Friday, July 17, 2009

My Fav Comes to Seattle

My absolute favorite musician in the world is Mat Kearney. He is an incredibly talented singer, great guitar player, and amazing song-writer, and he is performing in Seattle on November 2. I could not be more excited. I've probably listened to his cd "Nothing Left to Lose" a hundred times since it first came out and am well on my way toward surpassing that number with his new album "City of Black and White." Both are simple amazing and worth the money spent to add them to your music collection.

In addition to getting to see him, I am totally geeked about the seats I bought. I think I must have been one of the first to buy tickets because Mandy, my friend David, and I will be sitting front and center in the first balcony. These are probably the best seats in the entire theater, overlooking the stage from about 30 feet away. Now the only problem I have created for myself is that having to wait until November to see him is going to drive me crazy. This picture is the view from our seats at The Moore Theater in Seattle.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Some Christian Controversy

One of my favorite musicians over the past few years has been Derek Webb. He became relatively popular through being one of the founding members of Caedmon's Call, but has been doing solo work now for about 5 years.

Derek is a prophet for our current church culture, and has been criticized in similar ways as many of our biblical prophets. His lyrics have a beautiful way of calling out the negative issues of the church while still revealing his obvious belief in, and hope for, the church. Musically, he could probably be categorized as a bluegrass singer/songwriter, with powerful lyrics and strong acoustic guitar.

His newest album, Stockholm Syndrome, has received a great deal of scrutiny. Musically, this cd is a departure from his usual style, incorporating various genres of music including dance beats and a 50's doo-wop ballad called "Frankie, Please." The primary criticism has been aimed at the song "What Matters More." The song is critical of Christian culture for saying they affirm certain things but not backing up their words with real, practical actions, for not giving a "shit" about the "50,000 people who die everyday." Obviously it is the use of that sort of language that is receiving the negative press. I highly recommend this album and any other work that Derek Webb has done. His music has greatly impacted my life and challenged the way I approach the church and ministry. Enjoy this video of "What Matters Most."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

God of Justice

I recently stumbled upon a new blogger that has quickly made his way into my blogroll. I was fascinated by his thoughts on the new Derek Webb cd (which is great by the way...check it out) but was simply amazed by his post on justice. Check out the blog entry HERE and enjoy this video of the song "God of Justice" by Tim Hughes, which has become my new favorite worship song over the past few weeks.

HT: Brad Ruggles

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tony Blair on Globalization

Tony Blair recently made some comments about our current era of globalization that are helpful as we think about engagement with our neighbors world-wide. You can find the the full speech HERE. The following is a helpful quotation from the speech:

And this is why we need to ask ourselves whether the present form of globalization is entirely appropriate, given the circumstances confronting us. I mean there are, clearly, benefits, but we need to ask whether it requires adaptation so that it also enables, as it were, globalization from the bottom up. This, after all, is the way Nature operates! It grows things from the roots up, not from the sky down. At the moment we operate under a form of globalization that tends to render down all the rich diversity of a culture into a uniform, homogenized mono-culture. And this is where the Modernist paradigm needs to be called into question before the damage being done is irretrievable…

HT: Brian McLaren

A Word of Warning

"All Revolutions Devour Their Own Children"

~Ernst Rohm

I find myself wrestling with this incredibly enlightening thought. Throughout history, as revolutions arise and individuals fight for personal and communal freedoms, they leave in their wake the coming generation, their children. As the mother is fighting for her right to vote (a noble cause), the children are left at home fending for themselves. As a black father marches the streets toward liberty for his people (something worth fighting for), his children wonder why they are home alone again.

Of course I'm using hyperbole, but I find myself wanting to balance this tension between fighting for justice and peace in this world while still seeing my ultimate ministry as being toward my family. As I prepare to someday pastor a community, I must wrestle with not neglecting those closest to me while trying to make an impact in my community. What would it look like to care for the world and properly love my neighbor without harming my family and the future of my children in the process?

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Ultimate Obsession

The past few years have brought with them a deep love for the sport of rock climbing. I don't talk about that love much on here but I experienced a personal-best this past week that could not go un-noted. Last Thursday I climbed my first ever 5.12. I realize this doesn't mean much for most of you, but it really is quite an accomplishment for me. I have been climbing 5.11s for about a year, but had not yet conquered the seemingly impossible goal of a 5.12. I find it hard to explain to people, but the joy and ecstasy that comes from finally sending a route I've been working on is beyond compare. Here is a video I compiled last fall that includes pictures and video of me and my friend David climbing both outside and in the gym where I work.

A Quick Update

I realize I haven't blogged much lately and probably won't be blogging much for quite some time, so I thought I would just let everyone know why. My life has been crazy busy lately. I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan last week for a preaching conference that Rob Bell sponsored. The conference was amazing! There is so much that I continue to process and I promise I will share much of what I learned on here in time.

This week I am swamped with a week-long intensive class on Philosophy from Plato to Kant. Class is Monday through Thursday, 10am-6pm each day. I am also busy preparing for a high school church camp in Montana where I am the camp speaker this coming week. I will be speaking each evening, so I am writing 5 different sermons around the theme of 'Bold Humility.'

The day the camp ends I will be singing at my cousin's wedding in Butte, MT, and then its off to our cabin near Glacier National Park for a week of rest and relaxation. The cabin is such an enchanting place where we spend a lot of time hiking, rafting, picking huckleberries, and often, simply doing nothing. I can't wait. Needless to say, though, I won't be frequenting this site much until August, so don't expect much from me. Grace and peace.