Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Storm - Wendell Berry (love this poem!)

"We lay in our bed as in a tomb
awakened by thunder to the dark
in which our house was one with night,
and then light came as if the black
roof of the world had cracked open,
as if the night of all time had broken,
and out our window we glimpsed the world
birthwet and shining, as even
the sun at noon had never made it shine."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

UM Chamber Singers

I am so happy to finally have a recording of a choir I am in on youtube!... even if it is just a sound clip with a cheesy slideshow it is ACTUALLY US SINGING!! Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Art and Music

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk/writer has some of the best insight I have ever received from any author... or at least the most since CS Lewis. I do not always agree with his opinions, but his words always provide some good healthy food for thought. I read this today and thought it was very interesting. It comes from his book "No Man is an Island."

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. The mind that responds to the intellectual and spiritual values that lie hidden in a poem, a painting, or a piece if music, discovers a spiritual vitality that lifts it above itself, takes it out of itself, and makes it present to itself on a level of being that it did not know it could ever achieve."

As a musician, this thought really helped me to understand what it is that attracts people to high forms of music. Music gets you outside of yourself. In a sense music puts you into a selfless state or maybe makes you less aware of your own consciousness and more aware of another's consciousness. To a being that is mostly selfish, selflessness is a refreshing phenomenon... The beauty of being taken outside of yourself, if even just for a moment creates feelings of the sublime. I haven't had time to really organize my thoughts on this subject but think its us worthy of discussing. Tell me what you think!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A meditation

When I was a child I would pray for the trees, the pond with the fish, the sky, my dad and my mom. I didn’t pray anything specific but I just wanted to talk to God. I wanted God to be good to me and to never let anything bad happen. As I got older I started to realize that God didn’t hold up his side of the bargain. At least this is what I thought. God let bad things happen to me. God actually let bad things happen to everyone that I knew. Time and a larger vocabulary helped me to realize that this bad stuff was a result of sin. The Adam and Eve that I heard about at vacation bible school brought this curse when they ate of the forbidden fruit.

My parents told me as I grew up that I should always treasure my youth because it would be the best time I would ever have in life. I have heard other people say similar things… I never understood why. Why should youth be so great and adulthood be so bad? I think it has to do with the fallen state of mankind. When we are children we don’t understand much at all and can live a life of faith. Faith is what we were meant for. Humans all have faith in something. When we are children we have faith in out parents, our teachers, Santa Clause ect. Children pray for trees and clouds and dolphins. In a child’s mind, God is good and he will let nothing bad happen to us. As the old saying goes, ignorance is bliss. Adults have a lack of joy because they have had time to realize that God didn’t keep his side of the bargain. At least that’s what they think. What they don’t realize is that it was not God but us who didn’t keep the bargain because we ate the fruit.

The simple faith of a heathen child (myself) was enough to let me live in ignorant bliss. False happiness. I was mad when my false happiness was cruelly striped from my heart as I witnessed the sin in the world. I was mad until I realized that it was my own fault. I am a human. Humans ate the forbidden fruit. Every bad thing that I experienced was a result /foreshadowing of the death that the curse would bring. The wages of sin is death after all.

I see hurting people on a daily basis… People who are depressed or worried or overwhelmed…. People who have everything and yet have nothing. Humans all over this globe experience real pain, emotionally and physically. This pain is enough to make me weep as I fall asleep at night.

Friends, God is not evil. God is not out to cause you pain. Know that just because God has allowed bad things to happen to you he has not forsaken you. God is faithful, just and loving beyond what we realize. Don’t be angry when the false joy of your youth has been striped away. Instead seek true joy in Christ! Though we ate of the fruit, God has grace on us through the blood of Christ Jesus. The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peace like a River

There is since in which your final year of college is anything but peaceful. For the most part it is just plain worrisome. I never go through a day without anxiously thinking about what I will do after college. Social stigma accompany's the statement "I don't know what I will do when I graduate." For some reason the college student is expected to have a well thought out, detailed plan... and he must express this plan with un-waivering confidence. This is a feat that I don't believe I will ever accomplish. I truly don't know what I will do after graduation. I will receive a diploma and life will go on. I find comfort in the words of this choral arrangement of "Peace like a River." I had the opportunity to perform it last semester in the University's Chamber Choir and it's message sticks with me like few other songs. Through faith in Christ I have great joy... this joy is constant. Joy in Christ must not be confused with happiness which is a temporal. Such joy in Jesus exists even in times of worry, suffering, and pain. So... What will I do after college? I will continue in the peace and joy of my Lord and will, in faith, do what ever he asks of me.

Romans 5:1
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

This really is one of my favorite songs. Its beautiful on so many levels. I think half of our choir was in tears last year during the performance. Turn it up medium to loud for the full effect.

Monday, August 2, 2010


My friend Clark and I went downtown last week just to have a reason to play with our cameras. Birmingham really is beautiful! I wish I could get blogger to make the pics bigger, but I am technologically challenged. I'm going to DC at the end of the week so more pics to come soon!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A poem

I wrote this poem a few months ago and found it when I cleaned my room tonight...

Endowed with holy favor
with insufficient essence
driving weary eyes
hoping for equity

A potent grief causing tears
understanding, yet not.
All the while reassurance
prospects of boundless tranquility...

Hushed, Sweetly-tempered,
the heir of this carefully crafted dirt.
The malnourished soul
craves quenching
Instituting lasting fulfillment

Stirring pity,
the fountainhead of grace
flows out
moving away
only to return one day to its source.

Refined sterling blood
facilitating magnificent vistas of Yahweh

Fashioning a calm, still heart
He proclaims an immortal adoption

Jealousy and misunderstanding for this new inheritance
brings passing condemnation
leading to absolute

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ich liebe, aber hasse den Morgen.

I often think that the early morning is the most holy time of the day. As the light of the sun is bursting forth over the horizon, God's glory is revealed. The birds sing a song of praise because the darkness is lifting and the night is finally over. While the birds enjoy every single morning as if it were thier first and last, most people tend to hate mornings. They grumble. "another day at work or school!" People (including myself) wish they could sleep through the morning and wake up for lunch rather than breakfast. But there are those few morning people on our planet. While I think they are a rare breed they do exist. They are the ones who wake up with joy to see the sun rise. It is as if they are the only people whom God as chosen to enjoy the blessing of the early hours before most of the world has woken from its slumber. God has hardened the hearts of the rest of us to want to sleep away the morning hours. We would rather hide under our sheets from these holy hours. Even when we are forced to wake up to see the dawn our hardened hearts complain and dream of the prospect of afternoon naps. It is a vicious cycle. I truly want to be a morning person... but my heart though a little softer, remains hard to the morning air.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Into the Woods

As most of you already know I was recently cast as Jack in the musical "Into the Woods" by Steven Sondheim. The all too well known Jack in the beanstalk is proving to be more difficult than I had anticipated. I can sing the music (which music is usually my problem in these type things) but this time its the character that I am having trouble getting into. Jack is a socially awkward teenage peasant who's best friend is the cow "milky white". I see him as having subtle quirks and a very readable face, yet a big very immature personality. This personality is supposed to develop and mature during the duration of the show. Hmmn... I think I had better learn my lines!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Pride and Joy

The following pictures are from my garden. Seeing as this is my first summer in Alabama in six years, I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to have this garden. I took these pictures while it was raining today after work.
summer squash.

Sunflower (its about 6ft tall)
asparagus beans growing up sunflowers
asparagus beans
the smallest sunflower EVER (the package said they would grow to 17ft tall! More like 3ft!)

More to come!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Sometimes I wonder how some people can be so outgoing. As an introvert I love to spend time without people, reading, thinking and listening to music. To have the constant company of others does not appeal to me as it does most of my friends. This is not to say that I don't enjoy the company of my friends but rather that it simply wears me out. I am exhausted after a weekend of hanging out and subsequently need some time alone in order to get through the next week. I was thinking of this in light of a question I was asked by a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. He inquired my reason for reading only nonfiction/ mostly theological books. I didn't have a good answer other than the fact that I really enjoy information... this would be why the only channels I ever watch are the discovery, history or national geographic channels. I am a sucker for random tid-bits information. Because of this I am often called an old man by fraternity brothers and even once by a middle aged woman. I am not ashamed in any way shape or form of being like an old man. I would tend to take such a remark as a complement. Anyway, I digress. The point I am trying to make is that I think I have found the reason for my introverted nature. Due to the amount of information that I pump into my mind I must have time to meditate on it or else the information will not be retained. This is why my journal is full of random thoughts, because if I don't sit down and think about my day and the things I heard or read it will all be gone by the next day.This must be why I am so bad at remembering peoples names. I meet someone and I store their name in a temporary file in my mind. If I don't reopen the file at some point that day my mind automatically deletes it rendering my initial introduction to this person useless. I hope this makes sense when you read it. So, my theory is that extroverted people retain information in a completely different fashion than introverted people which is why there is a such a difference in the way they spend their time. I have tried to live the life of an extrovert and think I was semi-successful... but couldn't get out of bed in the morning because of being overwhelmed still by the previous day. This whole cycle is humorous and slightly frustrating. Mad props to all the introverts out there who are in a social fraternity and still trying to maintain your grades... I understand, and I salute you!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Sudden Return

Well, It had been just a few months short of a year since I have updated this blog... I know that's sad... but today marks the day of the rebirth of my blogging. Summer usually does that to me for some reason.

I am currently taking summer classes (so that I might graduate one of these days) and I am rehearsing for a musical called “Into the Woods.” Other than that, gardening and work take up all my time. Okay now that you are sufficiently caught up on the life of Richie, on to more fun and interesting things. 

In the past year I have become obsessed with virgin coconut oil. You might say that its an unhealthy obsession except for the fact that coconut oil is one of the most healthy food items EVER. You can cook foods in it, use it in place of butter on bread or popcorn, eat it straight up, put it on you skin like a lotion, or your hair like a conditioner... I use it for everything. The oil is cholesterol free and high in medium chain fats that are really good for you. Coconut oil also contains very high counts of lauric acid which help support metabolism. On top of all this (we will see in time if its true) people say that the oil will actually keep men from going bald and even grow hair back in bald men! I don't know about you guys, but I am prone to go bald and really don't want to... its worth a shot and its good for your body unlike most hair growth products. A friend of mine recently said that what the bible doesn't tell you is that when Jesus healed the blind man with his spit, it was actually not spit but extra virgin coconut oil and the disciples just weren't paying attention when he pulled out the jar. Its pretty much miracle oil. Anyway you should look into it! Peace Out Yo!