Monday, December 18, 2006

Top 5 Albums of 2006

I bought few albums this year and listened to very little new music. What I heard I wasn't that impressed by. That said, I had 2 favorites and some other worthy albums and think I can come up with a decent list.

1 - Roman Candle - The Wee Hours Review. One day I will die and go to a place where they play Roman Candle all day long. I have been that good.
2 - Hem - Funnel Cloud - The music soars and the lead singer is an angel. I've heard them compared to Cowboy Junkies, but to me the music isn't that dark. It sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon.
3 - Josh Ritter - The Animal Years - Just great singer/somgwriter stuff.
4 - The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed - Just good guitar pop/indie rock
5 - Jars of Clay - Good Monsters - A typical Jars album in that it falls short on a few tracks, but the lyrics combined with the fact they finally recorded am album with a drummer nudges them into the top 5.

Others considered: the fray: how to save a life, Guster: Ganging up on the Sun, Leeland: Sounds of Melodies, the Who: Endless Wire


So, yesterday was a true Sabbath for me in many ways. As a present day English speaker, I am at a disadvantage not being able to read my bible in Hebrew or Greek. Thus, I'm at a severe disadvantage when I try to understand what the Book is telling me. I'm reliant on translators to turn it into a language I can understand and then theologians to tell me what it means. What I've heard is the number of words in Hebrew is approximately one tenth of the number of English words. So when you try to translate, you have to chose which one of your approximately ten English words that may translate to the author's one Hebrew word is the one he wanted you to read. For most of my life, the Sabbath meant you dressed up, went to church and sang hymns and listened to preaching and maybe attended a class. Likely, you go to a cafeteria afterwards while still dressed up. Maybe you can catch an NFL game until it was time to go to prayer meeting or youth group or whatever. Hopefully you made it home in time to watch the Wonderful World of Disney, or later, the Simpsons. My life is much of the same now: one or (usually) two church services, catch Quizno's, dogs for a quick walk, back to help with youth group, maybe catch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

My understanding now is that Sabbath means simply "stop" or "rest" in Hebrew. It's a day to not work, to marvel at the wonder of God, to take care of yourself. Since we went to Saturday night service this weekend, I was able to: go to the gym, give the dogs a proper walk , finish reading a book ("A New Kind of Christian" by Brian McLaren), do my reading for small group (2 chapters in "Abraham" by Bruce Feiler), balance the checkbook, and finally start a book that my Dad got me LAST Christmas ("The World is Flat" on Globalization), have a leisurely cup of coffee, eat leftover pizza for lunch, take a nap. All before Debbie made it home from church (she played violin all three services this weekend).

God gives us the Sabbath to remind us that work and progress and acheivement isn't all there is to life. There is also resting, enjoying, pondering, taking care of yourself. Realizing there is a world beyond what you experience during the rest of the week. Recoginizing the miracle that is that world and the wonder that is it's Creator. God grant me the wisdom to take more Sabbath.