Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Proof that the Apocalypse is upon us


And, yes I will admit to having used a few songs from said band in church gatherings in the late 90's. I humbly ask your forgiveness.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kathy Ireland Brings It

Continuing the theme of "bringing it", . . Supermodel, Kathy Ireland "brings it" on the abortion issue.

As a side note. . I find it very sad that more pastors and church leaders cannot frame the debate in such an eloquent way. I mean, no offense, but she's a super-model, and she basically disarms every pro-choice position in the last 35 years.

I know the reason for the hesitancy in the church is because this has become such a political issue. We have, and should stay away from that. . . but as Ireland says, this is a Human Rights issue, not a Women's issue. Amen, and what took so long for someone to intelligently speak about it in this way?


ps. ignore all the other celebrity trash on this page. . . sorry for that. . . .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Two NBA posts

Two NBA posts for the few fans still left:

1) The Nuggets are looking very, very good. And, there is no doubt that we're better than we were last year. But, I would submit this. The Hornets are a mess, and last years' Nuggets team would have beaten them as well. That's right, we would've won this series last year. Allen Iverson is getting a bad rap in the press. We had a pretty good team for two years, and we won 50 games last year (only 4 less than this year). Last year, we faced the Lakers in the 1st round. . . we of course, got killed in that series. I would submit, that we would get beat by the Lakers this year in the 1st round as well. (we may still see them in the conference finals, and will probably get beat.)

That's right, I said we'd lose this year in the first round if we faced the Lakers, . . and last years' team would have made it out of the first round, had we played the Hornets. Don't believe everything you read.

2) Game 2's. . . . so important. The Bulls, Mavs, and Rockets made a huge mistake this weekend. If you win game 1 (especially on the road), you need to win game 2 as well, or else your "huge upset" doesn't even matter. What's worse is when you don't even show up for game 2 (see: Mavericks, Dallas). You have to put the team totally against the wall (like the nuggets did). All 3 of these teams may now lose the series, when they were in control just a few days ago, I've seen it happen too often.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sin and The Suburbs

I heard a message by Matt Chandler on Monday that completely floored me. He's talking about the Problem of Sin, which unfortunately, doesn't get talked about alot at churches anymore. So, that was refreshing. Mostly, though, it was his prophetic word about the suburbs that affected me. I've tried for a long time to come up with the words for how I feel about Idolizing our children/life stage/schedule. . .and he nails it here. I'm posting the last 9 or 1o minutes of his sermon here. . . .it's very good if you have time to go to thevillagechurch.net and listen to it (45 min.). This is a great word for all parents, and for all those who are trying to balance local church service/bible study/etc. . .with a busy family schedule. It's a hard word for us, but sometimes that's the best medicine.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Psalm 49

As a songwriter, it's crazy to think that the Psalms are actually songs and folks actually sang them in their entirety. (although, I have to think that some of the Psalms were, for lack of a better term, "special music" in the Jewish gatherings, and not all congregational anthems that we or they should prescriptively sing in our corporate gatherings. . . . but I digress. . . )

They're just so thick, wordy, and brutal, at times. The bible remains way, way too cool for us, we're not yet "edgy" enough for It. Again, I digress. . . . . .

The point: Here's a really encouraging Psalm that I ran across tonight, especially if you've ever been fired wrongly, or swindled financially. . . in these economic times, it's good to have the fresh wind of scripture to blow through our big mess. (emphasis and parentheses, mine)

Psalm 49:5-9

Why should I fear in times of trouble
when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly no man can ransom another (you're worth more than your job, or the way someone mistreated you)
or give to God the price of his life
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice
That he should live on forever
and never see the pit. . .(vengence is mine says the Lord)


Sunday, April 19, 2009

John Piper brings it.

If you don't know what the prosperity gospel is. . . . .Its not really the gospel. But, its very prevalent in our day, especially on the various religious television channels. Basically, the prosperity thinking (not gospel) is that God will make us comfortable/rich/happy/no problems. . . if we just have enough faith in him and put aside negative feelings, etc. . . . The bible gives a much different take on what God would have us do with our lives. Thanks to John Piper for continuing to blow the trumpet on "Christian Living" as it should be. Here's a picture of First Century Christians being fed to the lions for their faith:

Corrective Tract for the Propserity Gospel

Mark 8:34-36:
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Unreasonable worry

So, to lighten the mood a little. . .I thought this was a hilarious little "parable" about how we worry too much.

HT: DeYoung

Social Networking, Twitter, Facebook, Jessica Simpson, and Attention addicts

Well, it's been almost a month. I haven't blogged, updated my facebook, or anything like that in a while. There are a few reasons for this: First off, Calvary is currently searching for a worship director at our multi-site campus, so I've been planning and scheduling for two different campuses, and helping with a job search. That has been eating up alot of time lately. Secondly, I've been finding that too many of my online interactions get combative and argumentative, and I"m really not that kind of person. I realized that I had sort of become that kind of person :) "online" lately, and I didn't like it. I actually don't like to argue, and I don't like it when everything you "post" becomes fodder for evaluation and difference of opinion. If you were just having a conversation with someone face-to-face, it probably wouldn't go that way. At least, in my life, it hasn't.

Thirdly, . . . . and this is where I'll spend most of my time. . . . I've been doing some soul searching about our online communication, presence, and motivations.
Let me say, . . I don't think that facebook or any of the related applications are "wrong" or anything. It is the only way, sometimes, to keep up with old friends, family, and people that live far away, for one thing. But, I think I was using them wrongly, and I think alot of other people are as well.

Jody and I used to watch the old "Newlyweds" show on MTV with Nick and Jessica Simpson, remember that one? (chicken of the sea) There's alot to say about that show,. . . but one thing that always hit me was the way Jessica Simpson couldn't sit still, no matter where she was. Her eyes were always darting around, even in a car, or a waiting area. Even when she was among family she would always be scanning the room and looking around. I came to a conclusion (and I could be wrong on this. . . . .but follow me for the sake of illustration). Jessica is addicted to attention. She can't go anywhere without attempting to attract attention to herself. It's probably sub-conscious at this point, but she is always, adjusting her hair, her clothes, and looking to see who is looking back at her.

I feel like we've all become like Jessica Simpson in our online interactions. We're always looking to attract attention to ourselves. It probably doesn't feel evil or wrong to anyone, but for me it became exhausting. I actually was feeling pressure to update my facebook status in a clever way, and spent too much time thinking up something pithy to say. I was blogging to try and get comments, and I was commenting on other blogs to try and see what other folks would say back.

To me, this smacks of a certain kind of neurosis. :) Why are we so driven to gain attention to ourselves? Why do we "need" that? Why do many member of our worship team "twitter" during the service and post a picture while we're worshipping together? I could think of some good reasons. . . but it's just odd to me.

Are you ready for a big, fat, Christian cliche? Are you ready? wait for it. . . . . . . .

Jesus, has given/is giving you all the attention you'll ever need. Yes, through the cross, and even more so day to day, Read Matthew 6 (How much more valuable are you than many sparrows?)

We should search our hearts and cease striving in this area. . . .we are loved and attended to.

I'll put some more scripture passages at the end of this post. But, basically I had a Jerry McGuire moment about online interactions, and I"m going to attempt, by God's grace, to interact for God's glory, not my own. And, to interact to build others up, and not myself. . . to encourage other people, and stop trying to proclaim my sarcastic superior-ness over all.

Are we to have no "fun" online? Of course we can, and I doubt that I'll succeed 100% in my little quest.

But, there is a line, where we cross over from fun into trying to gain attention and glory for ourselves,. . . . . and there's a line where it's no longer healthy to talk about someone, or talk to someone "in front of" hundreds of other voyeurs on the internet. We should just pick up the phone (remember those) or send an email to that person specifically.

So, please don't take me as the bitter, old man. I may be both, and one of my friends told me that to reject these new technologies would be isolating to myself, and disconnecting from others. And, you know what, . . .he's been right. I haven't "talked" to some folks in a few weeks since I've been downsizing on the internet. Hopefully I can strike a balance. Remember, we all thought myspace would last forever too. . . . this too shall pass.

But, I also hope to be a more content, peaceful, in-the-moment person as I seek to use the internet for God's kingdom, . . .not Aaron's kingdom.

Now, for the 5 of you that read this blog. . . . . . . . . .

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1 Cornthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

Isaiah 42:8
I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.