Category Archives: culture

What Music Speaks to You or Just Makes you Smile?

What music have you recently discovered (or rediscovered that really speaks to you? or just makes you smile :)?

For me its Ziggy Marley.  Its just so positive and upbeat.  Its got the roots reggae feel like his dad’s music did, but he adds in just the right mix of pop hooks and melodies. It just makes me smile.

If you have kids and would like a children’s album that your kids can listen to with out going crazy check out Ziggy’s new album Family Time

ziggy

Beautiful Day

Take a look into the sky
‘Cause the world is not so pretty
Free myself from worries
So I can see
It’s just a beautiful day
It’s just a beautiful day

You could be sad
But I rather you not be
Don’t dwell on the negative
Just the positivity
And it’s a beautiful day
It’s just a beautiful day

We’re always trying to satisfy these wants and needs
Take you some time for that inner peace
When your eyes are open
You’ll see things differently
There’s so much gloom
Hiding the reality
It’s just a beautiful day
Yeah, It’s just a beautiful day

Take a look into the sky
Wake up
Take a look into the sky
Keep your head up high
Take a look into the sky

I take a look into the sky
‘Cause the world is not so pretty
Free myself from worries
So I can see
It’s just a beautiful day

I could be sad
But you rather me not be
Don’t dwell on the negative just the positivity
And it’s a beautiful day
And it’s a beautiful day

We’re always trying to satisfy these wants and needs
Take you some time for that inner peace
When our eyes are open
We’ll see things differently
There’s so much gloom
Hiding the reality
It’s just a beautiful day
A beautiful day

Take a look into the sky
Wake up
Take a look into the sky
Look in the sky
Keep your head up high

It’s just a beautiful day
I know it’s a beautiful day
It’s just a beautiful day
I know it’s a beautiful day
No one can take that away
It’s just a beautiful day
I know it’s a beautiful day
Don’t you feel no way
It’s just a beautiful day

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Are You Ready to Go For a Spin?

“As each age passes it can not be reclaimed”

Try as we might. No matter how much fear and hatred we throw at it. Whether we like it or not the wheel keeps on turning.

See the video this quote was taken from here.

Say What?? Did I Hear You Right??

question-mark

Here are some statements that I have heard lately that really concern me. Some of them about left me speechless which is hard to do. (Just ask my wife)

We need to be good stewards and be concerned about the environment. But we have to remember that ultimately the Lord is coming back and he’s going to destroy it all any way.”

I think that dropping the bomb on Hiroshima actually saved a lot of lives”       When I mentioned that the United States was the only country to ever use a nuclear bomb.

The Bible is full of wars”      Used in the context of  defending the war in Iraq

More people die of cold than the heat. So if global warming is really happening. I think it would be a good thing.”

When asked if Jesus would torture terrorists  – “He wouldn’t. He would just kill them

These are just a few that stuck in my mind. There have been plenty of others that I just can’t recall.

The problem for me is that all of these statements have come out of the mouths of fellow believers that I know and respect. People that I know love God deeply, and try to love their neighbor as themselves.

I am finding my self increasingly at odds with many of the believers I am in contact with on a daily basis. I’ve been told I sound “un-American”.  I have been lambasted for daring to question if the American brand of capitalism is the most biblical economic system., or questioning if Wal-Mart is a good company.

  • Has anyone else had similar interactions?
  • Do you have any concerning statements to add?
  • Does anyone else notice an increasing polarization among believers?
  • If so what do you see as the root cause of this polarization?

Fishers of Men Part 2 (Discipleship)

Mat. 4:19

“Come follow me” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men”

Part One was subtitled “Community” I wrote about that when Jesus said that he would make Simon and Andrew fishers of men, he wasn’t talking about a weekend fishing trip, but rather about a full time endeavor that took a whole community working together with a common purpose, and that God transforms communities through communities of Christians living transformed lives in the community.

Discipleship

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Matthew 28:19

Most men in Jesus’ day learned their trade from their father. It would have taken years of preparation to become a skilled fisherman. They would have had to learn many things before they were ready to venture out on their own, How to tie knots, what knot to use when and why, how to use the fishing nets, what nets to use in what situation, how to identify different species of fish, etc. They would even have to learn to predict the weather.

None of these things could be learned over night, they were learned over time. An apprentice fisherman would have spent years learning from his father, or another experienced fisherman. The apprentice wasn’t simply handed a net or a pole and left to their own devices, they were shown how to use them.

Yet that is what happens to many new believers. They are told that they are sinners and that they need a savior, they are told they need to repent of their sins, they are told that they need to put their faith in Christ. Then they are handed a fishing pole or a net (The Bible, prayer, church, etc.) and left to figure out how to use them by themselves.

Discipleship is important, It is important for new believers to be taught the doctrines of the Christian faith. But in addition to being taught the truths of Scripture, new believers need some one to come along side of them to teach them how to live those truths out, and it can’t happen only on Sunday morning, it must happen in the context of day to day life

I will end with an excerpt from “definition of discipleship” over at St. George the Dragon Slayer that touches on this point.

  • Discipleship is learning. Its an educational process. That means that disciple-making involves teaching.
  • But this is not learning/teaching in the conventional sense. Jesus made disciples while walking, boating, and eating. It happened in the homes of sinners, in grave yards, and in gardens. He made disciples by telling stories, healing the sick, and casting out demons. Discipleship is intentional and strategic, but happens in the context of real life – including, but not limited to, a classroom.

Fishers of Men Part 1 (Community)

I decided to repost a 3 part series from my old blog. I ran accross them recently, and thought they were worth reposting.

My wife and I attend a Bible study on Thursday night, our memory verse over the last few weeks has been Mathew 4:19 Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men. Of course I have heard and read this verse countless times, but this last Thursday that verse really came alive for me. It got me thinking what exactly is involved in being fishers of men?

This post is part one of at least a three part series.

Jesus wasn’t talking about wasn’t a person with a fishing pole spending a Saturday sitting by the shore. Jesus used the words to call Simon and Andrew, two commercial fishermen. The type of fishing Jesus was talking about was not something that could be done alone it took a group of people working as a team. Depending on the method used there might have been as many as three fishing boat crews involved to bring in a single catch.

After the catch was brought to shore the work was far from over. The fish had to be sorted, preserved in salt, and prepared for transport. Also there were boat builders, blacksmiths who made the metal weights for the nets, etc This took not only fisherman but a whole community working together with a common purpose. Every one did their part their were no passive spectators (pew sitters). Everyone participated as well as benefitted from the industry.

God transforms communities through communities of Christians living transformed lives in the community. As Christians we are all called to participate in God’s mission of restoration. This must be done in the context of day to day living. Fisherman worked long hard hours six days a week. Only on the Sabbath would they cease from their work.

I think for many Christians there is a disconnect between their spiritual life and their secular life. Sundays and maybe Wednesday evening are set aside for spiritual time, many will even add private time through out the week for prayer or morning devotions. The rest of their lives (work, taking the kids to the park, shopping, etc) are thought of as secular time.

If Christianity is to continue to have a positive effect on the culture in the coming years this way of thinking needs to change. Christians need to understand that just as the Father sent Jesus into the world, Jesus has sent us into the world. There is no such thing as a secular pursuit.

It is time for Christians to get out of the pews, get on our knees before God and ask forgiveness, and then get out into the street, and get to work.

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments.

My Friend that lives under the Bridge

This is my friend that lives under the bridge. When he is in the police roundup in the local paper they don’t even give his name any more. They just call him the man that lives under the bridge.

But he’s not just the man who lives under the bridge, he not just some one to chuckle at when you see his name in the paper. He is my friend, and he is someone who is created in the image of God. I’m glad that I have a wife who remembers that when I forget. I have known my friend for a few years now. There has been many times I have thrown up my hands and said ” I’m done with him” or “That guy will never learn” or “There’s no hope for him”

I know that if there was hope for me then there is hope for him. I am not afraid to hope for him.

Father, forgive my for losing hope for my friend, for not loving him the way you loved me. Help me to see him through your eyes. Help to not just tell him about your Love, but to show him your Love every time I see him

Amen

Thoughts on Being a Missional Church

Moving the church outside the walls doesn’t necessarily make it missional. If the purpose of our activities is ultimately to bring more people into our church, That is not missional.

Being a missional church is about moving outside the walls, not to grow our church, but to extend God’s love to those around us.

A missional church can’t be concerned about getting a return on their investment

A missional church must me a church where people see them selves as participants in the mission of God, not just passive recipients of his Grace.

As the body of Christ we are God’s physical representation here on earth. Being missional is about being a redemptive force in our community. Its about God’s will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

A missional church is more concerned about how it can enable and encourage its members to serve the community more than it is concerned about offering “services” to its members.

A missional church must be less concerned with making converts than it is with making disciples.
The old way of doing church was attractional. (How can we bring them in?) A missional church is incarnational. (How can we embody Christ in the community?)
Being missional must come from Love. For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son.

A truly missional church must be a loving church. People are smart if they sense that we are doing the things we are doing with the motive of getting them to come to our church they will know, and it will turn them off.

Being a missional church is about loving people like this.