Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Probably the cleanest my kitchen has ever been.

Painting a kitchen in a two-room apartment may not seem like much to get excited over. But over the last fifteen hours of arranging and moving furniture, painting over grimed-up walls with bright colors, and bleaching floors with Alyssa, I think that I can safely say I have derived a significant amount of spiritual pleasure from the experience. I felt like we were not only "preparing our nest" as a married couple, but that we were also doing something nice for the BSC--we even replaced the blinds in the room, which were old and metal and rusted. Our hope is that the work we put into the apartment today will last long after we've moved to Kansas City.

Brother Lawrence took pride in his performance of the mundane. "We ought not to grow tired of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed," he said. There is something profoundly spiritual involved in a solid day of work, no matter how trivial the work itself may seem. Perhaps this is something I should meditate upon more often when I go in to work each day at the Olive Garden.

Anyway. I leave you with pictures of the just-finished kitchen. Comments are welcome!

This looks more exciting than it really is--it's only a tupperware cabinet.

Pampered Chef pizza stone!

This is probably the most organized this kitchen will ever get.

Alyssa loves her turquoise wall...

What in the world is that on the door?

Could it be the "I'm Sorry She Said No" Kitty Calendar from Jess Tankersley?! I think so...

Monday, May 17, 2010


I spent the day painting and rearranging my apartment at the Baptist Student Center with my fiancee Alyssa. We covered the living/bedroom area in a sagey color called "Grass Seed" from Kilz. We're also painting the kitchen and bathroom; more photos soon to follow.

It's a little less than two weeks before the wedding. I'm getting excited for my best friend to move in with me.

In other news, Alyssa's brother and his girlfriend Trinity just got engaged! Congrats, Micah and Trinity!

More posts to follow. Gotta go finish painting trim...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anavah House Booklet

Here's the whole thing. I apologize for all the weird line-breaks. I wish there was a decent way to make a booklet in InDesign without always having to resort to ragged right...

Anavah House Booklet

Coffee, Anyone?

Here's an illustration I created for the same project for my graphics class. This hypothetical intentional community would apparently also be roasting their own coffee beans.
I'll try to post the rest of my project in PDF form sometime tonight.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anavah House

This is a logo I designed for a hypothetical new monastic intentional community. I would absolutely love to be a part of the founding of something like this.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Anavah House, from the Hebrew word for humility. The actual connotation in Hebrew is the sense of "knowing one's place in the grand design of God's creation."

I'm working on an entire 3-page booklet outlining details of Anavah House for a graphics class I'm taking. I'll post it on here soon. In short: Anavah House exists as a center of community development, a place where lovers of God, humankind, and all creation can congregate and feel connected. It is a place of social justice and passionate spirituality.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Reading List: Living a Gospel of Peace and Reflection

So. Finals week pending, the semester is done and gone, and I'm ready to start my summer.

Well. Sort of.

I have this whole wedding/honeymoon thing to do first.

But then...then, I'll DEFINITELY be ready for summer.

Among the current plans on the list of things to do before fall semester:

1) Attend the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros concert in St. Louis on June 14. Consider this an open invitation to attend with my wife and me--just shoot me a message on facebook, or let me know in a comment below if you're interested in joining us.

2) Attend the Cornerstone Music Festival on June 28-July 3 in Marietta, IL. Same offer applies. We'll hopefully be taking a small caravan of people to the festival (which features, among other things, seminars of all shapes, sizes, and colors; group sessions; corporate--in a good way--worship; and lots and lots of music) and camping out for the duration of the week.

3) Counsel two separate youth camps during the second and third weeks of July.

In the meantime, I've started compiling a list of summer reading I'd like to get done in my free time before the semester starts again. Check it:

1) The Lessons of St. Francis: How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality Into Your Daily Life, by John Michael Talbot. A gift from Alyssa that just tickled me pink to get. St. Francis is my hero. Speaking of St. Francis...

2) Saint Francis, by Nikos Kazantzakis. I bought this book about the same time as The Last Temptation of Christ (in which I am currently completely engrossed, and hope to have finished by the summer), and can't wait to start on Kazantzakis's adaptation of the life story of this amazing man.

3) Literary Companion to the Festivals: A Poetic Gathering to Accompany Liturgical Celebrations of Commemorations and Festivals, by Mark Price. Another gift from Alyssa. It's liturgy. And literature. I don't think I can overstate ho
w cool this is.

4) Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, by Donald Kraybill, et. al. The strange and incredible story of the power of forgiveness displayed by the Amish following the shooting of several children at a schoolhouse near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The first time I heard Kraybill recount this story (even though I remember it from the news) in the documentary, The Ordinary Radicals, I wept.

5) Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Alyssa and I are fascinated by intentional community, and I've even had some talks with a friend of mine in the Liberty, MO area about new monasticism. This seems like a literary cornerstone to the movement.

Anyway. I guess that's just about it. Not sure I'll get to read all of them, especially at the pace I read. But it's a start, and I hope to come out a bit wiser at the other end. That's all any of us could ask, right?

God's grace and peace be with you,


PS--My five-part blog series on my top five favorite/most influential depictions of/references to Jesus in pop culture is coming soon, I promise!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This Just In...

This really cool book review site that I follow is giving away your choice of two books! For more info on the contest, see below:

The Englewood Review (@ERBks ) is giving away a copy of JH Yoder’s NONVIOLENCE: A BRIEF HISTORY. Enter here: http://ow.ly/1InoW