Fomenting A Rebellion

“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” ::Abigail Adams

Backbeat … Pt. 1* January 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ldgafford @ 11:26 pm

… the word on in the street is that the fire in your heart is out. I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you, Oasis and all who have covered the song since (especially Ryan Adams – mmm). But what do you do when there was no fire in your heart to begin with? Let me ‘splain.

Oftentimes we as Christians are called to give our “testimony” of how we came to Christ and the journey since that moment. I’ve never felt comfortable doing this, except perhaps the day after I recieved Christ and told everyone in the first grade about it while we were waiting to go into our reading classes. I was six, I was fearless.

Six years old now strikes me as an extremely young age to make such a decision. As we say at Calvary, I was accepting all of the Jesus I knew at the time, but even now it seems as though I haven’t progressed much past that point. My child’s faith stayed just that, and has perhaps regressed in these last 16 years.

I remember once I got to the youth group and started going to church camps and the like always feeling like I was a bad Christian because I didn’t do a Bible study every morning and prayers weren’t falling from my lips 24/7. I didn’t feel God move at church camp like all the other kids. I never felt God. One year when everyone was crying because they were convicted of something or just felt the overwhelming presence of God, I cried because I had never felt that and never felt like I would.

I was excellent at being a pretend Christian. I was involved in the youth group – I even sang in the Praise Team my senior year of high school. While others lifted their hands in worship, I wondered what I was missing. It was like I had God ADD or something. I just couldn’t focus and not being in the “church clique” didn’t help my situation any.

College wasn’t any better. I skipped church the majority of my freshman year and half of my sophomore year. To me, there was no need. I wasn’t feeling it like everyone else. I couldn’t name my favorite bible verse because I really hadn’t been exposed to scripture since I learned my ABC Bible verses in kindergarten.

I found Calvary halfway through my sophomore year, and immediately felt at home. Not because I was being spiritually fed or challenged, but because the people loved me from the moment I stepped in the door. I love Calvary for that reason, if for no other reason. I thought that getting involved would help me back to the root of my supposed Christianity and help me answer some questions.

To be continued … this post is already long enough.

*I just discovered this unpublished post from June 2006. I’m going to leave it in its original form and then continue on with Pt. 2 another time.


Stupidity At Its Finest January 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ldgafford @ 8:38 pm

If you’ve ever wondered why I am not a Republican, nor will I ever be one again (I was in my younger days … don’t hate), here’s a fantastic example:

Tax break talks slow minimum wage hike

I refuse to get on my soap box. It could get ugly.

On a related note:

I can’t wait to vote.


Um, Really? January 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ldgafford @ 3:56 pm

Really? I mean, really?

Oh, but wait. It gets even better.

Surely this isn’t for real. I know there are many people that are really like this … but come on! And why is Sufjan Stevens on the “Gay Bands” list? Isn’t he Episcopalian? I don’t get it.


Follow the Yellow Brick … Nuclear Bomb? January 21, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ldgafford @ 12:57 am

Friends, I’m here to tell you that vintage PBS programming is a little crazy and oft disturbing. Before the days of Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and Bob Ross there were cartoons. Weird cartoons. Let me explain.

As many of you know, I babysit two kids (Keaton – 5, Laine – 3) once a week, therefore I am exposed to toddler programming more than most people my age. Well, this past week I took advantage of PBS On Demand to entertain the kiddos for half an hour. Little did I know that when I chose an adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” I would be watching Dorothy and Toto dealing with nuclear warheads. That’s right. Nuclear warheads.

What the hell?!

Rather than having Dorothy follow the yellow brick road or click her ruby red heels to get to her destination, the Wizard of Oz decided that Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion should build Dorothy a nuclear warhead on which to ride home. I kid you not. Not only that, this nuke was made available to the Oz crowd by sending in four cereal boxtops to the government. Not far from the truth these days … but I digress.

So here’s Dorothy sitting on the nuke with Toto, and rather than take off it explodes – mushroom cloud and all. Yet there’s no mass destruction and devastation. No, there’s the Wizard with a caniving look on his face glad that Dorothy has to stay in Oz. Creepy old man.

And that’s where the story ended. Dorothy never got home and Oz is now dealing with nuclear fallout. PBS, what were you thinking? I realize that this cartoon was probably made during the Cold War, and that I have a strong pacifist bias, but come on! Small children are watching this craziness. Lucky for me, I don’t think Keaton realized what exactly was going on and Laine was too busy having a tea party to care.

So the moral of this story is: Don’t go to Oz. You’ll probably get blown up.


On Beauty January 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ldgafford @ 7:02 pm

I am finally fulfilling my promise to write about my trip to Scotland in December, though I think at this point I may have just a couple of readers. Nevertheless, here is the long-promised post.

It’s hard not to think about, ponder, recognize beauty when you visit a place such as Scotland. Even in the dead of winter, the grass is a brilliant green and the contrasting brown mud seems to possess a certain character that you won’t find anywhere else. The mountains are glorious and the lochs understatedly reflective. It is truly breathtaking.

Of course, beauty does not only exist in the hills of Scotland. Centuries old churches and the ruins of ancient castles are still magnificent and awe-inspiring. My favorite of these was St. Conan’s Kirk – I don’t have the proper words to describe the beauty I saw in this small church on the edge of a loch.

However, the greatest beauty I experienced while in Scotland was that of the spirits of my travelling companions. Meg opened her home to me at Christmas and took care of me when I was sick. Mariam was a kindred spirit with a killer taste in music and a knack for making baklava. Narges was a joyful presence and an example of what a real survivor looks like (she’s a political refugee from Iran working on her PhD in Divinity at St. Andrews and is pentalingual!). These women are fantastic.

This post may not have been what you were expecting (if you were expecting anything at all), but I think you can gather the general feeling of my trip to Scotland. So cheers to you, bonnie lads and lassies. I hope you get to travel soon.


Prelude to a Post January 2, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ldgafford @ 10:42 pm

I fully realize that it’s been far too long since I’ve had a decent post on my blog … but in my defense, I was in the midst of finals and then travelling to/through Scotland. Yes, I did mean to rub that in just a little bit. It’s on my to do list to write a proper post on my travels and various thoughts, but for now I’m about to hop into bed and catch a few winks. Until then – Happy 2007!

p.s. I just bought the new Justin Timberlake cd. And I love it. Hate me if you must.