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Upcoming Clairmont show on Friday, April 24 at the Palace Theater in Bryan. It will be a benefit concert for International Justice Missions, and we will be sharing the stage with this guy.

Ahhhh…Lazy Saturdays…

April 25, 2009

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Manchester Orchestra: Mean Everything to Nothing

April 14, 2009

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Need something to listen to today? Manchester Orchestra is doing a full album stream of their new record, Mean Everything to Nothing.

Listen to it at their myspace. It’s gooooooooooooood.

Because He Lives

April 13, 2009

2323232327ffp53644nu3242458-223334599323ot1lsiAfter our son Jackson was born, I was overwhelmed with several different emotions. For the most part I just felt joyful — as just about anyone would expect from a brand new, proud father — but occasionally, between the feelings of excitement and happiness, there was worry.

As we were hovering around the hospital bed blissfully inspecting our new son, Terri and I would occasionally rub the bottom of his feet. If you have ever done this with a newborn, then you know how incredible it actually is just because of how smooth their feet are — so much so that they don’t feel like real feet. We realized, in that moment, that Jackson’s skin was in the best condition that it will ever be for the rest of his life.

To me, this strangely speaks a lot about the world we live in, because now that he has come into this world, in time, his perfect skin will become imperfect. Eventually his feet will become rough and callused, he will bruise and get cuts and scrapes on his knees, and judging by the inheritance of his mom’s fair complexion, he will likely have his fair share of sunburns.

While this is a little saddening, the real source of my worry is centered more around knowing about the evil that he will have to face in this world. No matter how much Terri and I love him and do our best to protect him, at some point there will be people who will want to do mean things to him, and lie to him, and hurt him, and make him feel like something he is not. I don’t think this is a pessimistic way of looking at it. It’s simply reality. It’s the reality of our existence while we wait for Jesus to come back, and it was because of this reality that Easter took on new meaning for me this year.

Before we sat down with my family to eat our big Easter celebration meal, my grandma asked me to read a few stanzas from a hymn printed in the bulliten for the service that they attended that morning. One of the stanzas really put into perspective for me how important it is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on that morning over two millenniums ago.

How sweet to hold our new born baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days
because He lives.

Happy Easter.

Good Friday

April 10, 2009

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THE EVENTS OF GOOD FRIDAY (taken from the books of Matthew and John)
Jesus Delivered to Pilate

1 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.

Judas Hangs Himself

3Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. 8Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying,”And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Jesus Before Pilate

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

The Crowd Chooses Barabbas

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

24So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.

(JOHN 19) 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

55There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

31Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness— his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth— that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Jesus Is Buried

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

Music for the Season

April 8, 2009

Even though mother nature has been toying with us by prolonging the cold weather, the inevitable is not far off. Summer is on its way.

summer is upon us. choose your music wisely!

summer is upon us. choose your music wisely!

Around this time of year, a lot of preparation is required: the utilities budget is increased, sweaters and jackets are retired to the back of the closet, and dieting is given some serious consideration in hope to have a little more confidence at the many upcoming pool parties; however, one of the most important preparations needed for the summer season is deciding on what music you are going to be listening to.

I cannot stress enough how this shouldn’t be taken lightly. Some serious planning and consideration needs to be put into making the decision.

Most importantly there needs to be a healthy balance between some good ol’ fashion, fist-pumping rock and some music that will just help you to relax. If you have too much of the rock, you’ll find yourself driving around with a sweaty back and pit-stains. Don’t be that person. You need to have a fair share of music to just chill with too.

Because I am a friendly guy and because I am very anti-pit-stains, I do have some suggestions on what to stock your iPod or CD case up with for the summer.

Death Cab for Cutie – We Have the Facts and We Are Voting Yes

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As far as Death Cab’s latest releases go, I haven’t been very impressed with the direction they are heading, but that is NOT to say that their old stuff isn’t still pretty brilliant. You can stream the whole album here.

Copeland – You Are My Sunshine

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If you can handle non-stop falsetto, there is some really creative and beautiful music here. Overall it’s a great album. Give it a listen.

The American Dollar – The Technicolour Sleep

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The American Dollar is a post-rock, instrumental band comprised of two very talented musicians. Trust me, with how good their music is, you won’t care that there are no vocals to sing along with. You can hear all their albums here, and they also have four free downloads as well.

The Appleseed Cast – Low Level Owl Vol. I & II

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Don’t go this summer without listening to an Appleseed Cast album. This one is a two-CD project that I would highly, HIGHLY recommend. Listen here.

Is This Really the Good News?

April 3, 2009

mit-scientist

I read an article today that explained the scientific discovery of what could be a common cause of male infertility. The basic synopsis is that they found a faulty gene that can directly affect male sperm, making them unable to penetrate the egg.

You would think that the glorified result of such a discovery would naturally be that people who can’t get pregnant now have hope to do so. But instead the article approached it from a different point of view — a point of view that I am sad to say reflects our ‘anti-children’ culture.

“We have identified CATSPER1 as a gene that is involved in non-syndromic male infertility in humans, a finding which could lead to future infertility therapies that replace the gene or the protein. But perhaps even more importantly, this finding could have implications for male contraception.

Really?

We start to discover scientific evidence that could lead to curing male infertility, and the more important issue is that we now have another method of preventing pregnancy? (This is evidenced even by the title of the article).

Now I know there are legitimate reasons to using birth control, but when our culture is more prone to celebrate the prevention of kids rather than the production of kids, we are traveling down a bad road.

Something seems off.

Five years down with many more to come

April 1, 2009

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Well it just so happens that on this day, five years ago, was when my wife Terri and I started dating.

Because of the holiday significance surrounding April 1, many of our “friends” claimed it to be a joke relationship. But since then, we dated for almost three years, were engaged for four months, made it through our first year of marriage and are now enjoying time together with our new five week old son.

So phooey to all you nay-sayers.

In hope to keep our friends and family in the loop on whats to come in the next five years, Terri started a blog that will host a bunch of goings-on with little Jackson and the rest of the Steele family. Enjoy!