Thursday, February 26, 2009

Heavenly Politics

Daily in the news I see political fighting and arguing. Daily on Facebook I find myself in “friendly debates” about politics. What I see really disgusts me. I am not a fan of politicians in the first plan. I know we need Presidents, but I am not sure they are what God had in mind. I believe his exhortations in the ancient texts against Kings ring as true today as they did then.

Personally, I like to think I am open minded politically. While most of my friends would call me their hippie liberal friend, I simply would say that I don’t just vote on what the news tells me. For the record, I am not registered to any party, but am a registered independent voter.

What I see these days in US politics is such polarization. Why are we told that there are only 2 ways? Why does one certain part constantly present each and every decision as if there is only an “EITHER/OR” mentality? EX: “either you believe in big government or no government”, or “either you believe in drilling for oil or you’re a loony tree hugger”, etc. and so on.

This is NOT TRUE! There is another way! There are other ways of thinking! As I study Jesus more and more, I am learning that Jesus ALWAYS presented the “third way”. There were the differing opinions that we argued here on earth and then there was GOD’S WAY.

This is how I wish to live my life. I am tired of trying the ways of man. I am weary from my efforts to find which person is “doing it best”. I want to live a life that simply uses the words of God as a manual/guidebook. I choose the “3rd way”, I choose life in God’s plan.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mix Up Monday

Here is today's offering from the ol' shuffle option as I work away on Sunday's sermon:

Never Had Nobody Like You- M Ward
And Your Bird Can Sing- Beatles
Like the 309- Johnny Cash
Head Over Heals- Tears for Fears
Michelle- Beatles
Two Little Hitlers- Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Stargazer- Mother Love Bone
Where the Angels Sleep- Bebo Norman
Paths of Victory- Cat Power
Kids with Guns- Gorillaz
Exit- U2
Rapunzel- Dave Matthews Band
Splendid Isolation- Pete Yorn
When You Heard You- French Kicks
Gold Lion- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
SpoonMan- Soundgarden
Playground- Sia
Hummer- Smashing Pumpkins
Put it Behind You- Keane
Oxford Comma- Vampire Weekend

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free Music Friday

I don't care what anyone says, or what the jokes from "40 Year Old Virgin" imply, I love Coldplay! And this song to me is an unbelievable epic personal anthem. It has been ringing in my head all day, empowering me towards greater things. So I pray you'll enjoy it:

"LOST"- Coldplay

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Remember the Titans 2?

cool story! When will Disney buy the rights?


Battle In Seattle

Last night I watched the movie "Battle in Seattle". It was pretty good. I enjoyed it, being the activist, "liberal", free thinking hippy I am! It reminded me of a major cool moment I experienced this past summer when I saw Radiohead outside of Seattle, and Thom dedicated "You and Whose Army" to all those involved in the WTO protests.
It was here is a video of that exact performance for your viewing and listening pleasure:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jesus and the "Victory of the Immersion"

I have been thinking a lot about the way we evangelize in our brotherhood. SO many times I hear people speaking in ways that imply that the only “successful” evangelism is the acts that ended in baptism. I was recently talking to a guy who made it clear he was only interested in immersing the folks he reached out to. He would NOT be content with planting seeds or sharing some of the truth of Gospel, he would consider it a failure if he didn’t get to dunk the fella’!

Is it me or does this just feel entirely wrong? I think of Jesus’ words in Luke 13. He essentially said many will try to enter into the gates of heaven but few will get in. That statement would not fly in most of our churches’ classes on evangelism. What I think Jesus was essentially saying was we are not to be concerned about the quantity saved but the quality. This is consistent with His actions everywhere we see him in the gospels.
Have we changed His methods to attract unbelievers and altered His message to make it easy on interested hearers. Most often the very truths I read from Jesus that ignited hearts of the lost in His day are left out of today’s mission efforts. It seems to me that he was more direct and willing to tackle the hard parts that we have to do. He forced them to count the costs. And then He never seemed to “share the whole Gospel”. He would leave it to the hearers to listen, decide and change for themselves. I am sure many of those he shared with were later saved and Jesus was nowhere around to witness it. Would we consider His efforts a failure then?
I don’t know. It just got me really thinking. This is a much abbreviated version of my internal dialogue. What do you guys think?

baptism Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best Singer Ever?

Rolling Stone Magazine recently posted their list of the top 100 singers of all time. While this is an entirely impossible task, it is quite interesting. Okay, I understand that we each have our own opinions, and that is cool and necessary. But seriously.....this list has a few problems. Shall I share a few before you view it for yourself??? Okay, I will! :)

Aretha I can accept...but most definately it was old school Aretha and NOT inauguration Aretha! Lennon at 5 and MCCartney at 11.....ummmm nope, too big of a gap. Then seriously...........Thom Yorke at 66?!?!?!?!? Then there is the issue of Bobby Dylan in the top 10----I love the guy and consider him a legend...but purely as a singer and not ALSO songwriter, there is NO WAY he is before Stevie Wonder, Bono, or even in the top 20 (and don't get me started on Tom Waits!)And you seriously want me to believe that you can find 38 better singers than Jeff Buckley????? And lastly....where is Delores O'Riordan? Okay, I will stop now. Read for yourself and share some thoughts, would you?


Valentine's B-Day Boy

This weekend was a big one at our house. We had some very beloved company visiting from CO. They were there to help be a part of Jude's 6th birthday party celebration! It was a fantastic weekend. We held a party at the bowling lanes where the kids played, and laughed and enjoyed Jude's big day. He was sufficiently spoiled and loved on. Here are some pics from the event.

silly fun getting ready

the AWESOME cake

"How old are you Jude"....."Look at my shirt!"

A birthday kiss from an adoring lil' sis

What a stroke

The Kindergarden Krew

Air hockey!

Mama putting down some smack talk

His favorite gift of the day

Shooting on the new hoop!

Happy birthday buddy. I love you. I couldn't dream of a more special 6 year old

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Music Friday...........VALENTINE EDITION!

in the spirit of this are 2 of my favorite love songs

Ben Kweller- Believer

All That Matters- Todd Snider

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse

I am so wishing we could get some winter weather here. It has been a severely dry and mild winter in Southern Oregon this year. Right this second you can drive 20 miles north or south from here on I-5 and it is shut down due to snow storms…yet somehow our tiny little valley is a strange pocket of weather that resists the white powdery stuff….oh well.

I am not sure there is even such a thing as the apocalypse, but if there is, this surely must be a sign:


Stevie Wonder performing with the Jonas Brothers…….man, SO BAD it made “I Just Called to Say I Love You” look good!

Mix Up Monday

Yes I stole this bit from a friends blog, but oh well. Here is the latest 15 songs shuffled on itunes as I worked today:

We've Only Just Begun- Sonic Youth
Change Gonna' Come- Sam Cooke
Show Me Your Glory- Third Day
Touch, Feel, & Lose- Ryan Adams
Sweet Memories- Willie Nelson
D'Yer Mak'er- Led Zeppelin
Alison- Elvis Costello
Monkey Gone to Heaven- The Pixies
Hours- TV on the Radio
Godray- The Myriad
Sad Eyes- Josh Rouse
Resurect Me- Fiction Family
My Only Offer- Mates of State
Egg Man- Beastie Boys
Your Heart is an Empty Room- Death Cab for Cutie

Friday, February 6, 2009

Free Music Friday

Today's offer is from Jamie Lidell. It is the 1st single of his latest album titled JIM. Who would have thought the best soul tunes of the year would come from a nerdy techno music loving whiteboy from Europe?? enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

God's Garage

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


Recently I wrote about a small garage remodel. The simple plan fit perfectly into a time frame and budget. But, things didn’t go as planned. Sometimes, replacing a toilet apparently can turn into huge plumbing issues that require a front yards to be dug out . I learned that despite precise planning, sometimes things are out of our control. And I’ve been reminded God also has plans for our lives that are often vastly different from our own.

The promise above belongs to everyone. Take it to heart, lest you spend a lifetime trying figuring out where to go, what to do and who to be with. We’re called to become all God destined us to be. When we hand God the "steering wheel" of our lives, He begins to unveil His plans for us. And as many of us know, they may look nothing like the plans you drew up! This scary truth can be difficult for a stubborn and controlling human.

Why are we so afraid to trust God? Maybe God will ask us to do something we despise, or something that doesn't fit our idea of success. But, truth is we’ll never be happy or successful apart from fulfilling our God-given purpose. Listen for God’s calling and trust in his plans! Let God take control. He created you to enjoy HIS plans!

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." When God designed you, He equipped you with everything you’d need to fulfill your purpose. The key to fulfilling your God-given call is to seek the Lord DAILY. Don't wait until you're at a stressful crossroads to make an important decision that will affect your whole future. Choose today to listen to the call of the Lord! If you live your life depending on God's wisdom, guidance and grace daily, you can count on Him to lead you in the path of His greatest blessings. There is NO WAY we can improve God's perfect plan for our lives.