Monday, June 30, 2008

Crazy Crowder

This is David Crowder's blog. The most recent post is such a funny story, and one that has probably happened to all of us who work with various teams of people that we don't know, . . . (and who don't know us :) )


Things you didn't know about John McCain

Just for your information. . . .


Listings and prosperity

Sorry for the lack of posting the last couple of weeks. There were two reasons for this. 1) I was preaching at church last week (which still takes me like 300 hours to get some coherent thoughts together. . . .but as a reader of this blog, you knew that :) ) 2) We're putting our house on the market to sell. So, that's taken alot of cleaning and organization.

But, there are no excuses. . I'll post more. :)

Putting the house on the market is an interesting thing for us to do. . .theologically speaking. We've really felt like it would glorify God more, financially, if we would downsize a bit on the mortgage payment/housing expenses/etc. . . . and give ourselves more freedom to give to God's work, help others, and serve the poor. We also don't want to always be the people who are asking for financial help, but we'd like to be the "helpers" at times. Basically, we're paying our bills fine,. . but its just not healthy to always be at the end of things each week, and not being able to save to healthy degree.

So, we feel like we have some good reasons and promptings from God that we should sell the house. So, naturally, you start to feel like the house WILL sell because we have good reasons to sell it, and because we feel like God wants us to sell it.

This veers over into "prosperity theology" thinking if we're not careful. Like "If God really loves us, or if we really have faith, the house will sell" and "If the house doesn't sell, than we're doing something wrong." Basically we make God our genie, and we confine Him into acting in certain ways.

Well, I've got a pretty low tolerance for confining God in ways like this.
(we all, even un-knowingly, confine God at times in our life. So, at risk of being a hypocrite, I will continue under the banner of "ways like this" :) )

So, we have to watch our hearts during this time. God could have lessons for us to learn that have nothing to do with the house actually selling. He may actually want us to "fail" in that regard so that we learn other things and rely on him in different ways.

Far from the "God wants me to be successful" theology. God actually wants us to be "holy" and so he will do whatever it takes to that end. Sometimes, he will bless our plans for his Glory, other times he will allow us to fail or be unsuccessful as well so that we go a different direction, or we seek Him. Remember, in Psalm 23 God "makes us lie down in green pastures". Sometimes, we'll need a rest, and he'll make sure we get it :)

That doesn't mean we don't pray for our desires or seek God on things. But, we do all of that under the banner of Daniel 4:35 that "God does what pleases Him".

So, you can pray with us for the sale of our house, for God's Glory. And, if it doesn't sell, you can pray for some good plan "B's" for us financially as we seek to be better stewards in that area.


This is a really good article

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From the mouth of Babes...

Sam was on fire today:

Sam: Knock knock!

me: who's there?

Sam: Underpants!

me: Underpants who?


comic genius.

more kid's music

Here's another suggestion for the "non-lame music for kids" department.


Martha Stewarts and Musicians

So, a good friend of mine was pointing out that in church. . . . .the majority of women who are help up as examples are either "Martha Stewarts or Musicians".

This, unfortunately, caused her to feel a bit out of place and left out. She also doesn't feel comfortable sitting in a church at times, because of some past pain on this issue. I have a few thoughts, but I'd love to hear from some women on this one . . .
(we have yet to have a female commentor on this blog, besides my lovely wife. . . who coincidently, is a martha stewart and a musician :) )

1) Home making and artistry are two things that we naturally associate with femininity. So, the holding of those things in high regard is understandable and natural.

2) It is unfortunate, though, that we don't celebrate, more often. . women who are great administrators, financiers, philanthropists, etc. . . . Even if it that a woman is "generous" or "kind and soft spoken". . .those would be great things to point out and celebrate as well.

3) The same thing happens with men as certain types of masculinity are held in higher regard than others e.g. Man's man. . . . .engineer. . . . . rich. . . . .physically strong (I can testify, as I am none of these :) )

The bottom line, is that we all want to feel as though we are significant and contributing to the life of the church with our various gifts. So, we should do a better job of pointing those out and celebrating them IN EVERY PERSON in their varied gifts, talents, and personalities.

Anyone felt "left out" in the church?

Monday, June 23, 2008

From the mouth of Babes...

Sam's newest vocal composition is entitled "God loves people. . . . God saves people".

it went like this:

God loves people
He doesn't do bad things to them
He doesn't hurt them
He loves them

Continuing in the long Britton tradition of straightforward lyricism. . . . this was epic.
good work Sammy!

Lookout Tomlin,


Rock and Roll

So, last night I got to be part of the greatest cover band on earth. "Nervous Gerbil" is our working name. . . . but my good buddy Jonah Werner, his brother Aaron, our drummer, D, and Stu, our bassist for the night, threw down for 4 hours in Denver at an executive party.

Here are some of the gems:

I'm gonna be (500 miles)
I'll stop the world and melt with you
Born to be Wild
Twist and Shout
How to save a Life
Sweet Caroline
867-5309 (Jenny)
Don't Stop Believin' (yes,. . . .Journey was celebrated)

All in all, a great time was had. . . . we ripped a rock and roll sized hole in the universe. . . and I got to sing back up vocals on "500 miles" with a bunch of drunk 50-year-old women. . . . good times.

Thanks Jonah!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Charlie Peacock on the future of Christian music

With the volatile state of the music industry and changing technology’s effect on consumers and industry execs alike, labels, artists, songwriters and media are having to get more creative about the products they deliver and the ways they deliver them. As CCM Magazine moves exclusively online next month, this very publication is evidence of this changing effect and leaves us asking the question: What does the future of Christian music look like? As such, we asked our old friend Charlie Peacock to tell us where he thinks Christian music is headed…

I’m a man with an opinion, and opinions are cheap. I’m riffing here—that’s what musicians do. Keep your eyes and ears open. See what comes true.

The music business aspect of Christian music (labels, radio, touring, etc.) will continue to follow the pattern of the world, especially as long as baby-boomers and Gen-X people are in charge. The pattern is an increasingly unsuccessful business model run by people trapped in a system intent on slow, incremental change in the face of monumental cultural shifts.

The music business, Christian and otherwise, has been a wealth-creation mechanism for a small, elite group of executives, songwriters, producers and artists. Those days are over. Still, the old guard won’t go peaceably. They’ll fight for control to the end. When they finally exit, the new music business will be underway.

Nevertheless, the majors (EMI CMG, Provident, Word) are not going out of business anytime soon. They will function as the genre’s archivists and primary copyright holders for music publishing and sound recordings. Unfortunately, the majority of the recordings created over the last 35+ years were “youth targeted” mainstream music knock-offs at their conception and designed to get past a host of gatekeepers with agendas other than the promotion of good music. This will prove to be a significant future problem. All the companies will continue to downsize as the cumulative catalog devalues over time. Ultimately, there may be only one company left to steward the music of the “ccm” era. That company will be Bill Hearn’s to lead if he wants it.

Christian music as a genre has always been a music you move on from. Young Christian baby-boomers and Gen-X once in love with the music abandoned it in adulthood and have not returned. As a result, legacy artist catalogs (ranging from Larry Norman to Amy Grant to dcTalk and beyond) do not and will not have the staying power of their mainstream counterparts such as The Beatles, The Eagles, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Celine Dion, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and U2. All these artists, and a hundred others, remain popular and economically viable today. Sadly, the pattern does not hold true for what was contemporary Christian music.

The sum of Christian music’s contribution will be under-utilized and underappreciated by the church and viewed as irrelevant by the world. I see no reason to believe that the cumulative catalog of music will increase in value and popularity. Great songs are less forgettable than irrelevant recordings though. There will be a portfolio of songs (and some recordings) that are remembered and held in esteem by the church—a kind of canon from the era. The church will perpetuate these songs, and the Christian music industry will capitalize on the enthusiasm as best they can.

Christian music’s alliances with mainstream entertainment corporations will all prove eternally less than successful, since they all bet first on the power of the market to deliver results and not the hand of God—something God has never been fond of. (See Bible for evidence.)

Ironically, Larry Norman, Bob Dylan and U2 will be remembered as the best of Christian music created during the “ccm” era. Gospel music will survive with integrity—both the variety created out of the African-American experience and the kind associated with country, folk, bluegrass or Americana. When convenient or strategic, Christian artists will return to using the term gospel in order to describe their music. “Ccm” has faded as an accurate moniker and will disappear altogether.

All significant Christian music, apart from worship music, will be found in the mainstream (with no connection to the Christian music industry). That’s an easy one. I forecasted that almost 10 years ago with At The Crossroads. No brag, just fact. Present, popular examples from various genres, major and indie labels and age groups: The Fray, Sufjan Stevens, Paramore, Midlake, Corrine Bailey Rae, OneRepublic, Cold War Kids, the Jonas Brothers, Bodies of Water, Flyleaf, Jon McLaughlin, Eisley, etc.

True worship music in many forms will continue to prosper as it serves the legitimate needs of the church. Commercial worship music will wane. Watch how easily people and artists lose their zeal for it when it’s not as popular.

Christian music with “worldview” lyrics is dead in the church and reborn in the world where Christian indie and major label artists will carry the torch. The majority of Christian music fans and gatekeepers in the church proved too immature or disinterested to discern whether or not a lyric was speaking to a topic from a Christian worldview. The problem of maturity and literacy will continue.

The best of the survivors of the “ccm” era will continue to create and find new ways to be faithful. Here I’m thinking of a range of artists like Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Margaret Becker, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sara Groves, tobyMac, Third Day and Jars of Clay—artists of that ilk. Another whole group of “ccm” era survivors will continue to move country music forward with great success. This includes a hundred or so Christian songwriters, several producers and many musicians. Here I’m thinking of names like Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Chris Rodriguez, Steve Brewster, Jerry McPherson, Mark Hill, Erik Darken, Jimmie Lee Sloas and Dann Huff.

All the younger artists signed to Christian labels within the last 10 years or less will struggle to understand where they fit—if they fit at all anymore. I won’t name names, but many will exit Christian music hoping to find a home in the mainstream indie movement.

The Tooth & Nail tribe of artists will continue on. It’s about touring and live music. T&N had that right from the beginning—here’s a van and an atlas—see ya.

In the future, young musicians will think that all Christian music is dated and boring, and they will create something they think is current, relative and exciting. They will say things like: “We just wanna show people that you can be a Christian and have fun, too.” Or, “We’re not gonna hit people over the head with the Bible. We’re not Christian musicians; we’re musicians who are Christians.” Or, “We are totally sold out to Jesus. We don’t write vague, sugar-coated lyrics.”

It will be nothing but retread hubris though. I will roll my eyes and grumble that history is hell-bent on repeating itself.

So take note, the real and trustworthy future of Christian music is Christ. Find out what He’s interested in, and let that be the music’s future.

Charlie Peacock is a producer/artist/author and founder of Art House America, a non-profit center for arts, hospitality and biblical study.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Is anyone else disgusted that China is hosting the Olympics? Seriously, this is the country with a TERRIBLE human rights record and has not, shall we say. . . "exemplified the Olympic spirit" lately. I can think of three reasons why they were approved to host

1) $
2) $
3) $

Here's an article about some religious persecution that's been going on lately. I'm a little peeved about this. Its rather ridiculous that China gets a free pass on this stuff because of their position in the world.

(H.T. Relevant magazine)

Listening. . . .

So, I"m listening to some messages from the "Dwell" conference in NYC. There was alot of talk of living missionally and being lifestyle evangelists.

I think the hardest thing,. . .especially for those of us who work for a church. . . is simply knowing folks of different faiths. Its not in my normal sphere of life (day in, day out) to be in contact with folks who believe differently than I. I've tried to be better lately at connecting with my neighbors. . I think our garage sale was good for that. I will definitely coach some sports as the kids get older :), . . but I'm just thinking through what that looks like for me, and how I relate to folks. I'm actually a pretty shy person, I don't have many friends outside of my wife. . . . just a handful. So, this isn't a "natural" thing for me.

Just thinking out loud. . . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From the mouth of Babes...

Sam: "your head looks like a hot dog"

Thanks for the encouragement, Sam. It looks that way because I"m bigger than everyone else, and thus, in charge.

The NBA scandal

( If you don't care about the NBA, than scroll down and listen to Matt Chandler's sermon from Monday's post. :) Its more important)

The NBA is in the middle of a pretty serious officiating scandal. A former referee, Tim Donaghy is alleging that the NBA was basically fixing games to make certain series extend to 7 games,. . . make certain players get calls, . . . and that competition was not "fair".

There are a few thoughts I have on this.

1) Tim Donaghy is a convicted felon who is awaiting sentencing for gambling on games he officiated, . .these allegations are an attempt by him to get a shorter sentence.

That doesn't dis-credit everything, but that should always be noted as we discuss this.

2) There has long been a theory that the NBA favors large market teams (LA, Boston, Miami) over small-market teams (Golden State, Sacremento, Atlanta). Donaghy adds fuel to the fire by suggesting that LA was given preferential treatment in 2002 over Sacremento, specifically.

There are a few flaws here: a) San Antonio, Texas is the 3rd smallest television market out of all the NBA cities. (sacremento is the 10th smallest) The spurs have won 4 titles in recent years. If the league was trying to favor large market teams, the Spurs would be out of the playoffs every year.
b) The New York Knicks (huge t.v. market) are terrible, have been for years, and it isn't looking good in the future :)

3) If the league was mandating that certain games have certain outcomes, it would've come out long before this, and the appropriate people would have been prosecuted.

4) One of Donaghy's allegations is that the league office, after receiving a complaint from a team owner, told the officials to "watch this player, what he was doing". etc. . . .during a game.

I don't think this is corruption. . . .for the league to see something that was brought up, and instruct it's officials to adjust the way they're calling the game(s) based on their tape review of the situation. I don't think that's a big deal.


Bottom line, the NBA has a credibility problem because it's rules are the most nebulous and "up for interpretation" as any league there is. Also, the refs are more influenced by the crowd/players/coaches in the NBA, than any other sport because of how close the crowd is to the action on the court. Its a different sport than Football, and the rules are interpreted in a different way than other sports.

All of those things lead to constant bickering about the officiating. Its par for the course, and its not going away. I will stop short of believing the league is conspiring to make these things happen until I see some evidence/names/smoking gun, etc. . . . . . . .

ok, so I know no-one cares. . . back to life.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From the mouth of Babes...

I said this would be a regular feature. . . . . sorry about that.

Eden: "Dad, you're in charge of the whole family because you're bigger than everyone else"

I'm glad we're clear on things, Eden :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dude, where's my Indiana Jones?


So, my wife and I had a great date last night (yeaheeee) that was, unfortunately, capped off by seeing "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

I don't hesitate to say that this was the worst movie I've seen in years. In fact, I couldn't think of a worse movie, off the top of my head,. . .
(a few come to mind like, "Magnolia (sorry, didn't get it), Mr. Deeds, umm Jesus' son (don't ask), the one where Robin Williams works at the photo place, the remake of "Prince of Egypt" called "The Ten Commandments" (in Veggie-style CGI) )

But, I digress, . . that's another post.

This movie was TERRIBLE. And, George Lucas/Steven Spielberg/Kathleen Kennedy owe me $20.

Its amazing to see myself type this, because I was a HUGE Indiana Jones fan as a kid. I think that "The Last Crusade" is one of the top 10 movies, all time. I was absolutely looking forward to the new one.

Now, this movie did not just dissapoint in the "It was so much cooler when I was a kid" way. . . . like "Star Wars" (which, I think episode 1, is actually a fair movie). I understand the temptation there. . . .and we all had "Episode 4" on a pedestal for years, so the new "Star Wars" was destined to dissapoint. If you go back and watch "Star Wars, episode 4" there are some really bad/slow parts in that movie. What I'm trying to say is,. . it wasn't as good as we thought it was. This movie, (crystal skull), however, dissapointed in every way possible. Its a bad movie,. . . in any time period.

I challenge anyone to pop in the VHS (yes, VHS) of "The Last Crusade" and make a case that "Crystal Skull" is in the same universe, movie-wise.

My complaints. . . in no particular order (again. . . . randomness)

1. Aliens. . . are you serious? Aliens. that's all I have to say about that.

2. Trying to re-create iconic scenes from the old movies when we're not into the story yet (like Harrison Ford picking the Fedora up, 2 minutes into the movie)

3. Cate Blanchett, acting like that lady on "Rocky and Bullwinkle"

4. Harrison Ford forgetting how to act like "Indiana Jones".

5. freaking Aliens

6. The Russians missing Indiana with a Machine gun at a distance of 5 feet. (I know the old movies had some of this. . . . but they were like 20 feet away in the original movies. . . not point blank)

7. Cate Blanchett, supposedly being a terrifying mind-reader: the number of times she reads a mind in the movie. . . .zero.

8. Bringing back Karen Allen (which was good) and not
1) Sean Connery (I guess he would've been dead. . . . still makes more sense than aliens)
2) John Rhys-Davies (wait, did he die in "the last Crusade"? . . . still makes more sense than aliens)

See, the irony here, is that the original Indiana Jones movies have been getting ripped off for years (national treasure; laura croft; XXX, The Mummy. . .etc) and now it was like Spielberg was ripping off THOSE movies for "Crystal Skull".

In the original trilogy, there were, at least. . . . PLAUSIBLE scenarios in the movies. Supernatural suspension of disbelief,. . . yes. . . . but you were always thinking, "in this situation, this could happen". This movie was beyond "Action/Adventure" and was 100% "Fantasy".

Next time, why not have Darth Vader walk out and have a light sabre duel with Shia LaBeouf, interrupted by Captian Kirk phasering Chewbacca in the back!!!!!

makes more sense than aliens. . . . .


Chandler brings it again

Hi everyone,

Check out an awesome sermon on childishness vs. childlikeness from Matt Chandler here

It really convicted me in some areas. . . . . I really appreciate the way he preaches. Its great stuff.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

random processing

So, I"m back in town from Florida, and its been quite the whirlwind of a week. I have many, random thoughts (thus the title of this blog :) ) on alot of different things. . . so . . buckle up.

--very sad times in Florida at my cousin's service. It just is "out of order" when kids die before their parents (or older cousins). My uncle was a mess, as I would be, my aunt was amazing and gave a 15 minute tribute at the service without losing composure at all. unbelievable. . . I would've been like my uncle, whom my aunt and her son had to, literally, hold up to the podium while he spoke. I made it through my song, . . .started a little shaky because it came at the end of the service, after all the tributes. . . but once I got my wind, it went ok.

--though very sad,. . . it was great and healthy to consider "heavy" things for a season. Its always good for us to do that, since we spend so much time with t.v., video games, news, movies, etc. . . . we need to think about the important things from time to time, and this was good for that(it's also good to use t.v./movies/etc. . to think about and bring up the heavier things). I was with Providence, my daughter, the whole time we were in Florida, and it was just a good gut check for me. . "how would I react if something like this happens".

--If God allowed, permitted, and planned the death of his own Son, we can't ever say "this or that experience is beyond his rule. . there's no way God can have any plan or purpose in this, its meaningless". It is so tempting to do that, because things are so painful, and we don't understand them. But, if God was there on Good Friday, he's there when our "tragedies" happen as well.

--Florida is really, really, hot. I used to idolize this state as a child,( we would go there for vacations frequently), but I think it would be really hard for me to live there now. :)

--Sometimes, . . . . . anger, frustrations, conflict and sin are not a result of a) spiritual warfare b) others sins against me c) the world/government out to get me, etc. . . :) but because of unrepentant sin in my own life. That changes your mood/temper and leads to more sin. So, keep a short account, with others, and with God. God already knows that you sinned, and he's already forgiven you for it. But, you won't have complete healing until you humble yourself and admit that you're wrong, and change your mind (repent) about it.

--The Gospel is amazing and unthinkable. When we realize what we've been saved from and forgiven of. . . .it leads to gratitude and better living (thank you, Joel Osteen!!!!! :) ) . It makes others' sins against us easier to forgive.

-- Barack Obama should not pick Hillary. She has all the same problems he has with controversy/crediblity/etc. . . . Obama needs to pick a boring, old, white, guy for his running mate, . . that would be a smart move.

--The Lakers are winning the title.

--If you read my wife's blog, you know some of the struggles we've had with our adoption agency. Its a hard balance between "God is doing all things in His time" and "I think they could do a better job running their business". This works for adoption agencies/post offices/police departments/Wal-Marts/etc. . . Just remember, that "God is in the heavens, and He does what pleases Him" (Psalm 115). That being said. . pray for us, . .its tough waiting, and its tough not getting angry at other folks (see above).

--Come to our garage sale tomorrow and Saturday! All proceeds to go the adoption and we have 25 famililes donating materials. It is a garage sale of epic proportions.

That's all for now. . . .


Tuesday, June 3, 2008