Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We All Have Different Gifts

Many people think that they have a good handle on their musical acumen. They think that the American Idol auditions are fake, and that those folks are just acting and know that they have zero musical ability.

Well I'm here to tell you that's false. I do auditions all the time, and people typically have an inflated view of their own skills. I do as well. . . you probably do too. The way to combat this is to simply record yourself and listen to it. Prepare to be humbled (and don't perform publicly shortly after you do. My confidence had to recover from my first album for about 5 months)

Unfortunately even that doesn't work for some people. And, unfortunately, some of those people audition for the music/worship teams at churches. I found this video on a great blog, worthilymagnify.com (if you're a worship team person. . . bookmark it).

This guy says he has a "5 octave range". That would be pretty impressive. . . a few people can do that. (very few) I actually had a guy tell me during an audition that he had a "7 octave range". Besides being almost impossible, a skill like that would certainly not be helpful to any worship team, since you know. . . that person would probably be an alien. (I heard Mariah Carey has a 7 octave range. . . ok, I'd have to hear it . . . fyi, the piano has 8 octaves)

This video is classic, enjoy:




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fallon love

We've got some Jimmy Fallon fans out there. Here's some more Fallon-genius:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bruce, circa 1975

So, the story goes that Jimmy Fallon asked Bruce Springsteen to be a part of a skit while Bruce was performing on his show last week. Bruce was hesitant at first, but decided to be a part of it, (and decided to dress up like himself 30 years ago).

I guess Bruce's manager was in tears once he saw him, and Bruce's people couldn't believe how real it all looked,

3 great things about this clip:

1) Jimmy Fallon nails Neil Young. . .absolutely nails it. hilarious.

2) This song is the most absurd thing ever. I youtubed the original version, it's some techno thing. yikes.

3) Is there anyone else quite like Bruce, where if your eyes were closed, you would know who was singing in about .2 seconds? I don't think so. What an awesome voice. And yes, that outfit is an exact replica of himself, circa 1975. (i guess he still had the sunglasses . . they just had to find a wig)

enjoy! music geek out.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Yup.

Pastor Mark Driscoll, from the Washington Post---

When it comes to technology in general, and social networking in particular, the heart is simply revealed. Impatient, angry people post flame-throwing statements in haste. Boastful, narcissistic people post statements and photos constantly to ensure we do not ignore them. Dissident troublemakers post trolling inflammatory comments, seeking to have the same effect as a hose on a bees' nest. And the perverted pursue illicit connections, including adultery, as they enjoy posting and seeing sexualized photos and statements.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Six Second Kiss

Give it a shot!

Restoring Sanity

I used to not like "The Daily Show" very much. Of course, it was hilarious, and I would laugh when I watched it. But, I must say that John Stewart got a little tiresome with his "I"m just a comedian, we follow a show about crank calling" crossed with his biting critique that was supposed be taken seriously. Either your show matters or it doesn't, . . but you can't have it both ways.

Lately, John seems to be explaining himself (and acting) in a much more helpful way. He gave an hour long interview with Rachel Maddow after his "Rally to Restore Sanity" explaining what the point was, and why the left shouldn't have been so hard him (as they were).

This was a very helpful, intellectual interview. . . I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the parts of the Rally that I saw, and . . .

That seems to be the norm on "The Daily Show" these days. They have really honest, helpful, well-thought-out dialogue; something, unfortunately, that is hard to come by on MSNBC, CNN, or FOX.

Every time I watch the Daily Show now, I learn something. This week, JayZ had a really insightful interview about the history of rap. John S. also interviewed the writers of the new book "All the Devils are in the Room" about the financial crises on Wall St. I learned things about the breakdown of our financial system that I had never heard before.

The biggest reason I'm a fan of "The Daily Show" nowadays is that John S. is finally an equal opportunity offender. For years, he would say this, and then proceed to bash anything that smacked of conservatism or the Republican Party. But, lately (maybe because we have a Democratic president) he's been going after everyone. He obliterated Charlie Rangel this week (that piece was hilarious), he stood up for the Palin family a bit (while taking well-placed shots at Sarah. . .but her new show deserves it), and went after President Obama pretty good when they were in Washington a few weeks ago. To be sure, John Stewart veers left. But, he can see what's wrong with his own positions. In the Maddow interview, he went after Maddow and the left for calling President Bush a war criminal. He's pushing for nuance. . . I like that.

The reason for them being in Washington was to hold their "Rally to Restore Sanity". In my mind, this was a historic gathering. John S. was criticized from the left and the right (which probably means he did something very right) but succeeded in showing the absurdity of our current poltical and media climate. The basic point was that if you shout about everything, nothing is emphasized, and that our discourse can be respectful and intellectual even though our viewpoints can be clearly divided. Crazy idea huh??

I think John S. and to some extent, Stephen Colbert are really two of the most important guys in the media right now. They're exposing the current media for what much of it currently is. . . ridiculous and laughable. They know (and can now explain) the important social place of the satirist. Here's some links to the Maddow interview, their Time Magazine recognition, and the Daily Show website.


Fair warning: the Daily Show does alot of vulgar comedy to make their point, . .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beautiful

I'm pretty excited about this. . . Christmas present ideas for Aaron anyone??

But seriously, it's great to see someone who is excellent and world-class at what they do, infusing their art with their faith. It also makes me miss the fine arts community a bit, of which I was a big part in college. Enjoy this video and consider saving up for this work of art. Here's the Amazon link and the video.



Fujimura - 4 Holy Gospels from Crossway on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pray

We're going through the book of Revelation right now in our young adult's group at Calvary. Some of those passages that speak of the suffering of Christians are hard to understand sitting in Boulder, CO. Lately, we've seen the pages of scripture (unfortunately) being played out in Iraq. It's a humbling thing for us to see our brothers and sisters under attack for their faith, and literally not safe, in their own homes. If you have a minute to read this, take one more minute to pray for these folks and their families: (click on the title to go to the story)

Good Times

Tis the season for some trick plays. My buddy Dave Johnson posted one of these yesterday on Facebook, but here are a few more. And, let me say, as an offensive tackle growing up in Nebraska, the Fumblerooskie brings a tear to my eye. We practiced this play all the time, but I was never able to run it in a game. The Big Red pulled it off in the National Championship Game. Enjoy!

HT: Justin Taylor









Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Unreal

Provi tells me alot that I should go on Wheel of Fortune. We watch it together and I often get the puzzle right before the folks on t.v. (I'm not really that good, . .they're just playing for money, dragging it out, and they have pressure, nerves . . .etc . ).

Anyway, this clip is so ridiculous. Did this lady cheat? You make the call.



Hmmm.

I'm just sayin. . . (I bolded some sections I thought were helpful)

Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

By Madison Park, CNN
November 8, 2010 8:40 a.m. EST
t1larg.twinkie.professor.jpg
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nutrition professor's "convenience store diet" helped him shed 27 pounds
  • Haub limited himself to 1,800 calories and two-thirds come from junk food
  • Haub said it's too early to draw any conclusions about diet

(CNN) -- Twinkies. Nutty bars. Powdered donuts.

For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.

His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food.

The premise held up: On his "convenience store diet," he shed 27 pounds in two months.

For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.

But you might expect other indicators of health would have suffered. Not so.

Haub's "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his "good" cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.

"That's where the head scratching comes," Haub said. "What does that mean? Does that mean I'm healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we're missing something?"

Haub's sample day
Espresso, Double: 6 calories; 0 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Centrum Advanced Formula From A To Zinc: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Little Debbie Star Crunch: 150 calories; 6 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Diet Mountain Dew: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Doritos Cool Ranch: 75 calories; 4 grams of fat

Kellogg's Corn Pops: 220 calories; 0 grams of fat

whole milk: 150 calories; 8 grams of fat

baby carrots: 18 calories; 0 grams of fat

Duncan Hines Family Style Brownie Chewy Fudge: 270 calories; 14 grams of fat

Little Debbie Zebra Cake: 160 calories; 8 grams of fat

Muscle Milk Protein Shake: 240 calories; 9 grams of fat

Totals:
1,589 calories and 59 grams of fat

Despite his temporary success, Haub does not recommend replicating his snack-centric diet.

"I'm not geared to say this is a good thing to do," he said. "I'm stuck in the middle. I guess that's the frustrating part. I can't give a concrete answer. There's not enough information to do that."

Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks.

Families who live in food deserts have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, so they often rely on the kind of food Haub was eating.

"These foods are consumed by lots of people," he said. "It may be an issue of portion size and moderation rather than total removal. I just think it's unrealistic to expect people to totally drop these foods for vegetables and fruits. It may be healthy, but not realistic."

Haub's body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent. This posed the question: What matters more for weight loss, the quantity or quality of calories?

His success is probably a result of caloric reduction, said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian based in Atlanta, Georgia.

"It's a great reminder for weight loss that calories count," she said. "Is that the bottom line to being healthy? That's another story."

Blatner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said she's not surprised to hear Haub's health markers improved even when he loaded up on processed snack cakes.

Being overweight is the central problem that leads to complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, she said.

How well are you managing your diabetes?

"When you lose weight, regardless of how you're doing it -- even if it's with packaged foods, generally you will see these markers improve when weight loss has improved," she said.

Before jumping on the Ding Dong bandwagon, Blatner warned of health concerns.

"There are things we can't measure," said Blatner, questioning how the lack of fruits and vegetables could affect long-term health. "How much does that affect the risk for cancer? We can't measure how diet changes affect our health."

I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much.
--Professor Mark Haub
The ultimate Twinkie diet

On August 25, Haub, 41, started his cake diet focusing on portion control.

"I'm eating to the point of need and pushing the plate or wrapper away," he said.

He intended the trial to last a month as a teaching tool for his class. As he lost weight, Haub continued the diet until he reached a normal body mass index.

Before his Twinkie diet, he tried to eat a healthy diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas, vegetables and occasional treats like pizza.

"There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy," Haub said. "It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much."

He maintained the same level of moderate physical activity as before going on the diet. (Haub does not have any ties to the snack cake companies.)

To avoid setting a bad example for his kids, Haub ate vegetables in front of his family. Away from the dinner table, he usually unwrapped his meals.

Study: U.S. obesity rate will hit 42 percent

Haub monitored his body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, and updated his progress on his Facebook page,Professor Haub's diet experiment.

To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased.

Haub plans to add about 300 calories to his daily intake now that he's done with the diet. But he's not ditching snack cakes altogether. Despite his weight loss, Haub feels ambivalence.

"I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it's healthy. I'm not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it's irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn't say that."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Email Correction

I'm loving the Gospel Coalition "round table" discussions they've been putting out in preparation for the conference next Spring.

This is a really good discussion between CJ Mahaney and James McDonald about correcting someone through email. After you watch it, I have some thoughts:





I like this video a lot. The only thing I wished they would've asked/answered is a situation where there is no "face to face" way to communicate (the person does not live near you) and what if the emotions are so strong that it might be better to not see the person while having the conversation.

I guess the answer to my second question would be to wait until you cool off enough (if possible) to have that conversation. What do you guys think?

I've made more email errors than anyone else I know. I'm the chief of sinners in this area. I'm trying to figure it out. This was a great video for me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Thanks to my good (newly engaged) buddy Danny for posting this today.

Pastor Mark Driscoll wrote this during the election season of 2008, but I really believe it's a post for all political seasons. This is what I meant in my post earlier explaining why I think Christians should have a "healthy skepticism" about what our politicians will/can accomplish and what problems they will/can solve and/or cause (I think I just broke a record for slashes). At any rate,. . let this one marinate for a bit. We can all do well to be reminded of this:

In God We Do Not Trust

Mark Driscoll

In my years of pastoral ministry I have worked very hard to not be political. I believe that my job as a pastor is to preach and teach the Bible well so that my people make their decisions, including their voting decisions, out of their faith convictions.

This election season which has dominated the cultural conversation for many months has been particularly insightful regarding the incessant gospel thirst that abides deep in the heart of the men and women who bear God’s image. Without endorsing or maligning either political party or their respective presidential candidates, I am hopeful that a few insights from the recent election season are of help, particularly to younger evangelicals.

First, people are longing for a savior who will atone for their sins. In this election, people thirst for a savior who will atone for their economic sins of buying things they did not need with money they did not have. The result is a mountain of credit debt they cannot pay and a desperate yearning that somehow a new president will save them from economic hell.

Second, people are longing for a king who will keep them safe from terror in his kingdom. In the Old Testament the concept of a peaceable kingdom is marked by the word shalom. In shalom there is not only the absence of sin, war, strife, and suffering but also the presence of love, peace, harmony, and health. And, this thirst for shalom is so parched that every election people cannot help but naively believe that if their candidate simply wins shalom is sure to come despite sin and the curse.

The bottom line is obvious to those with gospel eyes.

People are longing for Jesus, and tragically left voting for mere presidential candidates. For those whose candidate wins today there will be some months of groundless euphoric faith in that candidate and the atoning salvation that their kingdom will bring. But, in time, their supporters will see that no matter who wins the presidency, they are mere mortals prone to sin, folly, and self-interest just like all the other sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. To help extend na├»ve false hope as long as possible, a great enemy will be named and demonized as the one who is hindering all of the progress to atone for our sins and usher in our kingdom. If the Democrats win it will be the rich, and if the Republicans win it will be the terrorists. This diversionary trick is as old as Eve who blamed her sin on Satan rather than repenting. The lie is that it’s always someone else’s fault and we’re always the victim of sinners and never the sinner. Speaking of repentance, sadly, no matter who wins there will be no call to personal repentance of our own personal sins which contributes to cultural suffering and decline such as our pride, gluttony, covetousness, greed, indebtedness, self-righteousness, perversion, and laziness.

And, in four years we’ll do it all again and pretend that this time things will be different. Four years after that, we’ll do it yet again. And, we’ll continue driving around this cul de sac until Jesus returns, sets up his throne, and puts an end to folly once and for all.

In the meantime, I would encourage all preachers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance of personal sin. He alone can truly atone for our sins. He alone can deliver us from a real hell. He alone is our sinless and great King. And, he alone has a Shalom kingdom to offer. Lastly, for those preachers who have gotten sidetracked for the cause of a false king and a false kingdom by making too much of the election and too little of Jesus, today is a good day to practice repentance in preparation to preach it on Sunday. Just give it some time. The thirst will remain that only Jesus can quench. So, we’ve still got work to do….until we see King Jesus and voting is done once and for all.