Monday, October 5, 2009


I have a lot of scars and I've been adding to them recently. I have the requisite scar on my knee from when I fell off my bike in 7th grade. In fact, I have quite a few scars from biking– my elbows, wrist, legs. I have some scars from surgeries– most notably a huge scar across my belly from my twisted intestines surgery that I had before I was two years old (I could projectile vomit across the room!). I have some scars from spending my youth growing up at a dance studio– on the bottom of my chin; on my wrist, where glass entered in and nearly cut my tendon that operates my thumb. I have a few scars from cutting myself when I've been cooking at home. The most recent scar I have is on the back of my hand when I opened the oven door in the restaurant that I'm working at right now. The lesson: In restaurant kitchens, even the outside of oven doors get hot.

Most of my scars have taught me something. The biking ones have taught me to always wear a helmet; or not to go over a rock that large; or no matter how confident I get, I should not do whatever I did. Don't slide your hand down a glass mirror. Making sure the towel is completely dry when I grab something hot out of the oven.

The scars also tell stories. I can look at my arm where a scar is still barely visible and think back to when Michael, Steve and I were running around outside at the Kirk and a gate swung closed and cut my arm. I remember the great friendships that I had growing up and how I need to call those dudes. The scars on my wrist are from when I launched myself off the side of a mountain while biking on my sister's husband's bachelor party. I remember the whole weekend every time I look at my wrist and how my sister is now married to such a great guy.

But some scars aren't physical. Sometimes scars result from periods of our life. Unemployment can be a huge scar. Miscarriage would be another huge scar. A broken relationship; an F on a report card; a fight with a roommate; a difficult conversation with parents/friends/loved ones/siblings/the barista; the death of someone close; these are all scars.

Just like physical scars, these scars teach us lessons and tell our stories. However, it seems to me that God forms us most in our scars. We cry out for that relationship to be restored, for that job to come, for understanding at the loss of life, for wisdom on how to speak truth in love. Prayer seems to be heightened during these times. We learn more about ourselves, about others and most importantly about God. These scars form who God is making us to be. Scars are the evidence of growth and healing in our lives.

The scars are what Jesus shows to his disciples after the resurrection:

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

...and [he]said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:36-39, 46, 47)
The scars of the crucifixion did not disappear after resurrection. They confirmed that Jesus died and rose again. They confirmed that Jesus bore for us the punishment of sin for our sake. Jesus' scars prove that our scars too will heal.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Sides of Puppyhood

Two weeks into owning a puppy and I must say, it is much harder than I could ever have thought. Oh, I've had dogs before and we even got them as puppies, but let's be honest, I didn't do the work. Yes, the work. My mom did. I was at school for the bulk of the day and would come home to play with the puppy, nap with the puppy and whatever else fun you do with a puppy. I didn't pick up it's poop though. Or clean up it's pee. Or walk it multiple times a day. Or discipline it for chewing on everything from my hands to the carpet.

Walking Hailey daily has proved to be good for both her and me. She gets some exercise of both her legs and nose. I get rest when she comes home and sleeps afterward. Every time I'm out though, someone stops me and coos "She's so cute!" There are two boys on my street that freak out about her every time she comes down the street. They sit down and let her lick them and they love it. "She's so cute!" People will cross the street to exclaim, "She's so cute!" She is so cute, but that's only half the puppy picture.

The other half is picking up her poop when on walks and when she decides to poop in the house. The getting up in the middle of the night to let her out, because she can't hold her bladder all night. The nights where she cries in her crate all night and you don't sleep at all. The work that goes into taking care of her. Training her. Caring for her. Loving her. It's work and it's not always joyous.

I realized that this is a lot like the Christian life. The work behind the appearance. The picking up of poop behind being cute. The dealing with sin in private and displaying grace in public. Too often these are separated and not lived out. The poop-scooping is hidden. Sometimes it's just left to stink and attract flies. Too often we just put forth our cuteness and hide the crap. I've become convinced recently, though, that we shouldn't bisect our lives in such a way. But that we are to live genuinely bearing our sins publicly to one another to display the grace of Christ more fully.

After all Hailey can't separate her cuteness from her poopiness, why should we?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Brown Rabbit

I uncapped my current homebrew- a personal recipe- which combines the toasty malts of a brown ale with the ever-present hoppiness of an IPA. It's alcohol content hovers somewhere around 9%. It's a big beer and I'm not sure it's completely ready for drinking quite yet.

I have two label designs that need an opinion behind them. One I did and the other, my design school friend, Chris, did. I won't say which is which. Just tell me which one you like better.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Photo Friday

A couple of weeks ago, Micall and I headed out west to Seattle. I met her family and we had a great time tasting wine, watching the Mariners, going to Mars Hill and getting overwhelmed at the Market. A great time.

The second shot is out my window in the evening while I was reading. The light was really nice in the evening. The weather here in Chicago is great right now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I've been thinking through what it'll take to fight against habitual sin in my life and I came up with the following acronym: STOPP.

S- STOP. Fairly straight forward, just stop.
T- THINK. It seems that when we get into the mode of sinning, we stop thinking. So think. Think about what you're doing. Think about the last time you did it. Think about how you felt. Think about the consequences. Were there any? Should there have been? Think about what you should be doing instead of sinning.
O- OBSERVE. Look at your surroundings. How did you get here? Back away from your single-mindedness and observe all that is happening at that moment.
P- PRAY. Sure, it should be first, but it never happens that way. Pray for deliverance from your sin. Pray for strength to endure. Pray that God would bring your sin to light and that you may be experience freedom from these chains.
P- PERSEVERE. That's what's promised to you- perseverance. Oh I'll quote it: "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

This is no tried and true method, but hopefully a help to get your outward sinful actions to cease, while you work on your inner struggles that cause that sin. I actually haven't even had the opportunity to test STOPP out since I thought of it. But that's a good thing.

If you have other ways that have helped you overcome sin in your lives, let us know in the comments.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Music Monday || 4 May 2009

An impressive bunch today, mainly from people that I know personally on one level or another.

NOMO first grabbed me when I went to see some friends perform at Schuba's last fall. The most succinct way to describe them is "hot horns." A mixture of jazz, funk and Caribbean rhythms, NOMO kicks you in the eardrums and you like it. Their new album, Invisible Cities, Pitchfork gives an 8. It's some impressive beats, so don't miss them.

This is a long live session, so put your earphones, click play and get to work.

NOMO Live session from Svetlana legetic on Vimeo.

My buddies that were performing at Schuba's? Cains and Abels. They put out a new album recently and it sounds really good. In fact, their so impressive, David's dog, Simon, sings right along with them–even when David's voice is just an mp3 on iTunes. I can't find anything of theirs to post up here, but you can listen to them over at MySpace.

Bob Dylan. Well, so I don't know him personally–on any level–but I picked up his new album Together Through Life. Pitchfork gave it a mediocre 5.4, but it's a good blues-based album from an essential American artist.

Finally, someone else I have had no personal interaction with ever, William Basinski. However, I was reading this morning about his album The Disentegration Loops. Tape recordings of Muzak made back in the 80s, he decided to transfer them to the digital format on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. As he was doing so, two things happened. First, as the tape passed over the head, flakes began to fill the air as the tapes had decomposed during their time on the shelf. Second, and more notably, Basinski starred out the window of his loft to see the Twin Towers crumble before his eyes, filling the NYC skyline with flakes of itself. He was supposed to have a job interview in the Towers later that day. You'll have to go to Pitchfork to hear this one too, but it's so worth the trip.

Don't forget about Steve McCoy's Music Monday; he always brings something good to the table.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

For the Birds

Since the weather has been warming up some, I've began to walk to and from my girlfriend's apartment. Usually the return is late in the evening, but the 15 minute walk gives me a good time to think and pray.

It's interesting to see what is going on at that time of night. The bars, which you can't smoke in, have people standing outside getting in their nicotine fix for the next half hour. The bar below one of the apartments I looked at is blaring ridiculously loud music, which makes me ever grateful that I didn't live there. Dominick's is pretty empty. All the other businesses are shut down too.

This seems to be when the wildlife of Chicago picks up. At about 11:45pm the birds were going nuts on the final block to my apartment. So much so that I pulled out my iPhone and began to record them.

I was amazed at the amount of activity they were carrying on this late at night in this section of the city oblivious to all the other noises of the city.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Solomon Vs. Hugo

Solomon in Proverbs 31:4-31

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself [5] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet. [6]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
Victor Hugo in Les Miserables:
Since her first appearance, the reader perhaps remembers something of this huge Thénardiess–for such we shall call the female of this species–tall, blond, red, fat, brawny, square, enormous, and agile; she belonged, as we have said, to the race of those colossal wild women who pose at fairs with paving-stones hung in their hair. She did everything around the house, the beds, the rooms, the washing, the cooking; and generally did just as she pleased. Cosette ws her only servant–a mouse in the service of an elephant. Everything trembled at the sound of her voice, windows, and furniture as well as people. Her broad face was covered in freckles, like the holes in a skimming ladle. She had a beard. She had the look of a market porter dressed in petticoats. She swore splendidly; she prided herself on being able to crack a nut with her fist. Apart from the novels she had read, which at times produced odd glimpses of the affected lady under the ogress, it would never have occurred to anyone to say: That's a woman. This Thénardiess was a cross between a whore and a fishwife. To hear her speak, you would say this was a cartman; if you saw her handle Cosette, you would say this was the hangman. When at rest, a tooth protruded from her lips.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Music Monday || 27 April 2009

I'm a little light today, but check this out:

Nearly every time I turn the radio on and hear a great band and am unsure of who it is, 80% of the time it's Passion Pit.

Back in October, Tallest Man on Earth opened up for the Fleet Foxes at the Metro. Now he's got his own Take Away show at La Blogotheque.

Tallest man on earth - These Days (Nico Cover) - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Don't forget to head over to Steve McCoy's blog for his Music Monday post. It's always good.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blogging Again

After a much needed time away from blogging, I'm jumping back in the pool again. Don't worry, I waited my 30 minutes, so I won't cramp up.

Coming at you is a regular music post on Mondays, some thoughts on art and why we need it, and quotes from what I'm reading. I also have some recordings from around town. And of course some thoughts on the Gospel and what it does when our lives become saturated by it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Photo Friday

As many of you probably know, I went to Disney World a couple weeks ago. It was a great time to hang out with my family and my girlfriend. I took well over 1000 pictures, but cut about half of them. Here are two of them.

Many more are on Flickr and Facebook.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Friday

Last week the weather was beautiful and I walked from my apartment up to the Map Room. I took about 30 photos and kept about half of them. Pretty good for me lately.

The first is a shot of the tree that is budding outside my apartment; signs that Spring is somewhat upon us, despite the 30 degree temps. The second is from a mural at Division and Hoyne.

This past weekend I was in Disney world and shot off about 10ish gigs of photos. Somewhere around 1000+. It'll take a while to get through them all. But I'll be sure to let you know when they're done!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Photo Friday

Today I bring you horses. Two shots that somehow I overlooked last week as I put photos up.

These horses live in Wisconsin.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo Friday

I'm starting to get through some of my photos from my weekend in Wisconsin. It was a great time to hang out and relax with friends.

Photo 1: Micall. I added that lens flare.
Photo 2: Horse. Just wanted to clarify. I might do a bit more with this picture though. I feel like it's lacking something. Maybe more lens flare.

I gotta have more lens flare.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bird and Letterman

I tried to post this not too long ago, but there was no video to be found. Now there is:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This Weekend

I'm heading up to a cabin in Wisconsin with about 20 of my closest friends. Actually, I don't know all of them, but by the end of the weekend I plan on it.

I should have some great photos by the time I get back.

In the mean time, take a look at what came out of another trip to a cabin in WI.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Road Alone

College was 5 hours away. Going to my parent's alma mater was a good thing. But it was always a chore driving back home. So for Seminary, I thought I would head up to Chicago, 11 hours away. Now driving home is really a chore.

I have spent a lot of hours driving alone in the car. Music blasting, snacks within reach, podcasts ready to go when my mind needs more than a beat to keep it moving. Only a few times have I missed an exit, or gone the wrong way. But I have always gotten to my destination; and usually in good time too.

Sometimes life mirrors those road trips. Though instead of 700 miles in the car, it's a 7 month internship. Instead of arriving to a destination, at the end you're dumped off on the side of the road, unsure of where you are and where you will be.

The last two days I spent with some good friends from Seminary. I got to hear of their lives and where God is taking them. Eventually, the question was turned on my professional road. "It sucks" was the short answer. I'm on a road trip without a map, without a destination, without snacks.

Monday night Ephrem Smith talked about being on the road. He told the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus from Luke 24:13-35. These two post-crucifixion disciples were approached by a man who inquired about what they were talking about. They began to tell him of the crucifixion and the supposed resurrection. The man with them explained to them how it had been prophecied so. When they sat down to dinner that night, the man with them broke the bread, and then they realized that this was not just a man, but it was their resurrected Lord Jesus. He had been with them on that road.

Not only had he been with them though, he had gone ahead of them.

He went ahead to the Cross. In so doing, he paid the price for their sin and brought restoration between the creation and their Creator.

He went ahead to the Resurrection. In doing so, he entered into the life that they were promised.

He went ahead to the Table. In doing so, he gave them sustainence for their journey so that they may be strengthened as they continue on their road.

He didn't leave them either, as we might think the story ends. The last three verses tell of how the disciples returned to Jerusalem to the eleven. They found companions for their journey. And not only did they have fellowship with one another, but the Spirit came to be with them also, as we read in the beginning of Acts.

As much as it may not seem to be, I am not on this road alone. Even as I sit in this church building with nothing but the Fleet Foxes and the hum of the lights, I am not alone. I have the church body, not the church building, to journey with me. I have the Spirit who guides me. I have the Word which sustains me.

So I continue on this road, knowing that there is a destination that I am headed toward, even if I don't see where that is. I continue on this road knowing that others are on it with me. I continue on this road, because Jesus has gone down this road and I know I will meet him at the end, if not also all the stops on the way.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Life || My iPhone

I'm only doing this because she tagged me, and it'll give me something to do.

I'm adding MySpace links. A lot of the songs are actually there too.

And my tagging is done on Facebook, not out here in the World Wide Web. That would just be weird.

And I would never use the above headphones for actually listening to music. For that they're crap. That would make me want to use them around my neck.

If you got tagged for this note, you need to copy/paste this into your own facebook note, delete my answers, and answer the questions using your own ipod.
2. put the ipod on shuffle
3. use it to answer the question
4. hit “next”
5. try not to cheat
6. tag some of your friends so they'll do the same


1. How am I feeling today
Flume - Bon Iver (Daytrotter Session)

2. How far will I get in life?
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine - The Killers

3. What is my best friend’s theme song?
Everything's Not Lost - Coldplay

4. What was high school like?
Greet Death - Explosions in the Sky

5. How will today be?
Mercy - Duffy (Where the crap did this come from? But I'm sure it's what I need.)

6. What is in store for me this weekend?
Leave Your Effects Where They're Easily Seen - Spoon

7. What is the best thing about me?
Love, Reign O'er Me - Pearl Jam

8. What song is about my parents?
Midnight Souls Still Remain - M83

9. How is my life going?
Nous Tombons Dans Elle - Dominique Leone

10. What song will they play at my funeral?
Free Fallin' - John Mayer

11. How does the world see me?
Opposite Day - Andrew Bird

12. What do my friends think of me?
Not Myself - John Mayer (Acoustic)

13. Do people secretly think I’m good looking?
Look After You - The Fray

14. How can I make myself happy?
Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes

15. What should I do with my life?
Everybody's Changing - Keane

16. What is some good advice?
Violet Hill - Coldplay

17. Will I get married?
Pressed In A Book - The Shins

18. Where will I go in life?
Peace Beneath the City - Iron and Wine

19. Will I have kids?
Why Georgia - John Mayer (Live)

20. What is my current theme song?
Chicago (acoustic version) - Sufjan Stevens

Photo Friday

I grabbed a couple of SD cards recently to see if I had forgotten anything on them, and lo, there were a couple hundred photos on one of them. I haven't even gotten to the other one yet.

And yes, I did use "lo."

This was mid-construction in December, just before Christmas. A lot has been done during January. A new floor, new electrical wires, other stuff. Still a very long way to go.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For You

I don't know if was the screaming guitar, or the lyrics. I'll let you make that decision.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Colbert's Dating Advice

My mom got me Stephen Colbert's Page-A-Day Calendar for Christmas. It's great.

Colbert's "For the Ladies" Dating Do's for Sunday January 25 is dead on.

During the meal, order something that will get his attention, like a side of bacon for dessert.

I can't think of anything sexier.
Neither can I.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Friday

I didn't think I would have a photo for today. I even brought my camera to work to see if I could find a shot. I didn't try very hard. I did manage to balance a mini-water bottle, a Pilot Precise V5, a Stanley Steemer business card and a Sharpie on top of one another. I've been very productive today.

But I have this photo of Michael from over Christmas. I took some shots of him and his beautiful and pregnant wife Katie. She should be having a baby any day now. So beware people: this man is about to be a father. Holy Crap.

I think he'll be alright.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I would like... 2009

I took yesterday as a day to reflect in earnest about what I would like my 2009 to look like. I know we're three weeks into already, but that's ahead of the curve for me. I wrote out a few statements that turned into the formula of I would like read through the Bible. I've done this before. Both in a year and otherwise. But last year I tried to commit myself to doing it and failed horribly. I'm continuing in Deuteronomy, but I hope to get through it in far under a year. get a job. Yeah, I have a job. But one that I actually enjoyed wholly would be great. And this one's going to end in a few months. have regular prayer and journal times. This has just not been up to par recently. experience freedom. It would be nice to put to death those nagging sins that have hung around for too long. be more involved. Really in the city of Chicago. I would like to find someway that I can serve this city and be able to get out in more social spheres (food, photography, beer, etc.). revive my original languages. This is by far probably my loftiest goal, especially given the amount of energy this takes. But I know people have done it and I have all the resources. I just have to put my mind to it. memorize Scripture. I had a really six months of doing this once, while I studied abroad in Costa Rica. My bus trip was just long enough to get through all my Navs TMS cards twice. Now I'll actually have to schedule it into my day. Which leads us to our next: develop a rhythm. I wake up and scramble to get ready and arrive later than I desire most days. Getting to bed typically happens when I'm done with what I'm doing, or can't find anything else good on TV. I think I can do better than this. not be dissatisfied. This one is hard to quantify, but I often let things that I'm not happy with continue to persist long after they should have been taken care of. That's why I just got my bathroom sink and dishwasher fixed after living in my apartment for 4 months. run again. I didn't actually put this in my journal, but even with temps in the 30s, I would like to get out and run. But since May I have only gotten out a handful of times. Fortunately I can't blame this purely on laziness, but have had nagging knee and foot ailments since then. I actually enjoy running, but when it hurts just to walk, I'm not going to push myself; I just need to be healthy.

If you read this, you have permission to ask me about my progress. It'll probably be slow, but I have a year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I got scammed.

Well, almost.

The church was trying to sell it's used pews at the site Yes that site actually exists. The proposal was that the buyer a Rev Cole Morra, was going to buy 10 of the pews and send us an extra $100 just for the fun of it. Okay. Odd, but okay.

For about a month we didn't hear back and didn't receive a check. We had other buyers come and look at the pews, but no one's bought yet. I wanted to make sure that Rev Cole was still interested so I emailed her again. Oh yes, very interested still. Sorry for the delays. We'll get the money to you soon.

I get an email yesterday. We're sending you 3500$ for the pews. Then you deduct what else left and send that to our shipping company. Oh, wait. This was not the arrangement. This sounds more odd than okay. I explain in an email back that this is not the arrangement. She finds me on Gchat. Oh, crap. We chat. Nothing productive. More odd uses of the Engilish language. So I Google "Cole Morra".

The Usedpews website has a section on scams. They send you fake checks and get your account information. I emailed Rev Cole Morra this morning. We're no longer doing business with her.

We should be fine. We never received a check. But the exchanges do make for some entertaining reading.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Photo

Gosh I almost forgot. Today's been oddly busy. Not only is it odd that I'm busy; the day itself has just been odd.

These are my favorite shots from New Years Eve. The first one is my most favorite.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Real Sex

In a Christian landscape, what's important about sex is nurtured when we allow sex to be ordinary. This does not mean that sex will not be meaningful. Its meaning, instead, will partake in the variety ofmeanings that ordinary life offers. Sex needs to be clumsy. It should at times feel awkward. It should be an act we engage in for comfort.
Our task is not to cultivate moments when eros can whisk us away from our ordinary routines, but rather to love each other as eros becomes imbedded in, and transformed by, the daily warp and woof of married life. For in household sexuality, we see the ways our daily human stuggles offer the only language we have to call ourselves to God's grace.
Lauren Winner, Real Sex, p. 81, 83.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Wii

Both my sister and I got Wii-s for Christmas. I was surprised by it, cause I wasn't expecting one. My sister's reaction was priceless though:

While actual footage was not available, I was able to hire a small family to reenact the proceedings. The kid did a pretty good job, he missed a few things, but he sure did get Laura's smile down pat.