THIS WEEK, I’m honored to be the featured VIDEO over at CreativeMondays.net! Headed up by the amazing Tim Noxsinz, I got connected to the #CreativeMondays community several months ago and feel humbled to be their first feature of the new year. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of talent and creativity in this crew. You can connect with them via Twitter on the #CreativeMondays open space, or on their website!
You may have already seen this, but I recently found it on Marko's blog. Colbert is funny as usual–and calls out our hypocrisy. How do you feel about what he says?
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat|
Remember when Morpheus offers Neo the red pill?
When he chooses it (over the blue pill), everything changes. The blinders come off. Neo begins to learn the truth about his existence, his potential, and the role for which he was created.
I met with a local worship leader yesterday over coffee. We talked passionately about worship, scripture, and grace. But mostly Scripture. An hour and a half later, I left challenged, refreshed, and free in new ways because of the truth of Scripture and the power of brotherhood.
Originally, I found this via Bob Kauflin. It's a video from the WorshipGod08 conference where Ryan Ferguson is reciting Psalm 25. It's a 4 minute proof text of the fact that you and I don't know the Bible.
What would happen if we always heard/read/thought about Scripture like this? With this kind of life-giving thoughtfulness? If we read it with lips that believed its power? If we heard with ears that were hungry for life?
What are you going to do about it? You can take the blue pill and go back to sleep…or take the red pill and see how far the rabbit hole goes.
I'm sure there's more to come…
In case you missed it…
(HT to stixblog!)
On January 2, 2010, I began the process of reading the Bible through in 90 days using the YouVersion.com online plan. If I stay on track, I’ll finish with Revelation 22 on April 2.
There are certainly other ways to read the Bible other than ‘in 90 days’, but here are the reasons why I’m doing it this way (and why I think it will be helpful to do this every year) :
1. If God made sure his words were recorded for us, why wouldn’t I want to read all of them numerous times?
2. Reading large portions of Scripture regularly slows me down so I can think about life from an eternal perspective. Still within the first 20 days, and I’ve had tearful moments of revelation and times of seeing things with fresh eyes.
3. In my daily life, I am constantly bombarded with images, philosophies, thoughts, reasonings, and attractions from the world, my flesh, and the Enemy. I need large quantities of God’s thoughts, empowered by his Spirit, to resist them.
4. I trust my own thoughts too much at times and it’s good to be rebooted with God’s thoughts as much as possible.
5. Each time I read through the Bible, I’m humbled as I realize how little I actually know and understand God’s Word.
6. Reading a lot of the Bible helps me more easily see how it all fits together, and gives a fresh perspective to the biblical narrative (which perhaps was never intended to be 'nibbled on' in the first place.)
7. As a worship leader and student pastor, I want people’s faith to rest on God’s Word, not my music or my opinions. I want Scripture to be the overflow of my heart, not something I occasionally use for a desired emotional effect or dig into because I have to teach a lesson..
8. As a husband, father of three, and resident of planet Earth, Scripture is my primary how-to manual to marriage, parenthood, and life. You and I should be able to recite it better than the USAmerican pledge of allegiance… if my allegiance is to Christ.
I know reading completely through the Bible sounds pretty ambitious or intimidating. But if I can do it, so can you. There are multiple plans out there from which to choose.
What are you currently doing that's challenging you spiritually?
Re-evaluation and change is something I applaud. More quickly in others than myself perhaps… But as 2010 begins, I've resolved to the following commitments. I hope you'll join me.
First, I've committed to calling it 'twenty-ten' or 'two-thousand ten'. But never anything 'oh-ten'. I'm pretty certain we won't refer to 2026 as 'oh-twenty-six', so give up the '07, 08, and '09 trend now. It's officially over. Welcome to the new decade.
Secondly, I've started another round of my 90 day fitness regimen via P90X. Today is Day Two and I'm glad to be back in the routine. I don't expect to look like some Abercrombie model in a few months. It's not about that. It's about beating my body into submission and making it my slave. It's about being durable. And it's about being a good steward of my body so I can be a good servant to others.
Third, and most importantly, I've committed to reading the Bible through in 90 days. Yeah. Seriously. Think of it as 'B90X'. Whether I'm reading online on my laptop or via the YouVersion app on my phone, I can accomplish it with about 30 minutes a day. Physical training is of some benefit, but godliness with contentment is great gain. And high doses of Scripture between now and April 2 can only be a good thing. I'm excited to see what happens…
What about you? Are you in? Anyone ready to join me?
"The only thing you will ever know
is what you see
and what you read."
In the past year, I've read (or re-read) a handful of books that are on my 'Keep These Close to You' books.
1. Worship Matters, by Bob Kauflin. Perhaps the best thing I've read on worship this year. Whether it's as a vocalist, musician, media tech, or congregation member, the greatest obstacle you and I have in worship is not the song selection, the drum volume, or the tempo. It's the heart. It's the thing that really matters. God calls us to love Him more than we love singing about (or to) Him. Kauflin tackles some tough questions as well as offers some practical helps for developing meaningful times of worship.
2. Finding the Groove, by Robert Gelinas. On recommendation from Len Sweet, I picked up this one, and it revolutionized a lot of my thinking on creating a jazz-shaped faith. Some of my previous thoughts on it are here and here.
3. Satan and the Problem of Evil, by Greg Boyd. This year I finished re-reading this and it's companion, "God At War", for a second time. While they are both lean a little to the academic and scholarly crowds, Boyd does an outstanding job of explaining a Scriptural, warfare theodicy. Don't be confused: this is not so much a book on traditional spiritual warfare as it is building a construct for explaining evil, free will, injustice and restoration within a trinitarian warfare mindset. Jesus is King, but His Kingdom is not yet fully realized. You and I are living in the now-and-not-yet of that reality. You can read more here.
4. Why Your Church Must Twitter (e-book), by Anthony Coppedge. It cost me $5 to have the privilege to make and distribute copies…so let me know if you follow me on Twitter, DM me and I’ll send you one.
Below are the top albums of 2009 that have impacted me. Some of them may make someone else's Top Ten list…but some will go relatively unnoticed. They are all very different from each other. So, in no particular order, here they are.
1. The controversial Stockholm Syndrome, from Derek Webb. Perhaps one of the craftiest lyricists of recent years, Webb is known for his blatant allegiance to Scripture and his scolding of white, middle-class Republicans for appearing to love the GOP more than Jesus.
Most impacting tracks:
What Matters More, which charges contemporary Christianity with hating homosexuals instead of loving them. ("if i can tell what's in your heart by what comes out of your mouth, then it looks to me like being straight is all it's about."), The Spirit v. The Kick Drum , and Freddie Please (an address from Jesus to the infamous pastor Fred Phelps and his commentary on homosexuals).
2. Backspacer, by Pearl Jam. If you're a Pearl Jam fan, you've gotta have this one. If you're not a Pearl Jam fan, then you've really got to have this one. With matured lyrics and tones, PJ have released one of their best projects to date. The post-punk grooves in The Fixer and west coast riffs in Johnny Guitar make this a pretty amazing soundtrack. The Impact Track has to be the heart-wrenching Just Breathe: the deathbed confession of a man recounting the love he's been blessed with in life. When I die, I pray someone plays this at my memorial service.
3. Kind of Blue , by Miles Davis. While it's not new (1959!), it's relatively new to me. Jazz historians divide jazz music into two periods: before Blue (pre-1959) and after Blue. For many jazz musicians, blue was a watershed moment when culture, history, and art collided to forever change the course of human history. I'm beginning to appreciate and understand that more, largely due to Kind of Blue.
Impact Tracks: The title track, So What., which is not followed by a question mark (‘so what?’), but by a period (‘so what.’) as evidence to the cultural climate of segregation in the late 1950s, and the groovy Freddie Freeloader. (HT to Robert Gelinas for pointing me to it!)
A playful and organic vibe (‘Canada’)..yet almost anthem-esque (‘Staring Out a Window’). One part Paul Westerburg telecaster, one part shoulda-been-the-Juno-soundtrack, and two parts soulful vocals and deeply rooted lyrics. Absolutely great stuff.
Impact Track: ‘Let Us Know You’, which is worth the price of the album alone.
5. Big Whiskey and The Groo Grux King, by Dave Matthews Band. After the passing of long-time bandmate, friend, and saxophonist LeRoi Moore in August 2008, DMB produced their heaviest album to date. Both emotionally and musically. 'Nuff said. Impact tracks are Funny The Way it Is and Why I Am.
6. Glorious (Paul Baloche). I've been a fan of Paul's since the early days of 'Open the Eyes of My Heart'. IMO, much of today's worship music seems to be worshipping a God who's concerned with my well-being. Glorious breaks that trend with some genuinely God-focused worship. Impact Tracks are the title track, Glorious, and We Will Hold On.
What music have you run across this year that has moved you? Inspired you? Healed you? Changed you?
I'd love to know!
Today, December 3 marks the birthdays of two influential people in the culture of my life. I've sent them both birthday wishes…
I originally found this video at TED and it blew my mind. Footage from the Hubble telescope… pictures that our ancestors only dreamed of… and the crazy possibilities that only a Master Creator could come up with.
Watch and have your head swirl and your picture of the Creator exponentially expand.