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Category Archives: Education

1. Murray G. Brett- Growing Up in Grace [This book discusses how God gives us grace post-salvation, and how we can cultivate his grace through bible study, prayer, etc. There are some great “scenarios” at the end of each chapter. Brett writes a story about a hypothetical person’s spiritual life and asks how you would apply the chapter to that person. He gives no answers, so it is up to you to seriously consider the person’s options. Best part of the book by far. This guy is a hardcore Reformer. When he gets going he sounds like the KJV. That makes him more spiritual right? Any takers? Didn’t think so! Joking aside, good book.]

2. Pat Gilbert- Passion is a Fashion: The Real Story of the Clash [Probably the best Clash bio available in book form. Other than watching the Westway to the World documentary this is the place to go for all that Clash info that you never knew you wanted to know. Even though Gilbert is obviously a huge fan he treats some of the more controversial issues objectively. Excellent.]

3. R. Kent Hughes- Disciplines of a Godly Man [Been sloggin’ through this one for a while now. Good book, practical but hard to get into. Some of the examples are laughably dated, but the spiritual principles will always be valid and applicable. The book’s title says it all]

4. Mark A. Noll- The New Shape of World Christianity [Just started this so not much to say. An academic text that objectively discusses the how the North American church effects world Christianity. Should be interesting. This is a review copy.]

5. Pauline Rivelli & Robert Levin, Eds.- Giants of Black Music [A book about Avant-Garde Jazz written contemporaneously with the movement?! More, please! This book is made of articles from the long defunct Jazz & Pop magazine, it was published in 1970. Gotta love the old school politically incorrect title…]

6. Alyn Shipton- A New History of Jazz: Revised Edition [Holy crap this is a mammoth tome. Not only is it a giant book, it is also over 700 pages long! Then again he is covering 100 years of music in one book. One of the better Jazz histories out there as it doesn’t short-shift Free Jazz and more modern stuff. Beats the hell outta that Ken Burns guy!]


Listening to: Becoming the Archetype- How Great Thou Art The latest BTA record is seriously awesome. It is essentially worship death metal. I would love to see BTA do a whole project of Puritan hymns death metal style. It would easily be the best “Worship Project” by a non-worship band ever. Forever and ever. Amen


So I guess it is time for some updates on life with the Salos. We now live in Dundas, Ontario. This is where Rachel is from. It is a gorgeous town near Hamilton. It is located in a valley and surrounded by conservation area. Tons of greenery, tons of trails, and even waterfalls are within a fifteen minute walk from my front door. One of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever been to. The first time I visited I told Rach that I wanted to live here, and now we do!

I did not get the OIP position. This is frustrating and also sad, but it leaves me in a position where I am required to trust God for provision. I am quite frustrated with my university degree that has given me a lot of head knowledge but no directly applicable job skills, leaving me essentially unemployable. I am considering college, or making ads for  tutoring and pasting them all over town. I am currently a baker at Tim Horton’s, and it gives us the cash we need at the moment but I do want a better job someday!


At the end of April I went to the Gospel Coalition Conference with Jer, Todd, Ben Inglis, and Alex Kloosterman. It was a great experience. I have never sat under such phenomenal preaching before. I also met Mark Driscoll. From what I remember I said “hi” before peeing my pants and waking up six hours later in a strange padded room. (Some parts of this story may be fictional in nature).

I have been reading like a fiend lately and it is awesome. I have also been twittering up a storm all you micro-blog heads! Books are great, especially the Bible and books written to edify us and make us holy. Got lots of books at the GCA (including free ones, like an ESV study bible…. oh yeah!) And also bought some. More reading than time allows!

Still searching for a great church. Keyword great. Rach and I will not compromise. We will find the best church in the Hamilton area and it will be our family. Fo Sho!

There is more I would like to say but time grows late and I must go to bed soon, for work. I will continue the update later.











Okay folks, Here’s a “I like to copy Jerry sometimes” post. A bunch of lists, here we go:

Goals for the coming months:

  1. Find apartment in the Dundas/Hamilton area
  2. Apply for Ontario Internship Program
  3. Apply to Mohawk College Journalism program
  4. Create a Professional Portfolio of my best writing: Academic, Professional, and Creative
  5. Read more books: “Rachel’s picks” as well as review books from The Tollbooth
  6. Hopefully, maybe learning some basic piano…

What I am Thankful for in 2008:

  1. Marriage to Rachel. She is awesome, awesome, she is the awesomest! It is truly a blessing that continues to challenge me greatly every day.
  2. Great in laws. Rachel’s family is awesome, so much so that we actually want to move as close to them as possible!
  3. My supportive parents who constantly offer to drive us around, who have got us groceries, helped us move in, and generally given us all their support and love.
  4. Great friends, even though we all now live in different cities and never see each other… sigh. (Jer, Todd, Steve, Sarah) and new friends, introduced to me (or re-introduced) by Rach (Misty, Andy, Annie, Richard, Emily) 
  5. Living on my own. Frankly I lived with my parents too long. I am thankful that living with them helped me to graduate debt free, but I am also happy to now be on my own with the responsibilities attached to that.
  6. Graduating debt free!
  7. Deciding to forge my own path… for a long time I wanted to be a teacher, and for a long time I kept that dream out of loyalty to it and to what others thought I should do. Now I have decided to pursue my dream of writing and journalism. It may mean more school, it may mean more crappy jobs until I get situated, but it feels good to be pursuing a goal because I want it, not because I think I should pursue it.
  8. Lots of good music that I have gotten into this year and other good music released this year
  9. To echo Jerry, the ESV Study Bible, even though I don’t have one yet
  10. Awesome reissues on Retroactive Records. Old school Deliverance rules!
  11. Not going to school, that is really nice
  12. Actually having time to write, blog, etc.
  13. Having the opportunity to interview a band for the first time, and losing stupid amounts of sleep to do it!
  14. The book Love & Respect. Every married couple needs a copy
  15. The television programs “Angel” and “Firefly”… and the cheap boxed sets of said programs
  16. Writing for The Phantom Tollbooth and hearing lots of new music
  17. Living in Kingston was pretty rad for a while…
  18. Seeing Jerry get married
  19. Actually having enough money to afford to live and still have fun
  20. Massive awesome deals at Costco!
  21. Health insurance via Rachel’s coverage
  22. Being actively involved politically

And now for other lists:

Currently listening:

  1. Deliverance reissues- S/T and “Weapons…” Leave it to Retroactive to finally make my dreams a reality
  2. Joy Electric- cheap online retailers + package deals = Noah getting lots of Joy Electric…
  3. Switchfoot/Jon Foreman- finally got into this great music
  4. Mars ILL- blame it on Jerry
  5. New CDs from Rachel for Christmas- I love Rachel!

Reading List:

  1. Midori Snyder- Soulstring (Rachel’s Picks)
  2. Mary Ellis- The Turtle Warrior (Rachel’s Picks)
  3. Quentin J. Schultze & Robert H. Woods Jr. Eds.- Understanding Evangelical Media (need to finish soon!)
  4. Peter R. Holmes & Susan B. Williams- Church As A Safe Place
  5. ESV Study Bible… if I get one

…and I guess that is all for now. See you later.

I realize that my personal blog is turning into a music blog. There are reasons for that. There is a lot of music writing I like to do that does not fit into my position at The Tollbooth. Also, I like to keep writing and music journalism comes naturally to me. That being said, fret not Internet lurkers, there will be more personal / spiritual entries on the way.

Right now Rachel and I are busy preparing for the next stage of our lives. Please pray for us as we:

  1. decide where to live next year and secure an apartment
  2. Rachel- applying to a college program
  3. Noah- applying for the Ontario Internship Program, Canada Internship Program, and possibly college for Journalism

In the near future expect the following articles:

Top Ten of ’08– My top ten records released in 2008 with complete reviews

My Thoughts on Joy Electric– This one may be a slow burner. It has been my intention to collect Joy Electric for a while now, and I have recently begun in earnest. Considering they have ten full lengths, eleven EPs, and three compilations / specialty releases, it’s going to take me a while. That being said, I have discovered excellent online retailers who offer discounted CDs, and it may take less time than I initially thought.I may write the series in installments- first the early records, then the legacy series, then the EPs, or something like that.

If you would like to help me acquire the records I am currently missing from my collection, please check my “CD Want List.” (Keep in mind I have a limited budget). Many of JE’s records are readily available, but the following are out of print and are of the highest priority to me:

  • Old Wives Tales EP
  • Starcadia EP
  • The Tick Tock Companion EP
  • Workmanship EP (CD version)

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you are doing well.

While perusing the (excellent) booklet for Norma Jean’s O’ God the Aftermath I discovered these excellent lyrics:

I burned 41 hills for the love of academic ability
that exceeds the love of searching for the truth.
We comprehend a massive array,
can we comprehend simplicity?

What strikes me about these words is how disturbingly accurate they are in describing myself, and my entire university and theological education. I am one of those lovers of information, sometimes arguably trivial, unnecessary information. I wonder if I can actually comprehend simplicity. I find so much enjoyment in ripping everything apart: literature, poetry, music, even television programs. I honesty don’t really know how to just simply enjoy something without searching for that deeper meaning or motivation.

How difficult it is to attain a childlike faith. Can simplicity even satisfy? I am looking in the wrong places. We are all looking in the wrong places.