Legal and Illegal; Stealing and Purchasing

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me a simple question: “where do you get your music”. The simple answer I gave was, “iTunes, buy the actual CD’s, or use Urge”.  The response was: “oh, wrong answer”.  In the meantime someone had overheard his question to me and stated that, “Hey, if you want any music just let me know”.

This sets me up for the topic I’m about to discuss: legal verses illegal; stealing and purchasing.  I hope that the last response wasn’t thought out before being said, because in all honestly: it’s wrong.  When you purchase virtually any piece of music it’s illegal to make copies for anyone other than yourself.  If I said that I’ve never downloaded music illegally, then I would be lying: I have.  After I was convicted of it, it took days to find what I had bought (or had downloaded legally, as there used to be a lot of legal downloads on artist websites).

A common misconception is that when you purchase a piece of music it’s “yours and you can make copies of it”.  Wrong.  It’s illegal.  You can make copies for yourself (for example: I rip all my CDs to the computer since I’m on it most of the day).  It’s quick and easy to make a copy for your friends, just copy and give.  Doing that is causing someone else to sin and the Bible states in Luke 17:2 (NIV) that “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”  It would be better for him!  We must not go with the easy way!

I currently have an Urge account that I can download as many CDs as I want (and listen to them on the computer only) as long as I pay 9.95 per month.  Honestly, that’s not a bad deal considering I stay on the computer virtually all day.

I guess this begs the question: Is letting someone borrow my CD(s) okay?  Honestly, I would say this depends.  Are they going to make a copy of it?  If so, you’re probably better off not even giving them the chance.  The Bible says we shouldn’t steal AND to obey the laws of the land.  In a since, when we “sharing” music with other people, we are breaking the law, and we’re causing the “sharee” to steal the music.  In this day it’s easy to do.  That doesn’t make it right, though.  I believe most try to justify their sin (in this area specifically) by “everyone else is doing it” or just simply “I didn’t know it was wrong” (when in actuality, many do know it’s wrong and are TRYING to be completely ignorant to the fact, or ignore their consciousness).

I could rant all day about this, but in the end it comes down to this: are you going to live for God, or live for self.  There are no in betweens.  Giving people music because they want them to “have something to worship to” isn’t a justification to sin either.  Sin is sin.  There are not justifications.

Finally, something a little off subject.  Yesterday as I was reading my new book (which is very awesome), “The Burning Heart Contract” by Becky Tirabassi, something jumped out at me that she said.  She was wanting to speak to students about committing to an hour in prayer each day, but found that the team she was with didn’t take too fond of the idea.  She states:

But the team thought it was a far too time-consuming and guilt-producing discipline to ask students to consider.  Their rejection of my idea made me feel–true or untrue–as if they considered me legalistic.  One thing I continue to learn about possessing a burning heart: if God calls you to deeper levels of prayer, purity, and purpose, you might be misunderstood as legalistic and will often stand alone. (“The Burning Heart Contract”, 114)

I think her assessment sums up everything beautifully.  And that’s what’ll have to close this post out.

Things Left Unsaid

This is easily one of my favorite songs of the year. I wasn’t about to post it, but I keep loosing the website I find the lyrics at, so I decided to post it …

It’s just a matter of time a few days ago
I saw you, you were fine
Remember what you said about the book you read
The one I got you at the beginning of the year
Oh, how we talk for hours upon end what I would give just to do it again
You’re lying there in this hospital bed
Won’t you open your eyes and lets talk once again

If you fly away tonight
I want to tell you that I love you
I hope that you can hear me
I hope that you can feel me

If you fly away tonight
I want to tell you that I’m sorry
That I never told you
When we were face to face

Well I’ve been here all night
And I’m watching you breathe in and breathe out
Is it really you or just a machine that’s giving you life
And its making it seem that there could be hope I could say to your face
If it weren’t for you there would be no grace
That’s covered my life
You took the time to speak into my mind and heart words of light

So goodbye for now
And I’ll see you again someway somehow
When its my time to go to the other side
I’ll hold you again and melt at your smile
Now all I have all the words that I’m with
And you taught me not to take for granted the time that we have
To show that we care
So we give to the mind and the hearts while they’re here
Say I love you

“Things Left Unsaid” by Disciple

I’ll try to post something a little more thoughtful in the next few days …

Edit: Ryan comments to say that Kevin Young of Disciple wrote this song for his grandfather. You can watch a live version of it on YouTube.

Standing Up for What is Right

Reading the news yesterday, I found what some students did when they were told not stand up for what they believe in.

The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge's order banning prayer at commencement. About 200 seniors stood during the principal's opening remarks and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium.

The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer. The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life. [Read More]

A "revival like atmosphere", as the AP put it.

It's wrong, on many levels, that these students first amendment rights were overridden — and by a small minority at that.  Even the ACLU admits there's not much they can do since it was a corporate prayer.  It's wrong because this is goes directly against the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution (no matter what the ACLU yells).

We just need a few more who would Rise Up …

I will not stand silently by as you mock and curse my God
Stand against Him; you will be brought down

Here I come; I'm bout to rise up
All of my people, we’re 'bout to rise up
Here we come now, we’re 'bout to rise up
All of my people, we’re bout rise up

You bark accusations that paralyze my brothers in fear
Only a small spark starts an unquenchable fire

DiscipleRise Up

Rise up …


I've been tired this week with work and all.  Nothing at all is going on at work.  Nothing important anyway.  Doing much of what I'd do at home, only much (much) less productive.  I can't program or do anything (but answer tech support and read news).  Since money from E-Blah comes from upgrades and and new versions — I won't make much off of it this summer.  Oh well.  What's worse is when I get home I have 4 to 5 hours to do … something.  I can't program because if I start something I like to finish it that night.  I'm too tired to do anything on top of that.  I guess I have weekends.  Weekends are full, though.  I wish I had someone to talk to.  Guess complaining about that won't change anything though.  I see as much drama at work now as I did in high school.  That always makes life happy.  It reminds me of times past … but back again.  Maybe some people just don't grow up.  Maybe.  *sigh*

If weakness is a wound
That no one wants to speak of
Then “cool” is just how far we have to fall
I am not immune
I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall
Can I lose my need to impress?
If you want the truth, I need to confess

I’m not alright
I’m broken inside, broken inside
And all I go through
It leads me to you, it leads me to you

Burn away the pride
Bring me to my weakness
Until everything I hide behind is gone
And when I’m open wide
With nothing left to cling to
Only you are there to lead me on
Cause honestly, I’m not that strong

I’m not alright
I’m broken inside, broken inside
And all I go through
It leads me to you, it leads me to you

And I move, and I move, and I move…closer to you
And I move, and I move, and I move…closer to you
And I move, and I move, and I move…closer to you
And I move, and I move, and I move…

I’m not alright
I’m broken inside, broken inside
broken inside, broken inside
And all I go through
Leads me to you, leads me to you

I’m not alright, I’m not alright, I’m not alright…that’s why I need you

I'm Not Alright – Sanctus Real

Life Update

The next version of E-Blah has been going okay.  Not near as fast as I’d like, but I’ve been doing several other things at once.  I’ve got a few things even within the project still open (I normally try to finish one section before starting on the next).  Recently, I’ve been working on the calendar portion.  A complete recode of the calendar.  It’s a major pain.  I like the end result so far though.  I’ve got a little clean up work and then distribution to the other sections of the code and I should be done.  It’s tedious work.  Not a lot of people use the calendar, but those that do find that it’s the feature that draws them to the software — thus making it worth it.

In the meantime, I’ve been learning a new language — C#.  I’m learning the very basic concepts of everything.  I may need to get a book so I can actually create a good piece of software.  I’m using the .NET Framework (Microsoft is releasing Visual Studio Express free of charge — forever — now).  It’s different.  I’m following a video tutorial from the Microsoft website.  It’s helping me to learn the interface a little while I go.

School is going just great.  I’ve got the majority of my essays either completed or near completion.  I’ve got one more two page essay to write and I’ll be done with all my essays (minus the final essays).  I need to finish one more lab in the computer class (I don’t have Microsoft Access here, so I have to use it there).  I have one more assignment for the Economics class.  Other than that, I’m done I believe.  The computer essay was easier than I thought.

I shot my rocket twice today.  We was afraid the wind was going to knock it off onto a roof.  It did fine though, the wind wasn’t too bad.  I’ve got three more rocket engines, they should be pretty fun to shoot on another day.

I hate bugs.  There’s some sort of jumping insect wandering around my room (it looks so much like a mix between a spider and a grasshopper, but I don’t think it is one).  I’ve killed several of them this year already.  This is the only one that’s jumped away though.  Earlier tonight I killed another 1-2 inch spider.  He was crawling on the wall.  Was.

I’ve not listened to as much here lately (been listening to the Night Watch or some other worship station).  I’ve heard a new artist on the other day though, called “Red”.  The song, “Breath Into Me” is a very good.  Check them out.

I guess that’s enough over viewing for tonight.

The Stand

Tonight while I was praying, I had this thought come to my mind … We, as Americans, watch a lot of TV, movies, whatever. I've pretty much resigned myself from almost all forms of media (big reason is that I do not really have the time). Here's an analogy (I think that's what it is) — if you have someone you care for very (very!) deeply and you see them hurt, what would your reaction be? The first thing that comes to my mind is how a man is (or should be) protective of his wife. If someone calls her an ugly name (or they disrespect her and/or her name) for most guys they would be very displeased (aka: very angry!). So here's the analogy — so very often we're doing the same thing to God! So often we go and do things that disrespects Him and His name. Instead of being angry about it, we just sit by and are basically saying, "Oh well, that's just how the culture is". That's how the culture is, perhaps. That's NOT how we, as Christians should live though. We're not supposed to be of the world. We're called to be what the world calls radical. Am I saying live in ignorance to the world around you? No. Just because you've not watched a movie, DOES NOT make you ignorant (maybe "deprived of culture"). If you're called to the media industry — great. Do what God has called you to do, BUT make sure you help build HIS Kingdom not your kingdom (because it will fade away — you're going to die!). When you stand before God — would you have a life without any lasting stain or blemish (sure, there's sins — but we're supposed to be trying to become like Christ!).

This can be taken further too. Even with video games. I spent 30+ hours over a 30 day period (maybe it was closer to 15 days). That, truely, was a total waste of time. I got temporary joy and fulfilment out of it. It's not badin moderation (an hour or two every week or two, perhaps?). If that's someone's ministry and it's fruitful and is what God called them to do, then that's great (this is NOT an excuse for going and playing a game though, if that's an excuse it's no more than foolishness and God can see right through it). So many times, I went and played that game hour upon hour when I could have done ANYTHINGbetter than that. There's a world out there going to hell. Plain. Harsh. Truth. I was literally spending hour upon hour doing that when I could have been praying for those people (intersession). They NEED Christ! That's all I want. Until my entire city is shouting "The Stand" from the rooftops — I can't give up. We can't give up. That's the plain simple truth. If it means giving up everything we have, we've got to do it. There may not be much time left. In an split second we could be wiped off the face of the earth and put into eternity. One blink of an eye. Eternity. Stroke. Car wreck. Gunshot. Sudden unexplained death. An instant. What will people remember you by? Will they be able to say, "S/he was the one who was radical for God. They did nothing else but stay in constant worship and prayer"? "Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away." (Psalm 144:4) A shadow that passes away. Just a shadow. In the span of time (speculating it's around 8,000 years), our lives (speculating we'll live to be 80 years) accounts for about 1% of the entire timespan of all life. One percent. And for a lot of us, we won't live as long as 80 years. A lot less than 1% of the entire span of earth life time. In a moment — gone.

The truth is — if I don't do what He has called me to do (if it's just to pray), God will find someone else to do it. God found someone else to lead His people when King Saul disobeyed God (countless times). God came to the little nobody — the man after God's own heart — David — to lead his people. The linage of Saul was severed. David was a nobody, the least of his family, yet through his linage came Jesus.
Something to think about …

"The Stand", Hillsong United: United We Stand:

You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart oh God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation Your spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand
So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart oh God
Completely to You

I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrender it
all I am is Yours

I want to credit this blog with the lyrics.

Also, I wanted to add this: "Eternity", Misty Edwards

Eternity's eternal song, is calling me,
Is drawing me away, it's calling me away

All flesh is grass, fading away.
Only You last, only You remain the same,
You never change.
Holy, holy, holy, You are fairer than then sons of men

Surely man is like the flower of the field,
And life is but a vapor, at best but a vapor.
Surely man is like a flower of the field,
And the fragrance but a vapor, at best but a vapor.

But you O God, are better than a thousand blooms.
Hallelujah Amen!

Ah, longer than I wanted this to be, and later than I wanted to go …

The Life of Change … without Complaining!

On Friday I painted. Needless to say, my room is very different. I got a bluish paint. Since I had to move just about everything in my room around, I decided to also rearrange my room. I changed where my bed and chair is. I now have more room (or it seems that way, not sure if I really do). Here are some pictures of the "new look":

My Room My Room My Room

I like the paint color. I wasn't that sure I would like it as much as I do.

Last week, I went to a movie with my brother and two cousins. We saw Ice Age 2. It was pretty good. It was the first movie I've saw in theaters since Narnia back in January. I'm positive I've not missed much with staying at home (and not going to movies). So far the only other movie I'd like to see this year is Cars. From the previews I've saw, there's really not much coming out of Hollywood worth spending the time to watch (much less the money). I try to support the movies that are actually okay and would like to see more of, though.

The parents got Narnia on Tuesday. I watched it again (it was either the fourth or fifth time). Why can't authors make a story thatgood anymore? Narnia and Lord of the Rings have been the best movies of my lifetime — hands down. The funny thing is, out of all the movies nominated for "best picture" last year, Narnia got more money than all of them (and wasn't even nominated). Something to think about. It was the first movie I've ever seen that still had a slightly-crowded theater — a month after it's release.

Jumping subjects: complaining is bad. Over the past few weeks, I've observed several people complain over just anything. From the stupid little things (ie: food) to the big things (ie: cars). Oddly enough, my Bible reading went through Numbers. The Israelites complained to the Lord about their hardships after the Lord had brought them out of Egypt. Because of this Numbers says, "his [The Lords] anger blazed against them" (Numbers 11:1). The Lord burned the outside of the camp because of their complaining (until Moses prayed to the Lord for it to stop). Later they complained about the manna that God was providing them. So, in Numbers 11:18-20the Lord said to Moses to tell the people that He would give them meat to eat for an entire month — until they were very sick of it. They didn't put their trust in God. They were, in essence, telling God that they knew better, when in reality God knew that they were better off trusting in Him (and that he would provide for them). They weren't thankful for what God had done for them. This makes me wonder: how many times do I complain instead of just being thankful for what God has given to me. Throughout the book of Numbers the Israelites stop trusting in God. How many times do I stop trusting God? God told the Israelites the land of Canaan was theirs, yet only two of the twelve scouts that went to the land trusted that God had given it to them and they, through the help of God, could conquer it.

God has given us things (food, places to live, families, etc) — but so many times, we aren't thankful and do not trustGod's leading in our life. I think that the way we can trust God more is to pray and fast. By reading and praying the Word. I believe can help us trust God more. Looking back at what God has already done for us can help us look forward to what more God wants to give us, and to trust in Him. When we're depressed about something, perhaps if we THANKGod for what he has already done for us, instead of complaining to Him about where we are, we'll learn to trust Him more. When we trust Him, then He'll be able to lead and guide us to where He wants us to go.

A few more tidbits before I go …

I added the podcasts that I recommend (and listen to), to the side of my blog now. I recommend everyone to listen to them. I got the older CD by Misty Edwards, "Eternity". It's good, and I recommend it (it's on my recommended list for a reason). Also, I recommend the new Passion album, "Everything Glorious".

… and now I must go.