First post using w.bloggar…

Man this is good to be using a non-web interface blogging tool. Reminds me of the time when I was using Livejournal and semagic (which I’ve heard can be used with WordPress but I haven’t had luck getting it up and running).


On the day I decide not to blog to my Xanga account anymore, I end up with a new subscription from the team at Intervarsity USA on their Xanga home for Urbana.

In the past few months as I’ve discovered that I do have an affinity with Benedictine spirituality, one of the things I have noticed within is that the compassionate side has started to come out more. Before when my prayers were directed at my own needs, desires and wants I felt good about it. Now, those same prayers are directed not at myself (apart from my prayers of confession and repentance), but instead at what is going around in the world. And if I can do something about it, then I should.

One of the things that I am finding increasingly on my mind is peace. As someone who affiliates with Benedictines all around the world, we know that St. Benedict’s motto (apart from ora et labora, labora et ora i.e. “prayer and work, work and prayer”) is “PAX”. That is, peace in Latin. It’s worthless if we evangelicals know our doctrine and can rail against perceived errors in doctrinal matters but our hearts are just as cold as they were before we came to know Christ. Instead, the working towards of peace should be the goal of every Christian. And peace not only just in terms of no war, but peace of mind knowing that the poor are being fed, clothed and cared for. To be a Christian, I think I’ve begun to understand that social justice needs to be part of our everyday lives.

Even if we are not able to be involved in mission work (locally or overseas), to think about someone else in a worser (I don’t like to use that word, but I can’t think of another word atm) position than ourselves reminds us that Christianity is not about a life of comfort and materialistic hedonism (the call of the ‘prosperity Gospel’ kills the life saving and changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into one where we ourselves become our own idols). Christianity is a life that calls for sacrifice.

And that means even the tiniest thing like our prayers where instead of praying for something we want to happen in our own lives, we pray for something we want to happen in the lives of others. Or if we don’t want to give up our own prayers, at least add on a prayer request for others too. We humans are all connected in one way, our shared common humanity in spite of our differences.

Getting back to the Urbana website, there’s a couple of good articles available there that I think we all could read and learn from. At the very least, they should get you thinking.

Striving For The Kingdom: Are You a Consumer or a Citizen? – In my case, if I’m honest with myself (and if you are as well), you would probably fall more within the consumer side of things rather than the citizen side.

Paralyzed by CNN: Dealing with Compassion Burnout – There’s a reason why I prefer reading over watching TV. Especially in instances where it involves stories that deal with others suffering. I have experienced what this column writer describes as “compassion burnout”.

The Responsibility of Freedom – Do we exercise the freedom we have properly? Is my $2.60 small Hudsons long macchiato really necessary when that same amount could feed at least two people a day? Or can we use our freedom to benefit not only ourselves, but others as well.

Pax,
bf 2146hrs

Hearing…

That’s right. This is the first (real) post on here after making the jump. Who knows, I may even double post this on my Xanga blog too. See what happens first…

Yesterday I decided to do something in my fight against the tinnitus that’s getting worse. I went and bought myself some earplugs. Yes, that’s right. Earplugs.

Allan’s Music have a rather pathetic range available (there’s only two types) and I scored the last pack of one type meaning that there’s only the choice of one model left.


That’s one of them. Reduces noise by 12dB but with flat attenuation (i.e. things don’t sound muddy across the frequency spectrum). These look very much like the Etymotic Research ER-20 earplugs though…right down to the filter itself.

The Hearos Performance Earplug. Noise reduction of 26dB. There is a bit of muffle-ness (there’s a new word) in the sound but when I’m killing 26dB of outside noise, I’m not really caring!

So from now on, each Saturday at music practice, if you see me wearing these things, it’s not that I’m ignoring you. I’m just looking after my hearing because if I keep exposing my ears to loudness when it comes to music practice, I’m probably gonna be deaf before I turn 40.

I say all of this because I’m getting concerned at the noise levels for praise & worship. I’ve noticed that in comparison to a year or so ago, we’re playing at louder volumes which cannot be good for those little hair follicles in our ears that enable us to hear. We strain them, those hair follicles die. And when they do, they are NOT replaceable (i.e. they don’t grow back). Meaning that we progressively have to turn up the volume more and more in subsequent sessions.

For all muso’s at church, I’d recommend you getting a pair of these from Allan’s. Sure the hi-fi one’s are $34.90, but given that you’ll preserve much of what you hear outside, except with less volume (less by 12dB), that means you’ll prolly save yourself some money in the long run by not having to see an audiologist and the cost of a hearing aid (the triple flange earpiece does take some getting used to though). If you play drums, the Performance Plugs are prolly what you need. Again, the same deal. $11.90 now could save you hundreds later on from audiologist visits plus the cost of a hearing aid.

Given these will not entirely shut out noise fully (as they are generic earplugs rather than custom-fit ones), you’ll still have some sound bleeding in, but it’ll be much less. Plus, the cost of custom-fit earplugs are high (from what I’ve been told). These will prolly be at least a few times cheaper than the custom’s are.

The question I ask you all is this, what good are we for God’s service if we deafen ourselves all for the sake of some “fun” and contemporary worship. God’s up there, but do you think that he can’t hear us even when we whisper to Him? All the more, our screaming and shouting will still be as loud to him as our whispers ’cause He hears everything.

Pax,
bf 2105hrs

A new beginning (of sorts)

It’s been a while. Xanga has been my home for the last 3 and a bit years of blogging, but I’ve decided it’s time to move on from there (my account will still be active though, I need my updates from David Crowder and a few others). So after I stumbled across Matt’s blog (Bogosity), I decided to get a blog through WordPress given that it seems to give me the flexibility that I’m looking for (Blogger/Blogspot doesn’t, which is why my blogger account has been inactive for the past 3 years). Not to mention that it’s usability factor is very high.

So for a first post, this is it. Time to make lunch and then it will be off to sleep after Compline.

Pax,
bf 2311hrs

On the cusp of being a 30-something Christian