Monday, July 31, 2006

30 years later...

Today is the 30th year after the Big Thompson Flood. It would probably not be memorable for me as I was living in Iowa at the time except.... A vacationing couple that lived down the road from my parents were killed.

It was caused by a series of weather and natural incidents, including depris in the Big Thompson that built a dam and a stalled cell above the mouth of the canyon. That day, 144 people were killed. The link above has an interesting presentation about that day.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More on politics

A month ago, I wrote about my frustration with many in the church confusing their faith in Christ and their politics.

Thanks again to willzhead and this entry, I found this article (Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock) that was published in the New York Times. To sum it up....

A pastor of a large church in St. Paul, Minnesota got frustrated by requests to lend his credibility and the credibility of his church to political causes. He preached 6 sermons "in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a "“Christian nation" and stop glorifying American military campaigns".

By the time the dust settled, 20% of his formerly 5000 member congregation left the church. I have a lot of admiration for the pastor! How long have the followers of Jesus been politically opposing people, pushing them away from Jesus instead of drawing them closer because we confuse our political stance with our religious experience?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blogging on video's

Thanks to Kem Meyer's blog, and my migration to Google Reader, I finally got around to watching the video on the Blog created by the pastor of Peoples Church in Tulsa.

The videos contain quite a few challenges and thought provoking content!

Sunday Bloody Sunday

At the risk of offending some of you, I ran across this video that someone (with way too much time on their hands?) took George Bush clips and cut them together with the musical background to show the President "singing" the classic U2 song...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I have been thinking about God's reverse economy. What do I mean by that?

There is the concept that we are given by Jesus where he tells us that "The last shall be first, the first shall be last". Even though this is in the New Testament, we actually see the reverse economy quite a bit earlier!

After Isreal had been around for some time with no king, the people decided they wanted a King against God's better judgment. Saul was appointed (and annointed). He looked like a King. Tall, good looking, probably carried himself like a king with a bit of arrogant swagger (my thoughts). After Saul disobeyed God and his family was dethroned, David was appointed. The version of the story that I remember was Samuel, the prophet, went down the line in Davids family going.... "This one must be the king...." with the reply always.... "No".

David was the last one in the family, they even had to pull him in from his job in the fields as a shepherd.

So... Where do I fit in this economy? Where do you fit?

Monday, July 17, 2006

You Never Let Go: Reprise

It seems that several of us on the worship team this week really were touched by "You Never Let Go". See the perspectives by my friends and fellow worshipers Carol Ann and Chang.

Another way to subscribe

Last month, I posted on how you can easily keep up on your blogs by using the RSS that the blog or podcast publishes and a reader or aggregator to see what is new.

I found another reader that I was impressed with. Google's!

If you have a Google email account it is easy to get to...

With this reader, you can choose to make your blog selections public so others can see what you read. While gmail accounts are by invitation only, at one time, even traded, Google is giving them out pretty freely.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Comedian Stephen Colbert Teaches Sunday School

A willzhead blog post renders this rather funny look at a Sunday School teacher on the Conan O'Brien show.

Conformity vs. Maturity?

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message) says:
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I was listening to the latest (last week's) National Community Church's talk on the "Neurology of Faith - Message 4". He used this passage and version when talking about conformity. My take-aways from this talk...
  • Conformity can be another word for hypocrisy. If we conform to those around us because we want to fit in, it may not be what we really want to be.
  • Our brains do not distinguish between observation and doing. Mark talks about an injured diver several years ago who practiced her dives mentally and came back quickly because the same thought processes prepared her brain.
  • Pick those you hang around with carefully. It is easy to mirror those around us. If we keep our sights focused on God, we stand out in a crowd.
For some reason, I woke up last night thinking about some of the Bible teaching I received years ago that I believe was errant. Not things that really make a difference in the theology I believe but more in the dogma I live out. On the other hand, the conformity that these teachings promoted were really just knee jerk reactions to the world around us at the time. Of course, I was expected to conform to those teachings and, unlike the verse above, was not, as a result often able to "Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.".

Friday, July 14, 2006

You Never Let Go

I get the privledge of playing at Northern Hills this weekend and helping to introduce the song "You Never Let Go" from the "Passion - Everything Glorious" CD.

The chorus reads:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
I think this song will be a new favorite.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Job Description?

In high school, the Army came in and gave us a test to tell us what sort of job we may get if we joined the armed services. I was a "clerical".

Many people know this but.... I started my college career as a music major. Not just a music major but a "French Horn" major. I soon realized that I was not talented or dedicated enough to perform and I didn't want to teach. Hmm.... What was left?

Let's try Engineering! While taking core courses there I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (I think).... Computer Science. A side note here. Once you get into the real world, you find that while there is a lot of science involved in computers, software development is as much art as science. My current job description now has nothing to do with computers but I still write software.

God talks about a similar thing that is commonly called "spiritual gifts". Something that you are given to carry out your "job" in building God's kingdom. You can find more about spiritual gifts here, here and here.

Some friends and I were talking the other day around the subject of finding out what your spiritual gift is. You can do this by buying books, googling for this subject, churches run classes to find out what your gift(s) is. Some of us do this like I approached my college career -- trial and error.

While I appreciate people striving to find their spiritual gift we had a question. Does our quest for our spiritual gift(s) limit what we do?

Let me give you a real life example. I have a friend that I worked with for around a year developing software. His college career was spent, not in computers but in philosophy. I had another co-worker who was a good software developer who's major was music. If they had let their majors control what they did, their choices of jobs and maybe even fulfillment in life would have been quite limited.

I think we have a tendency to limit ourselves with spiritual gifts as well... We get our spiritual "job description" and think that it is the ONLY think I am willing to do.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Vintage 21

My friend Scott recently blogged about a very funny video done by a church called Vintage21 in North Carolina to show how people think Jesus was. The truth is far from what these videos show.

Being the curious type, I started listening to their most recent message series on the Beatitudes. After hearing that one, I went back in time and started listening to their series on Revelation. They are excellent! If you want a challenge, download them and listen.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Super Nova

Last years Rockstar:INXS was one of my favorite summer "reality shows"**

This year, there is a new band forming from Rockstar:SuperNova made members of Motly Crue (Tommy Lee), Guns N Roses (Gilby Clark) and Metalica (Jason Newsted) and the winner of this competition. Because I was a fan of INXS and enjoyed their music and these three guys were never my favorites, I faced this show with some trepidation, I was pleasently suprised!

I don't know why but this years contestants seem to be much better quality on the whole. There are more women this year (it may just seem so... a count shows the same number) and the band openly states a woman fronting for them would be alright.

Warning, however, the language, while being within the bounds of broadcast television, is a bit on the raw side for kids. Phrases like "You kicked ____" abound.
** Excuse me while I digress but what reality show is truely reality. I have never lived on an island, been flown to a mansion with a dozen attractive women, been asked to audition for a recording contract on nationwide TV.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Today Rocky was born....

No, not my dog....

The Internet Movie Database has a celebrity list of births, deaths and marriages.

You can find out about your birthday here...

Sunday, July 02, 2006


A few weeks ago, we were sitting in the "green room" at Church waiting for the proper time to go out and play our next set and the subject of Worship and Praise came up. Now to set this up a little bit, the series was "21" with this particular message being "Rebel".

Today, I ran across Psalm 100.

I don't know if you have noticed but many people think that music in the church should be tranquil. Let's look at the verses above in "The Message".
1-2 On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.

3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn't make him.
We're his people, his well-tended sheep.

4 Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

5 For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.

While there are times to be quiet and introspective, I don't see that here. The King James phrases the first verse as "A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands". with the word Noise meaning "figuratively to split the ears (with sound)".

Let's look quickly at Psalm 150 (my favorite) in The Message.

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
Here, the word "praise" means "to shine; hence to make a show; to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave"

Are we being loud enough when we praise?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Isaias Gabriel

I was listening to the latest (#27) BoredAgainChristian podcast tonight and got a real treat when he played a cut called Amen from Isaias Gabriel. You can download this cut and others from his website.

Isaias was "Just Pete"'s translator when he was in the Domincian Republic on a short term missions trip but, as things just sometimes work out, also a musician with some songs to play.

If you like music that is a multi-cultural I think you'll enjoy this cut. One of the things I liked was the simplicity of the background music.

Thanks Isaias!