Ripping Off Songs

So I'm just curious what people think about borrowing CDs from friends or the Library or whatever and uploading the songs you like (to your iPod, computer, whatever), and returning the CD. I have heard several different takes on this--some people think it's wrong in all cases, some think it's okay as long as the artist is really commercial and successful and doesn't need the money, and some think it's okay all the time. A friend of mine compared it to recording songs off the radio and making mix-tapes...and I see the similarity, though the quality and convenience of uploaded songs is much different. Anyway, I'm not asking about the legality of it, more like what people think about it morally, and whether it's something you've ever felt convicted about.

I just discovered that a local library has TONS of CDs that they loan out, and you can check out 5 at a time. Let's just say I've already made my second trip there. I have picked up:
Patti Griffin...1000 Kisses
Heart...The Road Home
Red Hot Chili Peppers...Californication
Old 97s...Fight Songs
(and last but not least)
Paula Abdul...Forever Your Girl

How wrong is this new habit?


Letter to the President

Here is the letter I sent to the President, through World Vision's campaign to end poverty (the One Campaign). If you click that link, you can sign the petition and email the President yourself too. I am hoping God moves powerfully at the G8 summit in a couple weeks.
President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
The White House
Washington, DC 20500-0003

Dear President Bush,

Since moral duty and responsibility have become important parts ofyour presidency, I think it is time we act ethically responsible withthe money and power we have as the most privileged nation in theworld. God has indeed given us much, but it does not belong to us, itbelongs to God. So I ask that as you meet with the other world leadersat the July 6th G8 Summit, that you would use some of our resources tobless those in the world's poorest countries. I would personally bewilling to make sacrifices in my life of privilege here in Americathat would allow this to take place.

I would ask that you would allocate 1% more of the US budget forHIV/AIDS basic needs, and that you would cancel debt and reform traderules so that poorer nations can realize some of the privileges andeveryday necessities that I, and many other Americans, take forgranted. [the next part is the filler that World Vision put in for me]

[I urge you to lead other nations at Gleneagles to make povertyhistory by:> Helping the poorest of the poor fight poverty, disease, andhunger at a cost equal to just one percent more of the U.S. budget ona clear timetable.> Canceling 100% of the debts owed by the poorest countries.> Reforming trade rules so people in poor countries can earnsustainable incomes.Thank you for your leadership to help others help themselves andespecially giving children the opportunity to live life in all itsfullness.]

Sincerely, (me)


Fulfillment Redux

I am doing GREAT. Better than I have been doing in quite some time--and I realized that it is because the Holy Spirit sent me reminders of who I am and what I am about; things I've forgotten lately. Because over the past year and a half or so I have gotten kind of tunnel-visioned in my life. I have been lonely for romantic companionship, so that has been a focus in many aspects of my life.

For example:
Prayer life: Of course whining to God to bring me a suitable romantic companion, but also occasionally couching it in very holy sounding language, like, "Bring me someone who, through our partnership, your Kingdom will be furthered." I don't think there has been any kind of extended prayer time in the past 2 years that hasn't included prayer about this. Not one. Neither one of my approaches seemed to sway God, however.
How I spent my time: too much time online chatting with random guys (too much of the time about sex), too much time scouring personal ads online, even perusing the very unpromising craigslist hookup links, etc.
How I thought about life: everything I did was through the lens of, "Will there possibly be a guy there I want to date? What kind of guys will be at that activity? Where can I meet guys that I like?"
How I thought about myself: What should I wear to attract the kind of guys I like? How should I wear my hair that would be most attractive to men? and even, What book should I take to read at the coffee shop to attract the kind of man that I'm looking for? DAMN...so much posturing.
How I thought about men: every guy I met was through the lens of, "Is he someone I would want to date? Could he possibly be interested in me? Does he have a girlfriend? What are his future plans?" It's sick, I tell ya.

This kind of lifestyle results in me feeling bad about life most of the time, because if my one main goal is to find a man to love and to love me, and I never do, then every day is a failure and all the good stuff pales in comparison to that one focus of my life. But THEN...God moved. Hallelujah!
God really used hanging out with friend Micah last Sunday to remind me that LOW AND BEHOLD there are things about life that fulfill me and bring me joy other than romantic relationships! Who would have thought? I had just lost sight of that--of all those things that bring me joy and make me feel alive. And God reminded me. God even spoke to me through this lame Christian TV show yesterday morning when I was at the gym. As a response to what I felt God showing me, I am taking all my profiles off the online dating sites, and I am taking myself off the offensive in the dating arena for the rest of my time here in Georgia. Now, I'm not saying there might not come a season when God will call me to put myself out there again and take risks on the offense, but now the risk God is calling me to is to take this desire out of my own hands, and just put it in God's.
And this is really freeing for me at this point--I am free to enjoy life again, and to find joy and love and connection in places that have seemed dull to me as I've focused on romantic love as the holy grail of my life. The fullness of my last year in seminary is not just going to be based on whether I find my mate, my life is big again. I am thankful to God for reawakening my passion for God and for living! Hooray!!!


Navigating the Blogosphere

If you made it to this blog, then thanks for coming!! I am still not sure whether I'm going to use this blog permanently or not...I'm thinking I might start posting on this blog, and then post the same thing on xanga (but protecting my xanga posts only for people I know). I wish it didn't have to come to this!!!

Let me know if you have any suggestions for how to deal with the whole blogging situation. Honestly, I don't even want him to be reading my blog, but definitely not writing insulting comments on it. Blech.