>passion unpacking part two of some

>track 5 on A Collision (3 + 4 = 7) from David Crowder*Band is entitled “Foreverandever Etc…” it incorporates whistling and a keytar and is a truly childish song. I’ve always skipped over this song on the cd because it really never fancied me much. Crowder’s lyrics are typically so spiritual and genius, and, to be honest, this song didn’t match up.

so i’m outside with 24,999 other college students from every state in the US, freezing my butt cheeks off on the 3rd of January, wishing i was back in the hotel room so i could watch LSU kick the crap out of Notre Dame, and Crowder pulls out the keytar. and i’m totally not excited about it. don’t get me wrong, the keytar is tight, but i have the cd and i know how childish the ensuing song is going to be.

there is one point in the song (where the song gets its name i assume) when the lyrics break down into a not-too-difficult-to-follow sequence that goes something like “i am Yours forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and yadda yadda yadda yadda you get it.” the quintessential moment of childish worship music banter erupted amongst the mass of 20-somethings, and i felt dumb.

yet on Wednesday night at about 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time in Atlanta, Georgia, Crowder pulled out his keytar and played this song outdoors between the Georgie Dome and the Phillips Arena and a wave of understanding flowed over me. the song appears childish because that is exactly how it is supposed to appear. i think a lot of people, myself included, can get wrapped up in the theology and the politics and the issues of Christianity and we can sometimes miss the unbelievable relationship we have with our Father. our Father. we are little sons and daughters of God and i think sometimes we try and make ourselves bigger and better and miss what an incredible reality this is.

we have a loving Father in Heaven who cares about our every move. He loves us dearly and i know i forget that.

track five may be fruity, but Crowder wanted it that way. because that is what joy in our Heavenly Father truly looks like. we are children of God who jump and scream and dance in his presence. we giggle and squirm and laugh with Him.

here are the lyrics:

Love so incredible to know
It's never gonna go
Never gonna go

Love too impossible and true
For anyone but You
For anyone but You

I think I'm on the brink of something large
Maybe like the breaking of a dawn
Or maybe like a match being lit
Or the sinking of a ship
Letting go gives a better grip

I'm finding everything I'll ever need
By giving up gaining everything
Falling for You for eternity
Right here at Your feet
Where I wanna be
I am Yours

Love so indelible to know
You're never gonna go
You're never gonna go

Love too unthinkable and true
For anyone but You
For anyone but You

Maybe like a match being lit
Or the sinking of a ship
Letting go gives a better grip

I'm finding everything I'll ever need
By giving up gaining everything
Falling for You for eternity
Right here at Your feet
Where I wanna be
I am Yours

Forever and ever and ever and ever
And ever and ever and ever and ever... (repeat)

falling for you for eternity. right here at your feet. where i want to be. i am Yours forever and ever and ever…….

how cool is that? childish? maybe, but a legitimate thrill in our Father? definitely. so beautiful.

and suddenly i went from being my pessimistic critical self to the 25,000th dancer in the crowd. i realized the truth of it and how wonderful and joyous this song is. we are children of God lets act like it. lets go outside and jump in a pile of leaves with Him, or lets all go sledding with Him, or lets all go swimming with Him.

he is our Dad and our Papa.

how incredible to know. how impossible and true.
i am Yours.

-ap.

>john mayer and spring 2007

>i must admit, i initially refused to like john mayer, and as his stock rose in popularity i became stubborn and refused to give in. and here i am three or four years later loving his stuff. i bought “heavier things” a couple weeks ago and i’m slowly working my way into it track by track. so far i’m a big fan, much bigger than i expected to be. i used to not like him cause i thought he breathed instead of sang, but the more i listen the more i love it. i’m looking forward to picking up some of his other stuff and seeing if i’m equally as pleased.

i’d also like to take time in this post to apologize to anyone i childishly dissed on for liking john mayer. he’s quality and i am sorry.

the only thing i dont like about him now is the billboard of him in atlanta. he very much resembled Edward Scissorhands which very much creeped me out as a child. i saw it on TBS one night at a sleepover and i had nightmares for a month. bad news for sure. not that appearance really means anything to me..i’m a david crowder fan too.

in other news, classes start again on thursday. isn’t that a treat? here’s what i think i’m taking:

Philosophy 301: History of Modern Philosophy
Anthropology 220: Linguistic Anthropology
History 522: Religion in American History
Philosophy 340: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
English 680: Topics in Dr. Suess

we’ll see how that goes. who knows.

-ap.

>kc chiefs at indy colts

>so the chiefs play today, which is shocking really. four teams had a chance to make the playoffs last week with a win at home: bengals, broncos, titans, chiefs. and if any of the other three teams on the list won then they took the chiefs’ spot in the playoffs. but kansas city’s luck changed that day and we’re in and they’re out. haha. the broncos didn’t make it.

but, as is becoming the norm in the playoffs, the chiefs meet the colts first. the chiefs have played no other team in the post season since 1996, and we haven’t beat the colts in the playoffs yet. there was the Lin Elliot game and the-game-with-no-punting. stupid stupid stupid.

but this year is different, or so i like to think, because for the first time it is the Colts who have the better record and are playing at home. we’re the underdogs and can’t “blow it” this year. they’re expected to lose, so they have something to prove.

and this year is also different because the chiefs don’t have a complete liability. in 1996 we had the best defense in the NFL and in 2003 we had the best offense in the NFL. this year KC has the number 16 offense and the number 16 defense. we probably don’t deserve to even be in the playoffs because we are an all around average team, but at least we are an all around team. no serious flaws and no serious screw ups/Lin Elliots.

and this year we have some guy named Larry Johnson who ran for 1789 yards this season. half man, half beast, or “The Centaur” as Mitch Holtus (voice of the Chiefs, 101.1 KCFX) calls him. Indianapolis boasts the worst rushing defense in the NFL giving up 173 yards per game, and Larry Johnson ought to have a field day. i’m predicting 197 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Centaur.

however, Indianapolis has arguably the best quarterback to ever play the game. Peyton Manning is a freak, so that is obviously an issue. if the Chiefs can keep him off the field and if LJ runs the ball like he should then the Chiefs should make a game out of this one. so that having been said…the edge goes to…

when the Colts pass: Colts.
when the Chiefs pass: Colts.
when the Colts run: Chiefs.
when the Chiefs run: Chiefs.
special teams: Chiefs.
coaching: Colts.

overall? who knows. but i think the Chiefs have something to prove here.
so since i’m on meds and thinking optimistically…

Chiefs 31-24.

-ap.

ps: i think tony dungy and herm edwards could be cousins/brothers/related somehow. they look so much alike. yikes.

EDIT: the chiefs offense is apparently worthless. my love is dwindling.

>passion unpacking part one of some

>this will more than likely be the first of a handful of passion-unpacking-posts. i got back last night around 10:30 from the Passion Conference in Atlanta. i went last year and it was enormously life-altering. this year it was a little different. not better or worse, still awesome and life-altering, but different still.

last year i went to Passion needing an eye opening experience. a swift Jesus-kick to the face if you will. not that i have it all together this year, because i most assuredly do not, but i have matured significantly in the past year and the “boom” from last year seemed slightly lacking this time. however, it made up for it in other areas.

last year i went for the music. i wanted to hear Crowder basically, but this year i went searching for a couple nuggets of knowledge to come away with. since this is passion though these nuggets manifested themselves in the form of boulders instead. i was hit with two major topics on this trip, discovering humility and reaching the unreached people groups of the world.

humility is something i’ve been fervently trying to master for years now. Beth Moore spoke on humility this year and had, as expected, some pretty dece thoughts. the one i latched on to most was the fact that if we lead humble lives we do so unnaturally, or the idea that we are naturally prideful as human beings. a stunning reality for me, and one that gave me a great deal of comfort. i’m not a very humble person, but my humility abounds in comparison to the self-centered life i’ve led in the past. i’m getting better, but just as we will never reach the apex of knowledge in life we will also never reach the apex of humility. we are unnaturally humble. we can strive for it all we like, but we will never achieve it to perfection. but that is good news because while one could see the glass half empty and say, “well, why try then?” another might see it more positively and realize that this is an amazing opportunity. while we will always be somewhat prideful, we can always arrive at a greater level of humility in our lives. that is good news.

the speakers, Louie Giglio, in particular, also drove home the importance of overseas missions, primarily to the unreached people of the world. a lot of the emphasis in the talks was that we should not become complacent in our Johnson County Lifestyle (my words, not theirs), but that instead we have a calling to preach. we have a duty to tell the world about Jesus Christ, and i thought both Louie and John Piper landed that point well. however, i was a little frustrated at the same time, i felt like they emphasized overseas missions nearly too much and failed to include the fact that everyone has their own mission field in their own town. i had a lengthy conversation with one of my best friends, Dan, about this. Both of us believe that everyone has their own mission field everywhere they go, and that the engineers, accountants, construction workers, teachers, and the whatevers all have their own area of influence as well. i felt like that point was missed along the way. i’m going into youth ministry soon, and even i felt a little guilt for not reaching out to the Della people of northern Iraq or the Muslims in Indonesia or whoever else hasn’t heard the gospel. it was a message that needed to be presented and a message that needed to be heard, but i think a side note touching on the fact that not all of us are called to be long term missionaries would have been nice.

anyway. it was a really awesome trip and i still haven’t come close to unpacking everything though (especially Piper’s talk and Francis Chan’s). i’m now reading Crowder’s first book Praise Habit too. so look forward to a review of that dandy. lovin it so far.

but i now must go and attempt to eat dinner out at the Q without wisdom teeth. yesss.

-ap.

>saddam

>i’m finding this whole Saddam Hussein hanging rather strange, and as is the case in most situations, i’m not exactly sure where i stand. on one hand i want to say, “yes. kill the man. he was a murderer in the 80’s and deserves to be punished.” but at the same time i sit and think, “since when was killing someone ever kosher?”

two wrongs don’t make a right. thats what i was always taught, and as difficult as it is to apply such a childish lesson to such a not-so-childish event…why shouldn’t it hold true? if the man deserves to be punished then he needs to be punished, but who besides God has the authority to say who deserves to die? how can someone justly kill another life. justice? sure. does he deserve it? i just don’t know. i simply can’t come to terms with the fact that a man was justly hanged. i dunno. maybe i’m just a pansy, but i’m not a fan of killing.

even if the man is responsible for x number of deaths – i’m not sure it is necessary.

i’m probably just naive.

-ap.

>mary, did you know?

>I’ll be honest, Christmas comes and Christmas goes and rarely do i sit back and consider Jesus’ birth and its importance in my life. i guess it all seems a bit redundant for me. not that redundancy is a bad thing, but when it is your 20th Christmas as a Christian, the whole message of Jesus’ birth becomes a little desensitized. wise men, shepherds, Virgin birth, frankincense, manger, no room in the inn…I’ve heard it.

but i realized something this evening at the Christmas Eve service at Hillcrest. the thought of Jesus’ importance in my life? how selfish and egotistical of me. every year i seem to shrug my shoulders and nod my head during the Christmas season; i listen to the same story and then move on. but i realized for the first time tonight the implications Christ’s birth had for the world.

there is no man who has ever shaken the world like Jesus did. in the course of 2000 years, more books have been written about Jesus than any other subject in history. this dude comes into the world and is such a big deal that they change time to be based around him. what would this earth look like without Jesus? drastically different that’s for sure. Christ comes into the world and suddenly everything changes.

think about September 11. think about where you were and what you were doing. did you see the second plane fly in like i did? the greatest country on earth got sucker punched and we all felt its repercussions. just think about how that shattered our world and how it has changed each of our lives since. i watched “Sleepless in Seattle” the other night; it shows a glorious shot of the Twin Towers in NYC, and i couldn’t help but let out a sigh. just the mention of the event changes the mood in a room. huge event.

now think about Christmas morning. how big of a deal is that? granted Sept. 11 brings about primarily negative connotations and Christmas tends to stimulate more positive feelings, but think about their magnitude of effect on the world comparatively. which one is the bigger deal? not to make light of the attacks, because they were enormously devastating to this country, but lets be honest here. Clearly, Jesus’ birth has had an immeasurably greater effect on this planet, yet is that the attitude we give it? is that how we treat such a ‘big deal’ in our world? do we truly see Christmas as the number one most earth-shattering event in human history? i don’t think so. yeah, we all get excited, and, yeah, it changes everyone’s spirit for a month, but when it boils down to it do we really treat this holiday with the reverence and importance it deserves? September 11 at least is acknowledged with a moment of silence at basically every institution nationwide. i feel like Jesus fails to even get that. it is gifts and travel and sleigh bells and candy, but whats the point?

the point is that nothing has ever shaped anything as much as Christmas has shaped this planet. and you can take that to the bank.

may you have a merry, as well as meaningful, Christmas this year. and for something completely different, i just might do the same.

ap.

>christmastimeish

>my family, being the anxious American family that we are, have actually succeeded in moving the gift unwrapping as far forward as Christmas Eve Eve. each year the Cooper family manages to play the “lets unwrap a gift the night before” game. its fun. it used to be my sisters and i pressuring to open a gift or two, but nowadays i feel like my parents are way too excited and end up offering the option instead of us pleading for such an opportunity.

usually i go for the cd-shaped ones when these opportunities present themselves because then it gives me a chance to listen to it before getting in the car for trips to visit relatives in nearby states. i guess i usually do get to listen to it in the car on the way. my family has this wonderful characteristic where we all like country music. all but me that is. i can handle Garth Brooks…but thats about it. they all dig the “pop country crap” (read Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney). so usually we get about 30 miles out of town and the radio/cd gets turned up, and, naturally, i open a book and pop in the earbuds. only tough part – i usually get multiple cds for christmas cause the list i provide my family with at the beginning of the holiday season always turns out to be about 90% music. so unless i jump on the music early i never give it the listening time it deserves.

the first cd in my holiday music staggering is John Legend’s second cd “Once Again”. i’m typing to it right now – i’m on track 5 of 13 and i’m lovin it. equally as great as his first cd thus far.

in probably more shocking and controversial news: i got a new hat a few days ago. for those that are familiar with me and my skinny punk style you are already aware of the magnatude of such news. for those not familiar: i will start by informing you that i have had the same st. louis cardinals baseball cap since Christmas 2002. not a day went by for about three and a half years that i didn’t wear that hat. finally this past summer i won some new hats doing the speed pitch at Worlds of Fun. you get three pitches and on the third throw you have to guess your speed based on the speeds of the two proceding pitches. i used to pitch in high school, so i’ve got a pretty decent grasp on my abilities. turns out i’m a speed pitch natural and i’ve managed four hats in five attempts playing that game in my lifetime. chronologically: bluejays, royals, indians, orioles. i started rotating these hats into my daily routine throughout the summer, and i officially retired my old cardinals hat at the beginning of the fall semester. but then the cardinals won the World Series and i just have to rep my team, so it has been out of retirement for the couple of months.

so i’m trying out a new cards hat now. it is read and white with the old school emblem on teh front. and it says has a 1982 on the back. awesome. its different for me and i’m out on a limb even attempting such a feat. hopefully i’ll grow an attachment.

ps. a buddy of mine tossed this video my way so i figured i’d pass it on. its kinda sorta maybe funny til about the 4 minute mark or so, then it gets really incredible/hilarious.


pss. i think this dude looks like Ryan on the Office. love that show.

-ap.