Linking up to Leigh Kramer's What I'm Into Posts.
It's been ages since I did a "What I've Been Into Post", so... there's a
number of songs and musicians I've added to my list recently! I actually like rap and have enjoyed getting a little into Lecrae, Tripp Lee, etc. But in terms of mainstream rap, Macklemore emerging onto the scene has been fantastic. I love him. His song "Thrift Shop" was the first one I heard and I didn't know if it was a spoof or for real, I just knew it was amazing.
I also love country but haven't added a lot of country to my favorites list of late. There are two exceptions, and both are from female artists, which is unusual for me. The first is a girl from small town Texas who has this breakout hit that is utterly different than most of the current country scene. Most show the beauty of small things and glorify country life. This one takes a good hard look at the other side, being trapped in an empty small town life. I'd say you can be trapped in a small town, trapped in a big city, trapped as a traveler... it's a spiritual issue. But, Kasey Musgrave is honest:
And, absolutely beautiful and creepy and totally co-dependant is The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two"
I've also come to the place where I can freely admit that I love Hanson. Yes, like, "Mmmm...bop" Hanson. They grew up. And their new music is fun and catchy and I love it. The Civil Wars managed to produce their new album while still in a Civil War of their own and not speaking to each other, so I suspect it's the last we'll hear from them. Enjoy the end of a beautiful thing, my friends!
My discovery in music made by Christians (I avoid saying Christian music, because it implies the CCM music industry, which I mostly abhor), is Rend Collective Experiment. I believe they are the worship band from a church in Ireland who gradually got more popular. I can't speak to their older stuff, I only know that a few of their most recent songs I absolutely love. They have that folk/bluegrass tinge that is coming in to a lot of music, and the hipster look of Mumford, but this song is a lot of what I've been learning recently in my faith:
TV and Movies
We've tried a number of TV shows recently. We gave up on Dr. Who. Perhaps we'll go back to it eventually, but it just wasn't holding our interest. We loved House of Cards, the Netflix political drama (though I really hope that not all of our politics are so dirty. I know some is, but, really.... some integrity?). I started and finished Call the Midwife, a BBC show about midwives in London. It was totally delightful. We also got into one that I've not heard many others talk about - Copper. It's a BBC America production about a streetwise cop in Civil War New York.
I can never remember what movies I've seen, maybe because I mostly fall asleep 15 minutes in and Isaac watches them. However, while Isaac was traveling I went on a movies-made-from-classic-books binge. My favorite was Ana Karenina with Keira Knightley, it was visually sumptuous and well made. Turns out she also did a miniseries version of Dr. Zhivago (it's on Netflix) that I missed till now. Isaac and I watched The Great Gatsby together and I finally watched the PBS 2009 version of Wuthering Heights (check netflix). Most of them were enjoyable and I have to say, nearly all of our classic novels have main characters who make terrible romantic choices.
For Judah, I have to highly recommend Preschool Prep Company products. I download their videos onto our kindle, but they also have games and some other things that Isaac has seen on Apple products. They are educational videos and we started with letters and moved to numbers and now shapes. Judah starts out entranced by each video and eventually loses interest, but in each one he has actually learned them! I cannot tell you how proud I am that he knows his letters.
I have a few recipes to recommend, all from pinterest, of course. Last night we made Mushroom Bourguignon, which was sort of like a rich and hearty beef stew over noodles.... with no beef. Mmm.
Chicken Tamale Pie was another hit, and the Brown Butter Snickerdoodles another friend recommended on Pinterest resulted in Isaac saying he might like them better than sugar cookies (there is no higher recommendation). Pretty much everything I make from Pinterest I repin and describe on this Pinterest board: Pinterest Ideas I've Actually Tried.
I have actually been reading. I read Billy Graham's autobiography, which led me to write about his wife.
Forever War by Dexter Filkins was a really good read. He was a journalist in Iraq from the invasion on, for seven years I think? It's a blunt look at what it was like there, both in town and out in various other parts of the country. You see the good intentions of the US at the beginning and cringe at some of the choices made in the name of reconstruction, and then it's a slap in the face to see how bad it got when the insurgency nearly took over the place. It's very personal, though, and you see Filkin's emotion and eventually how shell-shocked he becomes, very much like the US troops in their sense of loneliness and isolation on returning to the US. Read it. We hear a lot about what happened in Iraq and whether it was good or bad. This at least is written by someone who was there.
I listened to the audiobook for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which totally took me for a ride. I told Isaac I was listening to a book about one thing, and the next week I was like, "So I told you that's what this book is about, but I was wrong. It's actually about...". I totally didn't see anything in book coming. Now I'm audiobooking Game of Thrones, which is super helpful, because I was so lost while watching the first season. I couldn't keep track of the characters, and listening to it now I'm all like, "Ooohhh, that's what was happening."
I just finished The Emotionally Healthy Church, which was a really timely balance to the books I'm reading on missiology currently. The fad in missiology is very pragmatic approaches that emphasize growth and speed and contextualization. Contextualization and shedding Western church baggage I am totally down with, but I am struggling to discern where unhealthy pragmatism sneaks in. The Emotionally Healthy Church might air a little on the opposite side, perhaps too pop-psychology at times? But it is so good to emphasize the need for emotional health, mourning, and quiet spirituality rather than the constant pursuit of action and results.