4th, 2006): Tooth for Tooth (full, .mpg file, 36.0 MB, 4:34) - Father and God is Dead (full, .mpg file, 45.7 MB, 5:48) - Nuclear Winter (full, .mpg file, 31.6 MB, 4:01) - Are You Afraid of the World? (almost full, .mpg file, 41.3 MB, 5:15)
  • The Lonely Forest (July 10th, 2006): Tooth For Tooth (full, .mpg file, 67.1 MB, 4:55) - Father and God is Dead ([This was a brilliant combination] partial Father and full God is Dead, .mpg file, 67.9 MB, 4:59) - Tea of the Scientist, Coffee of the Priest, GiD reprise - (full, .mpg, 83.8 MB, 6:09) - Skeleton Grip (partial, .mpg, 19.6 MB, 1:26) - Are You Afraid of the World? (full, .mpg, 75.6 MB, 5:32) - Two YouTube clips: Opium Blues and Are You Afraid of the World?
  • John Van Deusen (May 8th, 2006): Song written for his sister’s wedding (partial, .mov, 35.9 MB, 1:55) - The Upsidedown Tree (full, .mov, 96.2 MB, 5:15) - I Blame Us (full, .mov, 90.1 MB, 4:50)
  • The Lonely Forest (April 21st, 2006): God is Dead (MOV file, 74.2 MB, 320×240 res) and Opium Blues (MOV file, 68.9 MB, 320×240 res)
  • John Van Deusen (March 13th, 2006): God is Dead (55.3 MB, Mov file) - I Blame Us (43.3 MB, Mov file)
  • The Lonely Forest (February 11th, 2006): Father (Mov file, 35.9 MB) - Washington Park (Mov file, 54.4 MB) - Apology part I (Avi file, 159 MB) - Apology part II (Mov file, 23 MB) - Torn on the Inside (AVI file, 72.5 MB)
  • The Lonely Forest (November 13th, 2005): Apology #1 (AVI file, 50.5 MB) -Apology #2 (AVI file, 170 MB)
  • There ya have it! Let me know you were here!

    The Lonely Forest’s Website
    “We Sing in Time” Website
    The Lonely Forest @ Burning Building Records
    The Lonely Forest’s MySpace
    In The Round MySpace
    In The Round North MySpace

    Other Bands On My Blog:
    Late Tuesday
    Jason Harrod
    The Pale Pacific
    Five Iron Frenzy


    Late Tuesday

    May 31st, 2006 9 comments

    Since my sister introduced me to the Bellingham band Late Tuesday, I have been a big fan of their sound; with their lyrics and harmonies, it is hard not to be. Sadly, on September 29th, Late Tuesday has decided “to break for an indefinite amount of time”. But they will still be playing shows until January or so and their music should still be checked out! Dana Little, Tara Ward, and Jocelyn Meyer (formerly Feil) have a found a sound that is able to bring each of their talents to the fore. With the edition of guitar, keys, and rhodes to their voices, you have a combination that should win over anyone. Since I was introduced I have been to a number of their shows so I thought it would be convenient to make a jump-off page so as to make it easy to find the various Late Tuesday posts I have made. And see the bottom of this page for a few pictures of the ladies.

    Also, check out my Late Tuesday Lyrics page for words to all your favorite Late Tuesday songs!

  • November 21st, 2008: Tara Ward: Live @ The Triple Door: Download it! Tara has a new live solo album out and you should download it to support her making a solo studio album!
  • February 2nd, 2007: A Late Tuesday Going Away Party - The day finally came and Late Tuesday went gracefully into retirement with a wonderful party with some other wonderful bands.
  • December 15th, 2006: Late Tuesday at the Q Cafe - one of Late Tuesdays’ final shows! Sad! (Pictures and video)
  • October 3rd, 2006: Dana Little at the Nightlight - A lovely solo show by Dana at Bellingham’s Nightlight Lounge.
  • October 3rd, 2006: The Late Late Tuesday - The trio has decided to “break for an indefinite amount of time”: Sad news indeed.
  • September 1st, 2006: Late Tuesday at the Triple Door - from the Seattle Drowning Out Love release show. (Pictures, Video)
  • June 1st, 2006: Late Tuesday’s Drowning Out Love - A look at the trio’s most recent album Drowning Out Love. (Music, Lyrics)
  • May 26th, 2006: Late Tuesday at the Viking Union - A brief look at the Drowning Out Love CD release show. (Pictures)
  • May 9th, 2006: In The (North) Round 1 - Tara Ward does a solo show along with John Van Deusen (of The Lonely Forest) and Megan Slankard as part of the Round North series. (Pictures and Video)
  • December 19th, 2005: A Late Tuesday Christmas - A Christmas concert along with Andy Davis and Acoustic Christmas. (Pictures and Music)
  • December 7th, 2005: Perfectly Pleasant Procrastination - A show with John Van Deusen. (Pictures and Video)
  • November 6th, 2005: Late Tuesday at the YWCA - A show as part of the Bellingham Pop Music Festival. (Pictures)
  • August 23rd, 2005: Round 3 at the Q Cafe - A Jocelyn Meyer (was Feil at the time) solo with Aaron Sprinkle and Sherri Youngward as part of The Round.
  • August 18th, 2005: Late Tuesday at the Crocodile Cafe - Just like the title says, a cool show at the Seattle venue. (Pictures and Music)
  • July 26th, 2005: Woodsong 2005 - A show at the Woodsong Music Festival on Orcas Island. (Pictures)
  • July 18th, 2005: Round 2 - A Dana Little solo with Gabe Archer of The Pale Pacific and Graham Travis as part of The Round. (Pictures, email me for video)
  • June 13th, 2005: May - For our monthly family book and cd/dvd exchange, Erin sent around the Late Tuesday CD Remember We Forget but I talked about that CD in a different post so I talked about their self-titled CD Late Tuesday. (Music and Lyrics)
  • June 11th, 2005: Late Tuesday II - A great show with Sam Ashworth and Sixpence’s Matt Slocum as part of The Round (Round 1 in fact). (Pictures and Video)
  • June 8th, 2005: Late Tuesday - a look at their CD Remember We Forget. (Music and Lyrics)
  • Music from my various posts (all are MP3 format, right click and “save as” to download):

  • From Late Tuesday: Ordinary - 118
  • From Looking For Flowers Again: Haven’t posted any. See their website or a video clip of I Do below.
  • From Storybook Beautiful: The Christmas EP: O Come O Come Emmanuel - O Holy Night - Storybook Beautiful - This Holiday
  • From Remember We Forget: To Not Be Let Down - Simply Beautiful - 23
  • From Drowning Out Love: Song of Songs - I Want The Best - The Way I Say I Love You
  • Covers: Alison Krauss’ Down to the River to Pray
  • Video clips from Late Tuesday shows (NOTE: Lage File Sizes. Right click and “save as” to download):

  • If you don’t want to download the vid clips, some have been up at my Late Tuesday YouTube page so check that out (I have also put up a YouTube playlist for other people’s Late Tuesday video clips).
  • My Late Tuesday Going Away Party YouTube group - Clips of Late Tuesday, The Pale Pacific, Mindhead, and, The Lonely Forest.
  • Late Tuesday (February 2nd, 2007): Apart (.mpg, 30 MB - YouTube) - Song of Songs (.mpg, 35 MB - YouTube) - Part of the Cure - their last song! (.mpg, 30MB - YouTube) - Ordinary - 1st encore (.mpg, 45 MB - YouTube) - I Must Go - 2nd encore and final song! (.mpg, 40 MB - YouTube)
  • Late Tuesday (December 15th, 2006): Looking Through Rosy Glasses (.mpg file, 47 MB, 4:16) - O Holy Night (.mpg file, 59 MB, 5:19) - Saturdays (.mpg file, 31 MB, 2:46) - Simply Beautiful (.mpg file, 35 MB, 3:11) - Storybook Beautiful (.mpg file, 22 MB, 2:01) - Sussex Carol (.mpg file, 28 MB, 2:30) - This Holiday (.mpg file, 35 MB, 3:09) - Up On The Housetop (.mpg file, 28 MB, 2:33)
  • Dana Little (October 3rd, 2006): Apart (.mpg file, 23.7 MB) - Don’t Get Around Much Any More (A Duke Ellington cover) (.mpg file, 18.1 MB) - I Do (.mpg file, 31.4 MB) - Trial and Error (.mpg file, 21.8 MB)
  • Late Tuesday (September 1st, 2006): Drowning Out Love (full, .mpg file, 21.8 MB, 2:46) - Everything’s Broken (Redeemed) (full, .mpg file, 28.8 MB, 3:39) - Get On (full, .mpg file, 22.0 MB, 2:47) - Hallelujah (Cohen) with Shelby (of The Hope) and Graham Travis (nearly full, .mpg file, 32.4 MB, 4:07) - Looking Through Rosy Glasses (partial, .mpg file, 7.6 MB, :57) - Medley: 118 and Save Your Breath (nearly full, .mpg file, 21.4 MB, 2:43) - Song of Songs (full, .mpg file, 24.8 MB, 3:09) - The Way I Say I Love You (full, .mpg file, 22.4 MB, 2:51)
  • Tara Ward (May 8th, 2006): Ordinary (full, .mov, 76.8 MB, 4:07) - Not The One (partial, .mov, 23.5 MB, 1:16) - Anyone But You (full, .mov, 79.1 MB, 4:16)
  • Late Tuesday (December 7th, 2005): Silent Night (partial, .avi, 72.0 MB)
  • Dana Little (July 18th, 2005): I Do (partial, .mpg, 45.5 MB) - Apart (partial, .mpg, 43.3 MB)
  • Late Tuesday (June 11th, 2005): Part of the Cure (partial, .avi, 5.94 MB, 0:28) - Apart (partial, .avi, 38.0 MB, 0:25)
  • Enjoy and check back as I post more!

    The ladies of Late Tuesday (click the pictures for larger versions):

    Dana Little - Vocals, keys, rhodes, accordion. (Photo source: top - left)

    Jocelyn Meyer (formerly Feil) - Vocals, guitar (usually electric), melodaphone. (Photo source: top - left)

    Tara Ward - Vocals, keys, rhodes, accordion, guitar (usually acoustic). (Photo source: top - left)

    Special thanks to Ted Leung who took these wonderful pictures at a Late Tuesday show at the Clearwater Casino Resort. The photoset for those pictures can be found here. He also has a great set of pictures from a show at Bainbridge Islands Waterfront Park here.

    My Late Tuesday Lyrics Page
    Late Tuesday’s Website
    Late Tuesday’s MySpace
    Tara Ward’s MySpace
    Dana Little’s MySpace
    In The Round MySpace
    In The Round North MySpace

    Other Bands On My Blog:
    John Van Deusen / The Lonely Forest
    Jason Harrod
    The Pale Pacific
    Five Iron Frenzy


    Worship Music

    June 22nd, 2005 5 comments

    Last night in Bible study we took a look at different worship songs that had made an impression on each of us for one reason or another. Here is a look at what we choose:

    I chose On Distant Shores by Five Iron Frenzy. I chose this because I think it clearly and acurately depicts our Christian life and relationship with God. It shows we are broken and need to be freed from our sin. This is one of my favorite songs (if you have been reading my blog you will know I have quoted it before) because I think each verse is very potent and contains deep truth (which I find very interesting considering how silly and mindless FIF can be too!). I feel two verses are quite profound and should be meditated on:

    And off of the blocks, I was headstrong and proud, at the front of the line for the card-carrying, highbrowed. With both eyes fastened tight, yet unscarred from the fight. Running at full tilt, my sword pulled from its hilt. It’s funny how these things can slip away, our frail deeds, the last will wave good-bye. It’s funny how the hope will bleed away, the citadels we build and fortify. Good-Bye.

    Night came and I broke my stride, I swallowed hard, but never cried. When grace was easy to forget, I’d denounce the hypocrites, casting first stones, killing my own. You would unscale my blind eyes, and I stood battered, but more wise, fighting to accelerate, shaking free from crippling weight. With resilience unsurpassed, I clawed my way to You at last. And on my knees, I wept at Your feet, I finally believed, that You still loved me.

    And the rest of the selection:

    Meghan picked The Hammer Holds by Bebo Norman. I had never heard this song before but thought it was pretty good. It talks about our brokenness and being shaped by Christ. There is one verse that really stood out to me:

    The hammer pounds again, but flames I do not feel
    This force that drives me, helplessly, through flesh, and wood reveals
    A burn that burns much deeper, it’s more than I can stand
    The reason for my life was to take the life of a guiltless man

    I think this verse suggests that the flames or struggle of life can be dealt with by the sacrifice of Christ and through those strugles we can really learn what it means to live - the deeper burn. I like the last line because it gives us meaning for life. We often get so concerned about what God wants us to do in our lives, but, as the line sugests, our lives are here in place of Christ’s so we should just live them fully.

    K.C. choose Brighten my Heart by Sixpence None the Richer. This is a great prayer song (by the way, most of their songs are better than their Kiss Me that got so much air time).

    My heart is as dark as the soil sodden with winter rains. (Lord, brighten my heart)
    My soul is as heavy as the peat freshly dug from the bog. (Lord, lighten my soul)
    My thoughts swirl like willow branches caught in autumn winds. (Lord, still my thoughts)
    My body as tense as a cat’s as it stalks its prey.(Lord relax my body)

    I know I can relate to those thoughts and could (and should) pray each of those requests.

    Leann picked The Valley Song by Jars of Clay. This is a wonderful song off their Furthermore album that I highly recommend. When dealing with sorrow (or any time really) this song can really speak to you.

    Though the pain is an ocean
    Tossing us around, around, around
    You have calmed greater waters
    Higher mountains have come down

    You should definitely check out the rest of the lyrics, they are quite moving. One great thing about this song is it doesn’t try and cover the pain it just suggests that God will carry us through them and is bigger than those problems (while not minimizing their importance to us).

    Laurel also picked a song off Jars of Clay’s Furthermore album: Worlds Apart. This song also speaks to our brokenness, our need for God, and the grace that has been given to us.

    All said and done I stand alone
    Amongst remains of a life I should not own
    It takes all I am to believe
    In the mercy that covers me

    Did you really have to die for me?
    All I am for all you are
    Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

    Quite profound I think. In our worship we should reflect on what God has given to us and how our lives don’t always stack up to what he would have for us. “Did you really have to die for me?” Is always a tough question to ask - the obvious answer is “yes” but we wish it didn’t have to be that way. We need His sacrifice and His grace and He should be thanked and worshipped for those gifts that He has freely given.

    And finally, Chad (fittingly) chose I Wish We’d All Been Ready by Larry Norman. DC Talk also does a pretty good rendition of this Norman classic. While I disagree with some of this song theoloically (I don’t think the “rapture” will happen like is suggested in the song), I think the message is very good: We have a responsibility in the here and now to share the Good News with those around us before it is too late. As Chad suggested, we should look at it from God’s perspective and recognize how sad it makes him that people reject him. Our call is to live for Christ.

    There’s no time to change your mind.
    How could you have been so blind?
    The Father spoke, the demons dined,
    The Son has come and you’ve been left behind.
    You’ve been left behind

    Pretty harsh stuff, sometimes it is hard to sugarcoat some of the important things in life I suppose.

    So what do you think of those songs? What are your favorite?

    Categories: Meaningful Song, Religion

    A Blogging Fast

    February 1st, 2005 No comments

    I am still trying to get into the flow of things for this semester and balancing my time has become an issue. THe bulk of my classes are at the beginning of the week leaving me with a “free” last half and weekend. I am trying to get things more spread out so Sunday-Tuesday night aren’t insanely busy. In order to do this a little better I am going to take this week off from blogging, not just writing, but surfing and reading as well. I just figure it is the best thing to help me get on task and reduce the number of distractions. Once I have straightened things out, I will be back (look for me on Saturday or Sunday I would think). Try to not post anything TOO interesting on youg blog! I don’t want to miss anything!

    Please feel free to continue commenting and I will respond when I get back. If you need to get a hold of me, my email is always on: matt [at] mattjonesblog [dot] com

    Feel free to check my Blog Archive on the side bar.

    Here are a few of my favorite posts (that you can still comment on, hint hint…). From most current to oldest:
    Big Day in Iraq - Pictures and commentary on the historic election day.
    More Tsunami Satellite Photos - Pictures and links to more pictures, other posts, and resources.
    The United Nations: How the Antichrist will rise! - I don’t like the UN.
    Global Warming? - What do YOU know about Global Warming?
    A Beautiful Sight! - Some pictures that I took of Mount Rainier.
    Better Late Than Never: A Year in Review - A short recap of Me in 2004
    Christmas a pagan holiday? - A discussion of Christmas
    Are you a Christian? - Well are you?
    The Nature of Hell - Another possibility?
    On Distant Shores - Comments on a great song by Five Iron Frenzy.
    Science vs. Religion - I hope to add more to this eventually.
    Jesus IS God - I hope to add more to this as well.
    String Theory Primer - Yep
    Predestination and Free Will - My comments on this ongoing dialogue.
    Picturing God - How do you visualize God?
    Dennis Miller, End Times, and Michael Moore - I also hope to do a more formal write-up on “end times”
    Aliens Cause Global Warming - Brief discussion on Michael Crichton’s essay.
    Am I open-minded? - Some thoughts on what it means to be “open minded.”

    Ok, that turned out to be a larger list than I expected, feel free to check them all out! Heh, ok I know you probably won’t get to all of them, but maybe one that interests you!

    Have a great week and I will get back to you all later!

    Categories: Blogging, Daily Life

    Play it again sam…

    December 30th, 2004 No comments

    New Year’s is upon us. I probably won’t be around until after, so I hope you all have a great celebration to usher in the new year. For many, it is hard to have hope at this new year with all thr troubles going on around them. It is important to remember that God is there in the good and bad times and is always there to fall back on. We are all in this adventure called life together and shouldn’t forget one another. God has called us all to something higher, no matter what our situation is. God bless you all and remember to pray for your loved ones as well as your enemies.

    I will leave you, once again, with a really meaningful song. I know I have posted it before, but I really like it and it truly speaks to what the new year should mean. Plus it is my blog and I can do what I want. :)

    Five Iron Frenzy - “New Year’s Eve”

    It’s New Years Eve and I’m full of empty promises, I half pretend to keep this time, just like last year. The band is loud and I’m wandering the shadows, wishing I was never here. I persevere. A crowded room, these whitewashed tombs, they raise their glasses high, they kiss the past goodbye.

    This New Years Eve, I’m waiting for tomorrow. My heart is on my sleeve, and yes I still believe, this New Years Eve, will turn out better than before, I’m holding on, still holding out, until they close the door… on me.

    It’s New Years Eve and I feel my insecurities, are haunting me like ghosts, this sinking quicksand. And then with thunderous praise and lofty adoration, a second passes by, yet nothing changes. I hate my skin, this grave I’m standing in. Another change of years, and I wish I wasn’t here.

    A year goes by and I’m staring at my watch again, and I dig deep this time, for something greater than I’ve ever been, life to ancient wineskins. And I was blind but now I see.

    This New Years Eve, something must change me inside, I’m crooked and misguided, and tired of being tired. This New Years Eve, I’m waiting for tomorrow. My heart is on my sleeve, and yes I still believe, in You.

    Shalom and God Bless you in the new year, may YOU be new as well.
    Blessings, Matt

    Categories: Meaningful Song

    Calling all Conservatives and Liberals!!

    October 6th, 2004 No comments

    I just read an amazing essay by Bill Whittle over at in 2 parts. Conservatives and Liberals (and everyone else) should read this. Part 1 and Part 2

    Some might think it is a bit long, but I would ask that everyone who has an interest in the United States read this. It is well worth the time.

    I genearlly don’t like to blog about politics because it just makes people mad at each other. I consider myself to be more conservative about a lot of things and will be voting for Bush, because I actually like him. Understand this: how you vote does not indicate what kind of a person you are so I may disagree with what you believe, that doesn’t effect what I think about you as a person. That being said, I do want people to believe what I do. :) I also recognize that there are extremely intelligent people on both sides of the spectrum so no one can simply say you are a liberal so you are stuid and visa versa.

    My worldview is also shaped by my Christian beliefs which I would also like everyone to believe. :) This does not mean that I will automatically vote for Bush, I know many Christians who will not be voting for Bush. I am voting for Bush because I believe he has shown that is truly is a leader and will continue to lead the US in a great way with correct convictions that will protect us as a country.

    I am a little disappointed in that it seems many Kerry supporters are Kerry supporters because they don’t like Bush. You should support someone because you think they are the one for the job not because you don’t like the other one.

    Anyway, you should definitely take the time to read the essay, it will be well worth your while.


    Original Post with extensive comments. [UPDATE: Original post and comments are no longer available. :( sorry!]

    Another thought:
    We like to say that the world changed that day. What a ridiculous, self-centered thought. The world didn’t change. Our illusions about the world changed. The scales had (mostly) fallen from my eyes in the years leading up to that morning. But many, many conservatives (as I define myself) were born precisely at 9:17 am EDT, when United 175 flew past the burning North Tower – an accident? – and exploded through the second, on the morning of September the 11th, 2001.
    I don’t know if Whittle is a Christian, I haven’t seen anything to suggest that he is or isn’t. But this quite immediately brought some lyrics to mind. Sorry if you think I over quite Five Iron Frenzy, I probably do, but this was just very fitting.

    Night came and I broke my stride, I swallowed hard, but never cried. When grace was easy to forget, I’d denounce the hypocrites, casting first stones, killing my own. You would unscale my blind eyes, and I stood battered, but more wise, fighting to accelerate, shaking free from crippling weight. With resilience unsurpassed, I clawed my way to You at last. And on my knees, I wept at Your feet, I finally believed, that You still loved me.

    Response from ADW
    …except Matt, when you are essentially locked into a 2 party system it is a little more complex than simply voting for who you think is best for the job. I mean how much air time has the likes of Ralph Nader had? He’s not really invited to the soundbyte war that’s currently going on. So if I’m not very happy with Bush (which I am not) then I need to think very carefully whether Kerry is at least not as bad as Bush and whether I want to risk voting for somebody I really want in the office etc.

    Its this same kind of black & white mentality that I feel Bush is working under. I don’t think that politics is as simple as he is making it out to be. I wish it was, and I think a lot of Bush supporters wish that it was to the point that they actually believe it is.

    Consequently I do agree with you about not voting according to party line but rather on a case by case basis. I appreciate the open forum you provide at your blog and the range of topics covered as well as the thoughtfulness behind your posts.

    Upon review of the linked article above I have to express my dissappointment. Matt, it seems to me to be the same thing we were talking about…oversimplifi cation. Am I supposed to feel better about the fact that the author used to be more liberal? His own picture of his formal “liberal” self is of an oversimplified characiture that I do not at all identify with. It seems to me to be the very same “cheerleading” I hear from both sides that really doesn’t accomplish anything but to make set conservatives feel good about their position. Is his confession that he used to think burglars should steal from him really supposed to appeal to liberals, or for that matter anyone? I can just as easily find liberal posts that do the same for the other side.

    His assessments of Kerry are done oversimply which again is attractive because we have to think less but unfortunately doesn’t get the job done as far as really getting somewhere. I don’t think I’m being unfair to him and I don’t think he’s lying. I just think he, like many others, are turning complex issues into easy black and white choices that can be made from the comfort of your own laptop.

    I think we need to start reading books on political and diplomatic theory and start talking to people in person who have more knowledge and wisdom in this area and use them as resources. I am constantly dissappointed by the lack of effort involved in this process. Don’t get me wrong, countless hours can be spent on-line gathering info from newsposts and blogs but in the end it appears that we’re getting a lot of the same cheerleading that I just spent 30 minutes reading.

    Please, let me know if you think I’m being unfair.


    Addendum II:
    I wish we had more, equal, parties that we could vote for. Yeah, you could vote for Nader, but that would essentially be a vote for Bush, so what is the point? I would love to see three or four, equally footed, parties that would give us more options. As big a fan of Bush as I am, I do disagree with many of his policies. As big an un-fan I am of Kerry, I do agree with some of his policies. What I need to figure out how to do is genetically combine the two to make an uber-candidate. But, as you said, we are forced to pick between the lesser of two evils. That being said, I do feel that Bush is quite a bit lesser of two evils.

    As far as oversimplification goes for the Whittile article goes, I would have to agree and disagree. I believe he has oversimplified because he is only writing an essay. In order to deeply get into the complexities of what he has brought up in that article would require a book, I don’t know if Whittle would be able to do that sort of complex theorotical writing or not, I don’t know him. But I do agree that we should be rading those books, as I am sure they are out there. I have not read any of them and am lacking because of it. I did, however, feel that he was more complex than many others that I have read. As far as being one-sided, I think he was, and I think he knows he was. I don’t think he was trying not to be. I think he was suggesting that as a former liberal (whether he actually was or not, you would have to take up with him), this is how he has arrived at his current mind-set. I don’t think they way he arrived there will or shoudl work for everyone, but I believe it can and will work for some. That is probably just a true as the counter-arguments.

    I think that Bush does see some things as black and white issues. I don’t feel that he doesn’t see the complexities that surrounds that, I just think that at some points you have to say, ok, these are complext issues with many options, you haven’t chose the one that I feel is correct so I am going to disagree with you. During the administration you can’t be as black and white as that (which he may have been during his last four years, to a degree), but during the debates that is exactly how they are going to be. They simply don’t have much time to get complex. Sadly, I see the debates as doing only two things. The first is good, they give the broad public access to what the condidates believe and where they stand on issues. Second is really bad, they essentailly become a who looked or sounded best contest. If someone is more eloquent or looked better, they are perceived as having done better.

    Largely, I do see blogging as essentailly “cheerleading”. Does it ever change anyone? Probably not, but ya never know. At least, it sparks interesting debate. The potential to help flush out beliefs and make people think is a good thing. For me, what it comes down to is Bush and Kerry and what they say and stand for, not the cheerlearders (like me) on the sidelines. As I stated at the onset of this post, I don’t like posting political posts because they just make people mad at each other which is stupid. Having opposing political standpoints is a stupid reason to not like someone. Being unintelligent about things though… ;)

    Response II from ADW:
    Thanks Matt,

    I of course understand that in any essay, debate, speech or even book for that matter a certain amount of simplification must go on. I know that this is a necessary evil and that benefits of the doubt must be given to both sides. That being said I’m not simply claiming that Bush is presenting complex things in black and white terms, I think that he really sees things in this light and creates his policy accordingly. Now this is a mostly coherent and mostly consistent practice on his part. And if you see the world in a similar way then you are going to much more easily see eye to eye with him.

    I think that’s what a lot of this is about. How one sees and assimilates the surrounding world. In a way it makes it a much more personal thing and thats probably why its so easy to get angry when it comes to political posts. But I think that if we can recognize this, that political preference has much to do with how we see the world in our everyday experience then political difference will be easier to swallow and easier to talk about.

    NOw I don’t mean to suggest that every Bush supporter necessarily sees his or her world in black and white. On the contrary I don’t think that’s true of you or many others. But what I am suspicious of is that in our armchair politics there is a high degree of oversimplification that must go on because of our lack of knowledge/experience . This is not to say that we cannot make wise decisions or increase in that knowledge but the point I’m trying to make is this: that it will be tempting to side with and identify with a candidate who actually oversimplifies in practice. There will be a high level of correspondence and sense-making between me and that candidate. But in reality I would much rather have someone who is dealing with blurred lines even if I have trouble understanding from my armchair.

    My personal problem with Bush is not that I don’t understand him and his policies, they are coherent in and of themselves, its that I simply disagree with them and I may never hope to get a nuanced defence of them from him because by his own policy he simply does not answer to criticisms. He is ready to cut his losses. His claim is that if you don’t agree with me you probably just don’t agree with me and it will do no good to defend myself. I think this is a mistake. I think that critics have a right to hear a defense of policy. I would be bold enough to claim that my mind is open to being changed by Bush should he ever enage in the art of nuance and apologetics. That being said I don’t think he wil.


    Addendum III:
    Good stuff Andy and I pretty much agree with you. I think I do give Bush a little more credit. I agree that he probably does see many things as black and white, but I don’t think that is how he sees everything. That being said, I do tend to agree with those some of those things, even if he does see them as black and white.

    Is there any way around oversimplification? The general public, most likely myself included, isn’t going to sit down and read books on political theory. I am all for people becoming more educated and feel that everyone is capable of that if they try, but the reality is that, on the most part, it won’t happen. So is there really any reason not to over simplify? Both parties over simplify and probably wouldn’t actually get very far if they didn’t oversimplify.

    If we do simply side with someone because they make us feel better about their oversimplification, they we are missing something. If anything, I think that Bush doesn’t make us feel good because he does make hard decisions that we many not necessarily make ourselves. I think the Bush is compassionate towards people and therefore some of his views cannot be black and white because being compassionate means you will have to do things that some people will not like or feel good about because it can hurt in the present but will be better over time. I feel that Kerry is purely (maybe that is harsh and oversimple) calculational. That he just sees what will make people happy, what the current trends are and makes decisions based on that while not really looking at the over-all good. He seems very cold to me.

    I agree that Bush is lacking in his defense of some of his policies. I think he would be wise to at least attempt to explain why he has choose certain courses of action. I think he does it well on some policies, but not others. It is a little defeatist to say “you disagree with me so you will always disagree with me so why bother explain?” I tend to agree with many of his policies but would still like to hear more from him.

    On the other hand I feel that I don’t know what to take from Kerry. He record on defense is horrid so him telling me he is going to protect us, I find that a hard statement to swallow. He is concerned with making allies in Europe and that seems to be a very important issue to him. I would love to have friends all over the world, but that is somewhat secondary to our security and making “friends” with those that could actually help us with not just our own security, but the security of countries around the world, namely relationships with Muslim countries. If Muslim countries want to show the world that Islam is not full of suicide-bombing extremists, they are going to have to step up and help, we need to form relationships with them to help rid the world of these terrorists. Trying to pursue relationships with countries like France is somewhat futile in the fight against terror (their own interests are of upmost importance to thim, especially when it comes to Iraq and oil).

    I guess it comes down to this, I shouldn’t accept the oversimplified statements that are made by either candidate, but with what I am given I have to make a decision, I think that Bush’s oversimplified views fall in line with what I believe, in my oversimplified mind. :)

    I just tried to stay awake for the last debate… I finally had to change the channel. There was nothing new, I didn’t learn anything. Policy this, policy that… None of it meant anything. Kerry promised everything, and it all for free, I would love to be part of that. Bush pretty much jsut said stuff that has already been said, but at least I believe him and he has some passion. I just don’t believe a word Kerry says. Bush is real even if I don’t agree with everything he says.

    Funny comment here.

    Call it oversimple, but I think it is funny:
    “Kerry said, “most importantly – and I mean most importantly – of restoring America’s reputation as a country that listens, is sensitive, brings people to our side, is the seeker of peace, not war, and that uses our high moral ground and high-level values to augment us in the war on terror, not to diminish us.”
    Imagine President John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. “Mr. Gorbachev … I challenge you to get to an emotional place where you can imagine a different kind of non-wall reality, that fully respects the ‘wallness’ of your current reality, yet takes us on a spiritual journey in which …”" by Ann Coulter.

    Good post over at with a letter from a soldier in Baghdad. You should check it out here.

    There is an interesting post about American elections and what it will mean in Iraq by an Iraqi over at Messopotamian. It is worth the read. Yes he is just one person and doesn’t necessarily believe the same way as all Iraqis… but he might.

    I keep adding more and more to this post. I just read an email exchange between Medienkritik and George Soros that is really insightful. Here is the link to the exchange.

    I will quote some of it because it is really good stuff I think.
    “You also made no attempt to answer my concerns involving the United Nations. I wrote, “There is nothing the United States could have done to convince nations like France or Russia to take 17 UN resolutions seriously and actually enforce them.”

    Over a twelve-year period, Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate and abide by international law, hoping to eventually have sanctions lifted so he could resume development of weapons of mass destruction. Neither France, Russia nor China, all members of the Security Council with veto power, made any serious attempt to hold Saddam to over a dozen Security Council resolutions. In fact, the opposite is true. In 1998 when Hussein refused to cooperate with UNSCOM inspectors, France, Russia and China refused to back tough measures to get inspections back on track, resulting in the collapse of the UNSCOM inspection regime and the expulsion of UNSCOM inspectors from Iraq. It is also important to remember that all three nations had extensive business dealings with the Hussein government and were owed billions in debt by Iraq. Recently, allegations that Saddam bribed Russian and French officials have also prompted new questions as to those nations’ true motivation for resisting military action to enforce international law in Iraq.

    Mr. Soros, in your book you quote the following passage from a UN commission reporting to Kofi Annan:

    “The Security Council should take into account in all its deliberations that, if it fails to discharge its responsibilities to protect in conscience-shocking situations crying out for action, concerned states may not rule out other means to meet the gravity and urgency of the situation—and that the stature and credibility of the United Nations may suffer thereby.”

    Not only did the United Nations fail on Iraq for twelve years, it also failed on genocide in Rwanda and it failed repeatedly in the Balkans. How can you honestly expect Americans to trust their national security to an organization with a track record of failure in a post 9/11 world? How do you expect the UN to effectively stand up to Iran and North Korea when they weren’t even able to deal with Rwanda or Kosovo? Clearly, “the stature and credibility of the United Nations” has suffered over the past decade.”


    “Mr. Soros, you also add in your reply:

    “I’m all in favor of removing tyrants like Saddam Hussein but the way we went about it has made it more, rather than less difficult, to do it in the future, because we acted unilaterally and arbitrarily.”

    I appreciate the fact that you are in favor of removing tyrants like Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, had we followed your plan to deal with Saddam through the United Nations, his regime of mass murder and torture would likely still exist today. I would contend that it is the fundamentally flawed United Nations system, chronically blocked from taking any real action to enforce vital resolutions, which has made it more, and not less difficult to remove brutal dictators from power. Mr. Soros, on page 118 of your book you state that NATO military action in Kosovo was justified even without a UN resolution, you write:

    “I believe we were justified in intervening in Kosovo without UN authorization, and we would have done better if we had relied on NATO and not the United Nations in Bosnia. But unilateral action that goes against international public opinion cannot be justified, and it can endanger our national security by turning the world against us. That is what the Bush administration has accomplished by its rabid unilateralism.”

    I disagree that the United States should base its national security policy on “international public opinion.” In many parts of the world it was unpopular to stand up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, yet it was the right thing to do. In many parts of the world it was unpopular to oppose Fascism in World War II, yet it was the right thing to do. Bluntly put: The United States should not and cannot change its foreign policy to match the ever changing whims and fancies of international opinion. To ask it to do so would not only be impractical, it would endanger the nation’s security. It was right to act in Kosovo, and it was right to act in Iraq, where, by the way, the humanitarian situation was far worse.

    You label the Bush administration’s actions as “rabid unilateralism” and on page 174 of your book you even call them “rampant unilateralism.” How so? The Bush administration spent months at the United Nations hoping against hope to see real action on Iraq. Nothing the President or anyone else could have done would have convinced nations like France, China and Russia to fully enforce the seventeen Security Council resolutions on the books concerning Iraq. That was the fundamental problem. We all know that the three veto powers opposing the US had big money tied up in Iraq. For them it was more about national interest and less about international justice.

    So did President Bush subsequently engage on an “arbitrary” and “unilateral” campaign? Not at all. How can you call putting together a coalition of dozens of nations “ rabid unilateralism?” Tell the leaders of Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Denmark and the Netherlands that Mr. Bush is rabidly unilateral. Soldiers from all of those nations have fought and died next to American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush was enforcing the UN resolutions that the UN itself could not and would not enforce. How can we see a body that cannot even enforce its own laws as “legitimate” Mr. Soros?

    Bluntly put: The United Nations Security Council and the five veto powers do not have a monopoly on the terms “multilateral” or “legitimate” nor does acting outside the United Nations necessarily make an action “unilateral” or “illegitimate.” That seems to be where we have a fundamental difference of opinion.

    To me, a failure to confront a humanitarian crises or international threat through the United Nations is far more illegitimate than a willingness to take action outside the United Nations to confront that threat. Until we fundamentally reform the United Nations, this will always be an issue and a problem. I appreciate the suggestions you make in your book on UN reforms. The problem is actually getting them implemented. ”

    Interesting stuff, eh?

    [UPDATE: Original post and comments are no longer available. :( sorry!]

    Categories: Politics
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