Sunday, September 25, 2011

Christianity in Lyrics.

So I recently came across a small volume of poems/lyrics that have some amazing religious themes. I found these snippets to be either incredibly poignent or incredibly creative in their wordcraft. I'll post where I found all of these if anyone really wants to know, but who wrote them isn't the important thing. The message they carry is what strikes me. I will say that all of these came from the same source, except for the last one which I found somewhere else.

I was always one of the blameless, or at least that's what I believed.
I never thought I could be blinded, until I could no longer see.
But you buried me in the bright light. Yeah you held my eyes to the sun 'till I could see-
that I was worse than I ever feared I could be,
but somehow, I was loved more than I ever dared to believe,
because of you.

And when I lost all hope to look, someone took that heavy book-
from my hands; all its weight they set aside, after they had satisfied its demands.
I felt white and black reverse, and the lifting of a curse from my heart,
Then like one receiving sight, I beheld a brilliant light in the dark.

He laid aside his crown, all our crimes he carried, 
was lifted from the ground, and with our burdens buried.
When shadows all had clung and the light diminished,
he emptied out his lungs, crying "It is finished!"
Listen to me, though I speak of sober things;
Listen through me, though a man of lips unclean.
I speak truly what you only think you've heard;
everything, everything, everything hangs on a word.

We were sons of insurrection, doomed to face the dark alone,
'Till vicarious perfection, dearly won, was made our own.
Unassailable you waited, the great enemy of man,
'till your awful jaws were sated, and we were ransomed from your hand.

A prideful demand,
I dared to question "Why?"
And to this bitter stance,
came the peaceful reply...
"You only know your wants,
I always know your needs.
When a lonely lesson haunts,
find faith to believe.
Child, you are never alone with me."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happiness Machine.

I saw this for the first time in one of my advertising classes last year. I thought it was pretty genius. I wish Coke would do something like this on BYU campus, except no one really drinks caffeine there (myself included...most of the time).

That machine has more magic than Dumbledore. If I ever get rich, I would totally pay someone to run one of those happiness machines in my mansion. If I don't ever get that rich, I wouldn't mind running one of those machines myself for someone else in their mansion. Assuming they pay me handsomely of course. And I get some of that sandwich.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Addendum: It has come to my attention that I stole the idea to post about insects from my friend Eric and his own blog which can be found HERE. I chose to update everyone with this information because it's the right thing to do, and NOT because I lost a bet. Nope. No way. Definitely not a lost bet.

So fair warning: if you don't like spiders, you pry shouldn't watch this video. I first saw this while watching tv with two of my really good friends. We're all in our twenties and don't normally scare that easy. This video made ALL THREE of us jump, and one of us even screamed a little. Let me know if you didn't flinch while watching this and you win a prize.

I also like the little girl camera operator trying to give her Dad advice. Maybe next time he'll listen. Or get a bigger bowl to trap what might just be the king of all spiders. Like I'm pretty sure thats the spider that Hagrid released into the forest outside of Hogwarts. And now its loose in that dudes house.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Think about the love inside the strength of heart,
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark,
Think about the chance I never had to say,
Thank you for giving up your life that day.
("Believe" by Yellowcard)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How I Know.

NOTE / WARNING: This is NOT a typical post for me. It isn't funny. It mostly rambles about how I came to know certain things that mean the most to me. I thought about not posting it once I got done writing it, but since only 4 people will ever read my blog I figured it was ok. Just skip it if you don't like churchy stuff.

So it's now after 5:00am and I'm still wide awake. I've pretty much thrown in the towel on getting any sleep tonight and thats fine. My brain won't be quiet and I'm pretty sure my heart and my stomach have combined into one 'super organ' that doesn't really do either job correctly. Like I can feel my heart beating in my stomach and I feel hungry in my chest. Maybe I'll get that checked sometime.

But instead of lying in bed and not sleeping some more, I thought I would do something productive. I got onto and combed through every talk that was given in General Conference during my mission (2004-2006) that had the word "testimony" in it. It was a lot to look through, but I've been meaning to do this for a couple years now to try and find something important to me. Every General Conference has several amazing talks that stand out and inspire me, but I can only think of 3 specific talks that have struck me to my absolute core. The first was on my mission while I was still in the Dominican MTC. It was given by Elder Holland and directed only to missionaries. I don't remember word for word what he said, but what hit me so hard was when he talked about testimonies. He said that we needed to know the church was true like a literal fire was burning in our soul. And if we didn't have that, we should get on our knees and pray until we did. That night I waited for my companions to doze off, kneeled down on my bed, and begged my Heavenly Father for that kind of testimony. Rarely in my life have my wants and needs become so uniquely focused as they were during that prayer. I've never doubted that God answers prayers, and I think I was expecting my answer to this one to be like a brilliant flash of light. What came was a simple comfort that I was doing just fine, and that my testimony was strong enough to do the work I had been called to do. No big flash of light and no angelic visitations. Feeling that calm was the answer I was meant to receive, but I don't think it made me stop expecting a dramatic ensign-worthy moment of enlightenment. I spent the next year of my mission half-waiting for that big moment, until I heard the next talk that changed my life.

This is the talk that I had been looking for on tonight. It was given in April of 2005 by Boyd K. Packer and can be found by clicking HERE. This talk helped me learn more about the strength of my own testimony than anything else I had ever read. Everyone talks about how certain Apostles seem like they are talking straight to them personally...well this one was mine. Here are the portions specifically that still stick with me, 6 years later, as I lay in bed unable to sleep:
When I first read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, I read the promise that if I “would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if [the things I had read were] true; and if [I would] ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he [would] manifest the truth of it unto [me], by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moro. 10:4). I tried to follow those instructions, as I understood them.

If I expected a glorious manifestation to come at once as an overpowering experience, it did not happen. Nevertheless, it felt good, and I began to believe.
If I had expected in my little-boy innocence some special spiritual experience, it had not happened. Over the years as I listened to sermons and lessons and read in the Book of Mormon, I began to understand.

My experience has been that a testimony does not burst upon us suddenly. Rather it grows, as Alma said, from a seed of faith. “It will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow” (Alma 32:30). If you nourish it, it will grow; and if you do not nourish it, it will wither (see Alma 32:37–41).
Do not be disappointed if you have read and reread and yet have not received a powerful witness. You may be somewhat like the disciples spoken of in the Book of Mormon who were filled with the power of God in great glory “and they knew it not” (3 Ne. 9:20).

I knew that this talk was given for me. I had spent so much time waiting for a grand vision to prove to myself that I knew this church was true. The reality was that I knew all along. I've known since I was a child. I didn't need to see an angel to know, like a literal fire in my soul, that everything I had learned my whole life was real. Boyd K. Packer, an APOSTLE OF GOD, got his testimony the very same way I did. Nothing wrong with that. Since that day I have stopped waiting for an epic experience to "kick start" my testimony. I've tried instead to build it piece by piece, just doing a little bit every single day. I can say without hesitation now that I know that Jesus is my Savior. I know that Joseph Smith was his prophet. I know that the Book of Mormon is real. It doesn't matter how many internships I don't get, or how many social situations I mess up, or how many nights I lay awake just being mad at myself. God has a plan for me. He loves me despite the fact that I am flawed and He will never lose hope. These last few days have taught me that it doesn't matter what I don't know (which is a LOT). What matters is what I do. It's the things I know that I won't ever be able to ignore. It's the things I know that make me happy. And thanks to talks like these, I know those things like a fire in my soul. And not just a normal fire either. That special magical fire from Harry Potter that keeps growing forever and looks like a dragon. THAT kind of fire.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Totally stole this from my friend Ashley's blog, but it made me laugh. Here is a completely accurate retelling of the entire Twilight saga in just 4 seconds...

And in this version of the story we don't have to sit through any of Bella being the dumbest girl on the planet! Everybody wins!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Poll Results.

So my first ever "Waste Time Here" side-bar poll has now ended, and it's official: watching a WNBA basketball game is worse than cutting off your own arm. The actual results of the poll can be clearly seen off to the right of the main page. So cowboy up Aron Ralston, there are worse things in life than self amputation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Poetry In Lyrics.

I love music. I spend way too much money on it. When I get a new cd, I enjoy reading the lyrics from the booklet as I listen to the songs (which is why I still insist on buying a hard copy cd of all my music). I strongly believe that music (and the lyrics contained within the song) can be viewed as a high form of poetry. If I decide that I really like a song, its usually because there is a verse or some lines of poetry in there that strike a chord with me. Sometimes listening to an old song and remembering lyrics once forgotten feels like seeing an old friend that I haven't seen for a while. So I decided to make a quick list of lines/phrases/verses of poetry found in my music library that for one reason or another stood out to me. That "quick list" soon grew to contain almost 40 entries after just one scan of my library. So here is an abbreviated version of that list that I narrowed down to 10.

All because of you,
I believe in angels,
Not the kind with wings, no not the kind with halos,
The kind that bring you home,
When home becomes a strange place,
I'll follow your voice,
All you have to do is shout it out.

If I was a simple man, would we still walk hand in hand?
If I suddenly went blind, would you still look in my eyes?
And what happens when I grow old?
And all my stories have been told?
Will your heart still race for me?
Or will it march to a new beat?

Who do you want to forget?
Who forgot you long ago?
...You make breaking hearts look so easy,
seems like you've done this before.

 If you're an ocean then,
I want to jump right in,
If you're a hand grenade then,
I'll pull the pin.

It kills me not to know this but I've all but just forgotten,
What the color of her eyes were,
Or her scars and how she got them,
As the telling signs of age rain down a single tear is dropping,
Thru the valleys of an aging face that this world has forgotten.

The wind died, The whole world ceased to move,
Now so quiet, Her beating heart became a boom,
We locked eyes,
For just a moment or two,
She asked why,
I said I don't know why, I just know.

Wake up, everyone,
It's not too late,
To save the remnants of,
our hearts, so stop giving up,
our last shot at love,
our only chance to find the meaning of,
the beat beneath the blood.

Come what may,
I won't abandon you or leave you behind,
Because love,
 Is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment,
Come what may,
I will be standing right here by your side,
I won't run away, 
Though the storms getting worse,
and there's no end in sight.

Let me light up the sky,
Light it up for you,
Let me tell you why,
I would die for you,
Let me light up the sky,
Light it up for you,
Let me make this mine,
I'll ignite for you.

All you big shots that swagger and stride with conceit,
Did you devise how your frame would be formed?
If you'd be raised in a palace, or live out in the streets,
Did you choose the place or the hour you'd be born?
Tell me what can you claim?
Not a thing, not your name!
Tell me if you can recall just one thing,
That's not a gift in this life?
If there's one thing I know in this life:
We are beggars all.

I know that there's a difference between sleight of hand,
And giving everything you have,
There's a line drawn in the sand,
I'm working up the will to cross it and,
I hope that I will never let you down.

I speak in many tongues with many men,
Argue with angels and I always win,
But I don't know the first thing about love.

Ok so maybe 12 entries. I really wish I had the talent to make poetry like this, much less any music to accompany it.  For now though I guess listening to my favorite songs on repeat will have to do. And maybe thats why I like finding new music so much. I never know when I'll find another song that 'clicks' and I can add it to my list.