Andy Stanley, “Enemies of the Heart”

Brief Review

This book took me a while to finally get to once I ordered and received it, and I definitely thought it would be worth the wait. Unfortunately, like a majority of Christian “self-help” books out there, it takes quite a while for author Andy Stanley to get to his main points. There are at least four to five chapters before Stanley even dives into what he considers the first major topic. These chapters are chock full of sometimes needless stories that produce a clever little antidote on the Christian life. Stanley even at one point refers to himself as a “professional Christian.” I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time understanding what that means.

As a college student, without a wife or family, it was hard for me to grasp at times because Stanley consistently refers to antidotes like the pride of the father when he sees his son play in the all star game for pee-wee baseball. Obviously this book was not meant for someone like me, but going through, it tended to start to make sense where he was going.

Overall I wasn’t impressed with this book, and I also wasn’t “changed” after reading it as so many others tend to say about some of the author’s books. I know my opinion will be different compared to most readers, but I don’t tend to get much out of the generalizations that Stanley tends to make.

August Burns Red, Leveler

Just under two years ago Lancaster, Pennsylvania natives August Burns Red unleashed what many consider to be their best album, Constellations. Speaking as a huge fan of the record, I said many times they couldn’t top it. Constellations was nearly flawless from beginning to end, a fierce tirade through metalcore that defined the band’s career. Yet just last week, the band has released their fourth album, and Leveler seems to have surpassed the greatness that was (and still is) Constellations.  Continue reading

Starbucks Writing #3

Have you ever listened to a song, or an artist, and had it hit you in a completely new way, and give you a completely new countenance for the day? That happened to me today.

I’ve been working (or rather, haven’t been working) on my senior project iPhone app idea, and I’ve been hitting a lot of roadblocks that I’m not accustomed to dealing with. I haven’t been able to write out my idea and plans for weeks, and then I just took a day and wrote. My first point of this post: When writer’s block hits, one way to overcome it is to forget about editing, forget about grammar, and forget about spelling. Just write. Don’t think, just write. That’s how a rough draft begins. I grew up in school never writing drafts. I hated it, with every fiber of my being. Why in the world do I have to write the same paper 5 times for an English class? I would write the paper, then edit it four times, and didn’t think anything more of it.

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Starbucks Writing #2

Documenting Our Lives

Recently I’ve become a lot more connected with social networking sites, and I’ve taken a quick liking to Twitter; being able to issue a thought as it comes into my mind. But what is this doing to my thinking?

I’ve started to analyze what sites and services like Twitter have been doing to my world and my view on everything. My thoughts have become quick jabs of information, and yet, when I finish an email, it is consistently longer than it needs to be. I’ll write an email just to clarify something with a boss or a professor, and I’ll end up going on for four paragraphs, explaining myself to a point where I’m sure it comes across as annoying. Yet when I jump on Twitter, I explain myself in 140 characters or less.

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Starbucks Writing #1

This may be the beginning of a series I write at Starbucks. Let me know what you think about it in the comments, and I may continue to write more like this, throwing my music knowledge in as well.

Starbucks tends to have a deep amount of inspiration for me. One of the main reasons I haven’t visited one in so long is because of a lack of money. But every once in a while I’ve got an extra $5 to throw into a caramel macchiato or a chai and spend an hour at the place. I’ve tended to only go out if I’m with people, just to avoid that feeling of being alone. But in the past few months that feeling has changed. I’ve been keeping to myself more, watching what I say, and reflecting inward.

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Albums of the Year 2010

Most of you who know me, know that I consider myself a writer. I have been in a slump since about April, and I can blame it on many things, like not having time, not having inspiration, or just a bad year. But the issue is that I haven’t taken the time to write at all. It’s not about having time, it’s about making time. So during this Christmas break, I’m going to issue my Albums of the Year, and hopefully write something about each record while at home. I’ll be releasing my list, and then talking about each record (or most of them) in the coming weeks. Hope yall enjoy it. Also look for a best new artists of 2010 post soon as well, which don’t make it into my albums of the year list because they get their own list. Continue reading

The White Stripes, “Under Great White Northern Lights”

I like to collect live records. There was a time when I used to loathe live records because it never brought the full concert experience home. I’m also talking about back in the 90s. Yes, I know I’m likely dating myself and at 23 I’m probably too young to say this, but the quality of music and recording it has come a long way from those first live records I used to buy and listen to in the 90s. It seems that in the past 5 years quality for live recordings has gone up and for the better. Bands are picking good filmmakers or learning how to do it themselves, and fans couldn’t be happier. They get to see their favorite bands on a more personal level, and it becomes a memento of a time the fan and the band shared together, especially for those fans who went to the show that was recorded. It captures a moment in time that will last forever for certain people, like me who love this kind of thing. But back to my review.

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