Thursday, May 12, 2005


Jess and I
Posted by Hello

african flags
Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Hello, hello, I'm at a place called vertigo! Vertigo tour 2005 that is. It was definitely worth the 7 hour drive one way to not just see, but to really experience this show. A U2 show is so much more than just a rock band playing good songs. It really is a moving and inspirational experience. The reason U2 are so good and so widely accepted is because they are about something. They write songs that connect with people on a basic level. They also aim to inspire people to make a difference in the world. They aren't always 100% correct but they are extremely passionate about what they believe in. Bono and others in the group have what I believe is a true faith in God and many of their songs and actions flow from this. Their work in trying to end extreme poverty and hunger in Africa and other third world nations is highly comendable. I left the show last night inspired to want to make a diference in the lives of people who are hurting and need our help. Bono and U2 have been a strong voice for those people and have taken it upon themselves to rally troops to fight these crises.

As for the show itself and the trip, it was nearly perfect. We left early tuesday morning and drove straight to Chicago. Traffic was great until we hit the black hole of hell which is Chicago traffic. We decided to make a stop at Ikea because there isn't one near us and we love it there. It was about 30 miles out of the way but we had plenty of time and didn't think it would be a problem. Or so we thought. It took us over an hour to get back to the arena from Ikea which caused some serious stress on my part. I was worried we wouldn't make it in time to meet the girl we were buying the tickets from. My fears were relieved though when we found out the girl was stuck in traffic as well and it worked out perfectly that we both arrived at the arena at the same time. We paid the girl and then pinched ourselves to make sure we weren't hallucinating. We really were there in Chicago and about to watch the greatest band in the world do their thing. Our seats were not ideal but we could see everything ok. The only negative was that the sound was not so good at our seats but the show itself was spectacular. They did indeed film the live DVD that night so there were lots of extra lighting effects. The thing that i connected with most and enjoyed the most was when Bono talked about the Africa crises like i mentioned before. This show definitely gets a huge 4 thumbs up from me and my wife. We would love to go again and have better seats but I'm not so sure that lightning will strike twice for us. If you have the chance to see this tour definitely take it. Here is a link to some more reviews of the show if you care.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Beautiful Day

I’m a pretty laid back guy but every now and then I’m prone to do something wildly spontaneous. Case in point: this week as I was being lazy and surfing the net I decided to surf on over to ebay just for fun. I started looking up various things which I wouldn’t buy but in doing so I was passing time nicely. Then I came up with a great idea, which doesn’t happen too often, so I thought I outta run with it. Just for kicks I decided to see what tickets to the U2 tour were going for. Now let me quickly give some background here, I would consider myself a pretty big U2 fan, not in a crazy, pathetic way but in a healthy, admiring way. I actually cut my visit home in California short once just so I could fly back and see U2 play. So as you can imagine I was quite disappointed about not being able to get to go to this latest tour. That is of course until I found ebay.

To my utter surprise and delight I was able to find 2 decent tickets to tomorrow nights show in Chicago for cheaper than what the face value of the ticket is. I just bought these tickets last night and tomorrow, bright and early, me and my lovely wife will be driving 8 hours to Chicago to see the greatest band in the world put on the best live show there is. To say we are excited is an understatement. So I will have to give a detailed update of the trip and the show. It is sure to be an adventure and a great memory. It is my wife’s first time seeing them and my second. I think it is almost more fun to get something like this at the last minute that is completely unexpected than to know about it for months. There are two other cool things about all this, first it is going to be Bonos birthday tomorrow which should be fun and second, they are going to b filming the tour dvd that night. All we have to do now is wait a few months and buy the dvd and we can relieve the night over and over. It a little weird actually because this will be the third major concert that I’ve been to where they were filming the dvd. I guess I have a knack for being at the right place at the right time. Well I’m off to get ready for the big event but I will report back soon.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Show and Tell

Well my head is quickly swelling with a copious amount of fresh knowledge. Ok maybe it’s not from new knowledge maybe it’s the resurgence of my allergies since spring has arrived in full force. Either way I can give you an update on my insane reading challenge now. I didn’t think it was all that insane when I came up with it but that seems to be what everyone’s opinion is that I hear from. Be that as it may I will continue on undaunted by the skepticism. As of today which is about 2 weeks since the start of the lunacy I have successfully completed reading 6 books which is right on course. The good news is that for the rest of May I will be quite free to do more reading than deemed safe for such a small brain. We are fortunate enough in the band to enjoy a month off of the road to catch up or catch a glimpse of normal life. So other than a couple weddings at the end of the month I am free to read until I’m sick in the head.

I’ll give a quick run down of the current titles completed and maybe a brief description of them. I don’t want to go into exhaustive detail about each one because you probably really don’t care. I will try to just highlight some key issues in each book unless there is more that I feel the need to share. Hopefully I can be a little more current too in updating this blog so I can just write about 1 book at a time instead of 6 at once.

All right, the first book I read I’ve already blogged about which was The Last Days. The next two books I read were authored by the same writer named Thomas Cahill. They were The Gifts of the Jews and How the Irish Saved Civilization. Cahill is an historian but writes about religious movements. I can’t really tell specifically where he stands on his personal faith but he definitely sheds some interesting new light on the past. The Gifts of the Jews is a book which shows the development of the Jewish peoples as depicted in the Old Testament. This book was great at giving me a better general idea of how things progressed in a chronological way. It also developed the cultural events that were occurring during those times and how that shaped and influenced the way the Jews lived and the decisions they made. Cahill carefully shows how many of the ideas and values that we hold today came directly from the Jews. In the book How the Irish Saved Civilization, Cahill shows how the Irish went from a very warlike and barbaric group of peoples with no faith to a nation revitalized by the gospel and now known as the "isle of saints and scholars". It was the many Irish priests and monks who saved much of the ancient literature that we now have today. They devoted their lives to making hand written copies of thousands of manuscripts so that they could survive. Many barbarian groups were trying to destroy these documents and would have been completely successful had it not been for the Irish. So next time you read Homer or Plato or even your Bible, make sure you think of the Irish.

The next book I read was Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport. This book was given to me by a friend who works for the publisher and the title caught my attention right away. It is written by the president of Fuller Theological Seminary Richard J Mouw. I thought Mouw did a great job of making the controversial subject of Calvinism relatable to the 21st century in a tactful and loving way. It is obvious when reading it that Mouw has come to his beliefs by struggling with them and being open to all the ideas and possibilities. He doesn’t tow the familiar party line in the Calvinist camp. He challenges Calvinists to examine themselves and be sure that at their core they are acting in Christ’s love and grace. I thought he made some great points and I appreciated his insights.

The last book I read was The Ragamuffin Gospel. The book was just good for my soul. Brennan Manning’s aim in this book is to make you understand just how intense and complete is God’s love for us. Brennan is shockingly honest and frank with the reader in exposing how human he is. The point is we are all human and sinners but God is bigger than our sin. He shows how important it is to embrace the unconditional love of God. He also shows that once we embrace this love and accept that we are all fallen people we can view others differently. We can view them the way Christ does and hopefully love them the way he did. We can see that beneath the arrogance and anger of an individual is someone who is hurting and in need of the Saviors love just like us. We really aren’t too different from one another after all. This book is highly recommended if you haven’t fully grasped this concept yet. I know I needed to hear it.

Well that catches you up on my reading journey. If you read this whole post you were on a bit of a journey as well. This reading challenge has been a great experience so far. It seems that the more I read the more my eyes are slowly opened and I start to see the world in a new way. I also realize each day just how much I don’t know. What I do know is that God is sovereign and changing me everyday with his perfect love.