Wednesday, February 28, 2007

CD release... finally

Half Past Forever's new CD Take a Chance on Something Beautiful is available for download here, or you can preorder the CD on Oh, and vote for Chris Sligh.

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good music for cheap

If you're looking for great music for a ridiculously affordable price in the Notre Dame area, check out the ND Symphony Orchestra's concert at 8:00 this Friday in the DeBartelo PAC. We're playing a cello concerto by Herbert, a piano concerto by Prokofiev, and Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Tickets range from $3-6. Told you it was ridiculously cheap. Be one of the first three to email me and I'll give you one of my comp tickets for free!

Update: Now only two comp tickets left.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Good Idea

At the retreat last weekend the keynote speaker was Robin Steinberg from the Bronx Defenders. They run a full-service, one-stop legal aid clinic complete with a web of referral services designed to address the complexity of poverty one person at a time, rather than one legal proceding at a time.

Think about it: You get arrested for drug possession, so you need a defense lawyer. You pay $200 bail so you won't get fired from your job, so you don't have money for rent this month and you get evicted. Now you need someone in the landlord/tenant department. In the meantime the state has sheltered your kids due to the drug charges (which don't have to be proven to issue a shelter order), so now you need a family lawyer. Then your 20-year-old car you can't afford to maintain breaks down and you go to the local check-cashing cornershop to get the $200 to fix it, knowing that they'll charge you like 200% interest, but also knowing that if you don't fix your car you can't get to work and you'll lose your job. Of course, by now you've miss so much work for your court hearings that you get fired anyway and you can't pay back the loan. You need an employment lawyer and a consumer lawyer to get the creditors off your back. This scenario assumes, of course, that you and your kids are healthy and never have any accidents, because naturally you don't have health insurance.

Now why, you ask, can't one lawyer just handle all that? Ok, really--would you ask a podiatrist to perform your lobotomy? Well, lawyers are just as specialized as doctors, and one department just can't handle the variety of issues a person living close to the financial edge presents.

So add to this one-stop model of legal help referrals to (or in-house) counseling services, drug rehab programs, employment skills training, and mentorship programs, and you just be able to do some good. So... wanna build one of these somewhere else?

Standing in the Gap

This weekend I was in the Bloomington area for a public interest retreat and one night encountered the following in my reading:

The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.

I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

Ezekiel 22:29-30 (NASB)

Naturally, being at a public interest retreat will heighten sensitivity to mentions of shafting poor people and oppressing immigrants, so I guess it's no surprise these verses leaped off the page at me. You often hear verse 30 as a slogan at youth events, but usually it's tied to a challenge to witness or preach or just generally be a good person. I'm certainly in favor of all those things, but seeing the verse in context makes me think justice ought to be a part of that challenge too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'll snob YOUR culture!

Rather than hunt down links for last night's AI development, I'll just refer you to Chris Sligh fan site, which covers it pretty comprehensively.

Thoughts of my own:

1. Chris is an amazingly talented singer.

2. Simon needs to get over himself and only offer criticism he can back up with a concrete reason other than what essentially amounts to "You sound like the front man for an indy-rock band." When he said, "You don't have the best voice here..." I was waiting for him to follow up with some actual artistic criticism, like, "You're a little off key," or "You're a little nasal and your voice is thin," or "You're not passionate enough," or "Bad song for your range or timbre." But no. It amounted to, "You're a culture snob and I don't like your genre." Come on, Simon. You're the one who said it's all about the musical ability.

3. Not everyone is going to get Chris's dry sense of humor and he needs to watch that he doesn't come across as too cocky. Also, his retort to Simon, while clever (and deserved), came off as a little defensive. Stay cool, man. WE know you're good, Simon knows you're good, and you know you're good. Don't let him get to you.

4. The judges are behaving like little kids bickering in the back seat of a car on a too-long road trip. Conflict is interesting. Immaturity is just stupid and annoying.


This pretty much sums up the roles of classes in law school.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Accidental Exegesis

A professor mentioned in class the other day Col. 1:24 in passing during a lecture, and, since the implication he drew from it struck me as odd, I looked it up. In New American Standard, the verse reads:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.
What is "lacking in Christ's afflictions"? I looked at how the verse is translated in different versions, and KJV renders it "behind of the afflictions of Christ," which is not terribly helpful, and NKJV goes with the "lacking" language. Greek parsing of the verse doesn't help much, either, especially given my rudimentary understanding of Greek. A Strong's search confirms in my mind the idea of lacking being the most consistant translation, but still leaves me wondering what the verse means. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Update on the AI front

And this, folks, is why Chris Sligh is in the top 24. Convinced yet?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More reality TV

If you have Chris Sligh fever, check out this sample of some of his worship music. This is him singing a communion song on WorshipIdeas.

I really love the use of traditional liturgy in it, particularly the Kyrie. I feel like it does a pretty good job of capturing the centrality and significance of Christ's sacrifice often found in liturgical services.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Puck says hi.

Are you done with that chicken yet?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Did I mention he went to BJU?

Meet Chris Sligh, the next American Idol (a show I have never watched before but am about to start following thanks to His Curliness), and the lead singer of my new favorite band, Half Past Forever. When and Where do CDs come out?

Chris Sligh-HalfPastForever 'Know' leak

I like it.