Hollywood Hedcuts

Amazing portraits by Randy Glass

A Feast for the Eyes

The marriage of food and fashion.

Artsy Fartsy: Van Gogh Meets Pop Culture!

Internet artists create epic mashups.

Social Media Propaganda Posters

Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Google Plus; Apple vs. Android. It's time to pick a side!

Silent Films

An undertapped source of entertainment

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Legacy Poured Out: Jars of Clay

"If our hearts are turned to stone, there is hope: we know that the rocks will cry out..." Jars of Clay, Shelter

In a generation where scores of people turned away from the faith of their fathers, music has become increasingly prolific. It is now - more so than before - a popular way to show people's deep yearnings. Is it surprising that we emerge in droves behind acts like these? The coincidence between growing people and the popularity of some bands is profound. Some musicians have artistry so riveting, so compelling that they convincingly evoke the spiritual.

What would happen, though, if you found a group of people that held to both the faith of their fathers and the sonic canvas? Heaven can't be brought to earth, but can you be lifted into lyrical poetry, to - as G.K. Chesterton once said - "get [your] head into the heavens"?


Perhaps U2, Switchfoot or the Parachute Band has done something like that for you - for me, it was a band known as the Jars of Clay that gently nudged me towards a spiritual journey. One that was resplendent with wonders upon wonders.



Signs Amidst My Wanderings
Now, for Christian readers, I want you to be aware that I know this - that we can't rely totally on bands for our spiritual lives. Rich Mullins put it well when he said:

"It's so funny being a Christian musician. It always scares me when people think so highly of Christian music, contemporary Christian music especially. Because I kinda go, 'I know a lot of us, and we don't know jack about anything.' Not that I don't want you to buy our records and come to our concerts.

"I sure do. But you should come for entertainment. If you really want spiritual nourishment, you should go to church...you should read the Scriptures." (1997)

Still, the influence of the Jars of Clay on my life has been phenomenal. Perhaps it was the mix of pondering delight and sombre hopefulness in their lyrics. Perhaps it was the range of music styles, stretching from elegant acoustics to whimsical sing-along rock. Much of their music fell like cool water, helping to stir a befuddled and dozing soul away from his nightmares. Deep questions can be answered, but the most satisfactory answers are often riddles, not straightforward sentences. And it was the Jars' music and poetry that kept the embers of my listening ears alight to those riddles.

My meaning would probably become clearer, if you think of the musicians that have had a deep impact on your life. Granted, not every musician that has influenced you replicates the same feelings and thoughts that the Jars of Clay built into me - but the process can be similar.



How did the Jars of Clay take a confused teenager and point him towards maturity? Songs such as the heart-felt prayer Something Beautiful, the refrain of hope in This Road and the gritty wisdom in Boys (Lesson One) were not only beautiful - they also contained a wholesome goodness that continues to melt like gentle breakers on the soul.


I'm Not Out to Sell the Jars
All of this leads me to what I mainly want to tell you here.


If you have had a similar experience to mine, I am very glad for you - we would have not only one, but a myriad of precious experiences! In listening, pondering, singing and dreaming over beautiful tunes, you see. What more should I say?


However, if you have not followed artistes or bands that can inspire and embolden your heart in wholesome ways, I would strongly encourage you to look for them. In a world with no lack of people exploring the aesthetic, there is a surprising lack of musicians that are led by genuine passion and integrity.

That is not to say that there aren't many of them. It does mean, however, that many people will always yearn for music that is simultaneously good and beautiful.

By Dan C. with No comments

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Links for Week #5



1) Take this lollipop - if you dare!


Moral of the story: Don't take lollies from strangers.




Ever wondered what's your number? 





Watch him come to life!













By Joanne Lim with No comments

Monday, 24 October 2011

Say NO to cyberbullying!



Following NZ CloseUp, it saddens me to see people misuse the power of social networking. Check out the video here. Concealed Revealed - a facebook page where the anonymous owner post up inappropriate statuses with names.  No, not gonna put the facebook page up it absolutely makes no sense. Apparently it has not been blocked yet. The thought of even having the page still 'lingering' there disgusts me. What has the world turn into?


"Cyberbullying", also known as internet bullying, is when a child, pre-teen or teen is threatened, humiliated, assaulted or targeted by another minor (child,preteen or teen) with the use of the internet, or mobile phones.




My knowledge of cyber-bullying came from after reading an article in Reader's Digest  in 2006, american Megan Tier committed suicide by hanging at the age of 13. She had been diagnosed with depression and self-esteem issues and was reported to have been tormented and humiliated via MySpace leading to her death. A fake account was created to converse with Megan, it was created to "mess with Megan" and "laughed about". The girl killed herself after being told the world was a better world without her.



4 days ago, canadian Jamie Hubley committed suicide after years of bullying for being gay. His thoughts on his blog (not for the faint-hearted) literally broke my heart. What did he deserve to receive all that hate? Gay controversies have been a sensitive issue among us Christians. Don't go saying God doesn't love 'em! Last I checked He doesn't reject anyone but He hates sin (Romans 3:23). Did you know that lying is a similar sin as homosexuality? Everyone sins, but we are supposed ask Him for forgiveness and repent away from it (Romans 6:23). I believe that it comes down to you and God.

One should not judge others hypocritically, rather confront them in a loving and respectful way. We all know where hurtful words lead to!


If you judge people, you have no time to love them. 
- Mother Theresa


Back to the Cyberbullying topic, I personally advice you to change your privacy settings and or get in touch with an adult or even a counselor (applies to adults too) if it makes you uncomfortable. Better be alert, and don't let anyone be a victim of it!


By Joanne Lim with No comments

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Links of the Week #4

By Twang with No comments

Music Humour :Conductors




Ever wondered how does the conductor uses his baton? I knew it!




Size doesn't matter.



Invisible musicians? Oh, wait. 


Likewise, likewise.



Focus on the music piece! No comment needed.



By Joanne Lim with No comments