God has a calling for all of us...we're talk frankly about discovering your purpose.
How Great Thou Art - Carl G. Boberg and R.J. Hughes
How Great is our God - Chris Tomlin
Wonderful Maker - Matt Redman
Jesus, Be the Center - Michael Frye
Enough - Chris Tomlin
All to You - Lincoln Brewster
"Undeniable Calling" (video)
"Porn Sunday Promo :: Man on the Street" (video)
"Steve has a love-hate relationship with, well, everyone. Customers buy Apple products and they appreciate Steve’s design and market sense, but they also have opinions and NEEDS — two characteristics Jobs (and for that matter almost any CEO) would like to do without."
- Robert X. Cringely, from "I, Cringely"
- Daphne Merkin, in an editorial from the NY Times on Owen Wilson and reports of his depression
I love westerns...the scope, the characters, the clear quest for justice, and the gun fights. "3:10 to Yuma", James Mangold's latest film, was a great way to spend an afternoon.
Christian Bale stars as Dan Evans an injured Civil War veteran who has moved his family to the wide open West to start again. He struggles not only against the elements but also with his family...struggling to find respect with his boys as he's about to get kicked off his land as the railroad plows through. Russell Crowe stars as Ben Wade a notoriously vicious outlaw who robs any railroad payroll that comes through with he and his gang slaughtering everyone on board the coach. The two of these characters collide with such impact all other characters simply fall into the afterglow.
There were certain places in the film where I found myself lost in Bale's brilliant character as I pondered on my own fathering and the difficulty that faces many of us face as dads...how can we command respect with our boys? And it is this very issue which drives Evans to join a posse taking Wade to prison. His hope, to regain his land and his stature as a figure worthy of respect.
This film is gritty and dark, certainly not a typical Hollywood film in many ways but well-worth a watch. In the era of remakes that simply retread where the previous movie went, Mangold pays homage to the original through rebirthing the story on his own terms.
Four Corners is about to have "Invite a Friend" Sunday and for some reason I'm uncomfortable inviting my neighbors. But I have the feeling, regardless of the outcome, the discomforting step will be good for all. I will step past the "ease" of what Robert Frost once described as "...good fences make good neighbors..." philosophy of most surburbia and disturb the norm a bit.
So regardless of where we are on our journey...think about taking some deliberate time to make yourself a bit uncomfortable. And take some time with me and say this prayer:
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. (A Franciscan Benediction)(Thanks Kem Meyer for the heads up)
Kem Meyer, the Communications Director of Granger Church, had a session entitled "Everybody Doesn’t Hate You...it just feels like it". Dave Crow attended the conference and has posted his notes. Some great nuggets to learn from...
When he comes, he'll expose the error of the godless world's view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He'll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin... (John 16: 8-11)
Undignified - David Crowder Band
Salvation is Here - Hillsong United
Dwell - Casey Corum
O Lord my Shepherd be - Billy Somerville
We Shine - Steve Fee
There is no one like you - David Crowder Band
Baptisms + Communion
"Trading Up" (video)
"Baptism Stories" (video)
“I thrived on Rand’s message that only quality work counted, not who you are.”
When I was teaching 8th grade English one of the novels by honor students read was "Anthem" by Ayn Rand. Even in this small compact piece her allegory is transparent as she introduces her philosophy of objectivism best defined by its extolling of individuality, freedom, and reason. Turns out that not only did White Oak Middle School see Ayn Rand as worth reading but many CEO's did too.
The New York Times has an article about how Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" was a major influence for people the likes of Alan Greenspan, James M. Kilts (who led turnarounds at Gillette, Nabisco and Kraft), Marc Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) and John P. Mackey, the chief executive of Whole Foods who found her supporting of “the virtue of selfishness" to be a rationale for success in our capitalistic culture.
And although I do not espouse any of Rand's philosophies (in fact, almost diametrically opposed to them), it is an interesting read and commentary on what influences key business and societal leaders.
Here's food for thought:
"There are 2 types of people in the world...those who get interest and those who pay interest. You have to decide which one you want to be." (Andy Stanley)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31,32)
Bless His Name - Tony Sanchez
Not to Us - Chris Tomlin
What I've Done - Linkin Park
Amazing Love (acoustic) - Billy James Foote
Our King - tree 63
Your Grace is Enough - Chris Tomlin
Taking Forgiveness to the Cross (nailing our resentment + requests interactive)
A Child's perspective - "What is forgiveness?" (video)
How NOT to invite a friend to church (video)
I read the article in stunned disbelief. The president of Prison Fellowship said it best, "It's swatting a fly with sledgehammer." The fear of religion being used for "radicalization" (what this really means no one knows besides acting violently...so am I radical if I decide to step out from the culture and tithe a portion of my income or read my Bible and actually believe it?) grows when only a meager few do anything destructive with their faith.
Faith has been shown to extend life and a critical element for American youth. If the secular world continues to define mainstream faith by its extreme fringe elements then faith will continue to get pushed out of public life regardless of its "benefits".
16oz Chocolate Milk
10oz Cold Coffee
Shaved Dark Chocolate
Ice Cream (optional)
Mix the milk, coffee and ice cream in blender until smooth. Add whip cream and shaved chocolate. Serves 2.
(thanks Dove for the idea)
"Apple truly doesn't have any competition!"
Steve Jobs introduced the new iPod lineup on Wednesday but that wasn't the big news. People's jaws dropped when Jobs announced a sudden drop of $200 on the iPhone only 10 weeks after the phone had debuted. To put it in perspective monetarily, Apple intends to try to sell over 10 million phones by the end of next year. So if they dropped the price $200 they are basically forfeiting a potential $1.84 billion.
Foolish, you say? Dropping the price because the phone is not selling, you say? To the contrary. Orange Hues has an insightful blog about the reasoning of Apple's choice. And we wonder why Apple with a small fraction of the actual PC market can continue to make such huge tidal waves...
The following idea is out of the box...I mean way out. BUT could this be the right direction for a company as large and exposed as Starbucks? Could this be the solution for more than just them? (thanks Brand Autopsy for the heads up)
"Kill the brand while it's still at its peak, and replace it with another one. Right now. Today, the Starbucks brand is extracting the absolute most it can from its brand equity. It is at the top of the hill. It has nowhere to go but down. The company should pull back and create another, new brand "from the makers of Starbucks" which redefines the coffee category and gets back to the essence of what Starbucks used to be all about. They would benefit from a glorious mountainous buzz effect. Everybody would flock to the new brand - a Starbucks for the new millennium."
- Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D.
The reasons we pursue faith vary greatly but at the core lies a few similarities that may be universal...a desire to have a legacy of meaningful impact and influence AND a sense of wrong and right in this chaotic world. It lead to some great conversations and, I believe, in the end a sense that our life group was a safe place to simply say, "I don't always know why I pursue faith...".
Jill and I have found the "model" we use for Life Groups to be very effective...intentionally casual yet it always leads us to meaningful conversations about life and God. And beyond it all we find these people as dear friends. A slow run up to the deeper things...building relational trust over time. Too many times people rush into the "God-stuff" without spending time earning the right to be heard...we forget these are people and not simply ticks on a salvation score card.
Life Groups have given Jill and I true enjoyment of church...a place of friends and community where the deep conversations happen but also life simply gets lived together. Up to this point in our lives that was what was missing in our church experience.
It would do us all well in this celebrity worshiping culture we find ourselves in that they are human just like us. Money and fame do not bring us any closer to purpose, meaning and hope. I forget too quickly that Jesus came for the common man and the famous man. We all need him whether your name is on a lit marquee or simply bellowed out by your kids in a small house in the 'burbs.
God is always speaking but often our ears aren't in tune...distracted by all the noise around us.
Broadcast - Steve Fee
Holy is the Lord - Chris Tomlin
No one like you - David Crowder Band
Word of God Speak - MercyMe
Salvation is Here - Hillsong United