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Stupid Me!!!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:21 PM

Note to self: Always check the front page of your blog to make sure it is working after making major changes to the code.

It seems that Tim's Journal was not accessible for about three or four hours tonight because of a bug I created in the code that caused the main page to attempt to load an article created at “0” (the UNIX epoch, that is, January 1, 1970 00:00:00 GMT). Unfortunately, it seems people did visit the site during that time, and sadly one person from blogs4God stopped by and seeing that nothing worked, gave the site a “6” rating (all things considered, “6” is more than fair for a site that doesn't work. ;-)). Oh well, hopefully whomever stopped by will come again now that things are working again.

A Year and Counting...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:41 PM

Well, depending on if you count my blog starting when I posted the first substantial item or if you count the first 'testing' message, my blog either turned a year old on February 21 or will turn a year old March 4. I'll just go with March 4 so that I don't have to admit that I forgot to post something on the 21st… Did I just say that?

By the way, congratulations to Christopher, of What in Tarnation?!?, who achieved a blog entry-a-day for an entire month in February! That's not necessarily an easy task, but he seemed up to the challenge. Considering that he just won an award from me yesterday, he's on quite a roll. :-)

Review Time!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:37 AM

Many people know who Sixpence is, even if they don't know the name. Most likely, unless you lived in a cave during 1999, you have heard their hit “Kiss Me.” If so, you're probably wondering why I wouldn't be interested in a band with a bit more depth. Well, the thing that few people realize is that Kiss Me was simply a light intermission between a much more serious set of tracks on the CD it comes from. Hardly a light and airy band, Sixpence's speciality is deep, reflective lyrics.

Also, while the band is pretty much mainstream, there is a good reason why you'll find Divine Discontent at your local Christian bookstore — two of the songs offer direct praise and worship to God, and much of the rest of the CD is, at the least, full of Christian influence. That's one of the great things about SPNTR, from the beginning in 1993, they have blended secular and CCM into something like the musical representation of how Christians should be (that is, not light seperated into some little container, but a light to the world).

Anyway, enough introduction. The CD starts off with “Breathe Your Name,” which is the CD's light 'n airy track. I understand this has been playing on the radio for some time. At any rate, it's a catchy little tune that partly seems to be referring to human relationships and partly about faith in God. I guess it depends how you look at it.

Tonight isn't as light, but is still somewhat different from the band's normal style, it does however address one of the band's main topics: indecision. The next track, Down and Out of Time, is moody and attention getting, much more like classic Sixpence. I'm too tired right now to recall the official interpretation of its meaning though, so you'll just have to look that up.

The real highlights, however, are much later on the CD. Dizzy is great, just as it was at their concerts (none of which I've been to, but House of Blues had a full recording of one back in 1999). The lyrics look at comparison between the composer and King David, the apostles Thomas and Peter. Its a slow, melancholy tune that I didn't like at first, but now is one I really appreciate.

There is also some other great stuff, like Paralyzed, a much less slow paced song about a Journalist and his best friend who was killed in Kosovo. Apparently the story got picked up by Matt Slocum, the amazing person behind many of Sixpence's lyrics, not to mention the band's co-founder, and Leigh Nash, the other co-founder and vocalist, when they were being interviewed by the said journalist. He told them about his friend, and they felt lead to do a song about it.

Another highlight is “Melody of You,” a song Slocum describes as a modern day Psalm. It flows from one description of God to another in a very eloquent way. Lyrically, it might be the most impressive piece of work on the CD. Then there is “Tension is a Passing Note,” which is nearly as good… a part of it goes “But Tension is to be loved… when it is just a passing note to a beautiful, beautiful cord.” Based on the all too often experience of SPNTR of major tensions with their recording labels (among other things), it notes how tension can improve you. In fact, Nash and Slocum have said as much about their band in recent interviews.

The CD leaves us with “A Million Parachutes,” Matt's reflection during a snow storm (“parachutes”) of his friends that he was no longer in contact with. It's a great way to end a great CD, although we can only hope our “friends” at Sixpence don't stay out of contact for five years before the next CD.

Whatever the case, you really should give this CD a listen. While I think their self-titled 1997 release was probably a better album (I'll review it sometime soon), this one is still very impressive in its depth and blending of issues as wide ranging as record label troubles and God.

Need Some Punditing?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:26 PM

I'm pleased to introduce a new entry to my blog roll. Le Renard Subtil's Citizen of the State is an interesting “pundit blog” that's part of the Gone Ape Web Network (as is What in Tarnation!?!). This blog has been up for about a month, and I decided it was high time for me to add it to my blog roll rather than using my blog roll to get to Christopher's blog roll to get to COTS (if you aren't confused by now, you should get some kind of award!).

American Flag...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:32 AM

How sad. I just had CNN Headline News on, and some student (and star sports player at some college) who disagrees with current government policy felt a good way to express this way to face away from the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance. How sad that someone would think that rejecting our flag, in essence, our country is the right way to disagree with certain policies. Apparently the student is at the college only has the opportunity to be the star there because the government is giving her a scholarship…

It's snowing again...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:58 PM

…yes, it is. Amazingly, it seems that everytime the snow melts this year, it snows again. It's at that point where everyone (around here in Missouri, at least) I think is ready for spring (hi Christopher!). I must admit though, barring unforeseen traffic issues tomorrow morning, it was quite beautiful in its icy whiteness, and I enjoyed it tonight. The motion sensor light came on earlier and the snow just glistened on the hill.

Radio Personalities.

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:21 PM

I was just thinking about this as the radio personalities at KMOX have spent the day discussing the murder of long time personality Nan Wyatt, the host of the “Total Information AM” program. It's odd, I'd never met Wyatt, but it still was something that gave me pause when I first heard of the news on the radio this morning.

Certainly this isn't something that is just me either. I was amazed at all of the heartfelt responses from callers to KMOX today. Even major figures like Gov. Bob Holden and Sen. Jim Talent took time out of their day to express their sympathy and talk about Wyatt's impressive skills as a host and interviewer.

Radio is special like that, in both sad times like this and good times. I don't have any glitzy ending for this, but I just felt likesaying that right now.

At What Cost?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:02 PM

What do I mean? Many people around the world (not just Muslims) are looking at this as a “Christian Fundamentalist” war. While that isn't really the case, the fact that President Bush is a Christian does make it seem at least somewhat plausible. The problem, as I see it, is that people may be less prone to the Gospel if they think it is that thing that those “war mongers” talk about. The fact that many (most?) evangelical Christians (including myself) are conservative in politics means that we are indeed closely aligned with the “war mongers.”

Further more, the doctrine of the Preemptive Strike, no matter how right it is in nature, seems to go against everything that we stand for, if we take the Bible at its word. Again, it could be argued that the attack is in order because Iraq is violating UN resolutions, but in that case, the administration should stick to the UN framework, at least for now, and drop the preemptive strike concept.

I should mention that I was a big supporter of the war. I think in many ways it would be a good thing in the long run. But, I'm not sure I can justify support for it if it will end up creating more and more enemies of the church that are less prone to accept the good news of Jesus Christ.

In essence, I worry that we are trading spiritual things (bringing people to the Gospel) for wordly things (safety from a rogue regime). Is it worth it?


By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:19 PM

I've been meaning to post some stuff on here, but I've been under the weather, and just not had the “umpf” to follow through. I'm starting to feel better though (yay!) so expect something posted here soon.

Knowing You

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 9:41 PM

Now my heart's desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and know as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

—Graham Kendrick, Knowing You

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