sigur ros seeps then

sigur ros seeps then
surges like the molten light
pouring though grey clouds

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Oh, I’d Like to Be Here



Nathia Gali – Good Morning Daisies

Originally uploaded by Perfect Stranger®.

This type of scenery was not uncommon during the monsoons in Murree where my brothers and I went to school. It is hard to describe how much longing this picture creates. It is one of the explanations of why I like grey days so much.

It’s Time For a Little Hoosiers

If you have never watched Hoosiers and never really got this, and understood why it is my favorite poem of mine, well, perhaps this will help, though I really feel compelled to add a “buyer beware” when sending people to Youtube anymore, as the content of some of their videos seem to be getting worse and worse, and increasingly unhelpful in the hard enough battle for purity.

George MacDonald’s Scotland

I was looking up a bit of information on George MacDonald today. He is the author/theologian who C.S. Lewis called his spritual master. I have to tell you, though, he does have some strange, and I believe ultimately unorthodox and aberrant theological ideas. In brief, he is more or less a universalist, believing that ultimately everyone will submit to the stern mercy of God. Paradoxically, or perhaps not so paradoxically, the good characters in his books are stringently holy in a seemingly inachievable, though I must say in a very winsome, way.
I want to look into him more, not because I believe universalism is true (though I sure would like it to be), but because I am genuinely interested in what manner of holiness we as Christians are intended to attempt and manifest in our lives. Sometimes I feel that even asking that question in a Reformed, grace-not-works contexts is a non-starter, that peoples’ heresy-o-meters are immediately raised, but still I think it an entirely biblical question, one that I have paid entirely too little attention to in recent years.
At any rate, all of this is not the purpose of this post. That was to share with you this vision of George MacDonald’s Scotland, provided on the website of Michael Phillips, MacDonald’s main champion, editor, and popularizer of our times. Aside from the children’s books (The Princess and the Goblin, etc.), it is actually only a few of his versions of MacDonald that I have read, which are more or less like moral romances set in Scotland, and published by Bethany House (which, not coincidently is a publishing house, I believe, associated with the holiness wing of Protestantism). I even have as yet to read Phantastes, the fantasy book that deepy impacted C. S. Lewis. At the current momemt, though, it is these pictures which are deeply impacting me. Oh my, I want to go.

George MacDonald’s Scotland

I was looking up a bit of information on George MacDonald today. He is the author/theologian who C.S. Lewis called his spritual master. I have to tell you, though, he does have some strange, and I believe ultimately unorthodox and aberrant theological ideas. In brief, he is more or less a universalist, believing that ultimately everyone will submit to the stern mercy of God. Paradoxically, or perhaps not so paradoxically, the good characters in his books are stringently holy in a seemingly inachievable, though I must say in a very winsome, way.
I want to look into him more, not because I believe universalism is true (though I sure would like it to be), but because I am genuinely interested in what manner of holiness we as Christians are intended to attempt and manifest in our lives. Sometimes I feel that even asking that question in a Reformed, grace-not-works contexts is a non-starter, that peoples’ heresy-o-meters are immediately raised, but still I think it an entirely biblical question, one that I have paid entirely too little attention to in recent years.
At any rate, all of this is not the purpose of this post. That was to share with you this vision of George MacDonald’s Scotland, provided on the website of Michael Phillips, MacDonald’s main champion, editor, and popularizer of our times. Aside from the children’s books (The Princess and the Goblin, etc.), it is actually only a few of his versions of MacDonald that I have read, which are more or less like moral romances set in Scotland, and published by Bethany House (which, not coincidently is a publishing house, I believe, associated with the holiness wing of Protestantism). I even have as yet to read Phantastes, the fantasy book that deepy impacted C. S. Lewis. At the current momemt, though, it is these pictures which are deeply impacting me. Oh my, I want to go.

Bolstered Up From Evil

hans_brinker.jpg
Speaking of a burglar he has just apprehended while he was trying to steal money from him and his friends, Peter Von Holp declares:
“So he is my brother, and yours, too, Carl Schummel, for that matter,” answered Peter, looking into Carl’s eye. “We cannot say what we might have become under other circumstances. We have been bolstered up from evil since the hour we were born. A happy home and good parents might have made that man a fine fellow instead of what he is. God grant that the law may cure and not crush him.”
This is taken from the children’s novel Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates (Click here for full text of the novel) by Mary Mapes Dodge, which is evidently entirely spun from research and conversations with an old Dutch couple, as the author never visited Holland. Even if it is rather idealistic and perhaps unrealistic, the novel is sweet and good. Rereading it has made me realize that this book may be responsible a fair bit for my love of winter and ice skating, as there is a great deal of the latter in it, including day long ice skating journeys on the canals.
This novel also created the legend of the boy sticking his finger in the small hole in the dyke until help came to keep the dyke from giving way and flooding the countryside. It really wasn’t even a true Dutch legend before then evidently.
At any rate, I loved the quote and thought I would share.

A Very Sufjan Christmas

Well, over the past several years I have been gifting friends with Christmas music that Sufjan Stevens produced for his family and friends and which found its way onto the web. As it looked like it was being made available on web sites with no objection from Sufjan, I felt free to copy it and distribute it. It was a magical and a joy to share.
I expected and hoped that he would package it and make it an honest to goodness Christmas album, and now he has, a 5 CD set no less. And what packaging, with a song book, stickers, and family portrait. And the best is that you can stream and preview each of the albums for free online. Go to the Asthmatic Kitty site and click on the album you want to hear at the bottom. The older ones are brilliant, including some new takes on old favorites (including some songs that we don’t hear as often on this side of the Atlantic) and some original Christmas songs ala Sufjan, folksy and quirky, some depressive yet hope-filled, some simply joy-filled. I am still listening to the new stuff. The album can be puchased from Sufjan’s label or Amazon and is out on the 21st.
My favorites thus far? “Once in Royal David’s City” on Hark!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. II
xmas_box_2.jpg
Here is the Amazon blurb:

In December 2001, Sufjan set out to create a Christmas gift for his friends and family. The result was a seven-song recording that he called “Noel Vol. 1”. Over the next several years, he created new EPs to add to the collection. This 5-CD box set includes all five volumes, plus a 42-page booklet with an original Christmas essay by acclaimed American novelist Ricky Moody, two essays, a short story by Stevens, a holiday sticker, chord charts, lyrics, comic strip, family portrait poster, photos, and an animated video.