Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This scares me... bits! I recently came across an article by Tara Leigh Cobble on Relevant Magazine's website. You've probably heard about Tara Leigh Cobble on Annie's blog, but she recently wrote an article for Relevant Magazine about a U2 concert she went to called, How to Dismantle an Idolized Bono.

It left me disappointed and a little baffled [though it was very well written...way to go Tara...I know why Annie encourages her writings so much]. For so long now I have associated Bono with Christianity even though I don't think he has publicly stated such. His songs have so much Biblical underpinnings in them that I just assumed. You know what happens when you assume? Well, I guess I've made an A out of me!

Click on the link above, read the article and let me know what you think...

Bono saying things that the antichrist would say?!?! It's hard for me to think that but after reading that article and looking at things in the Bible, it's possible. Crazy am I? [You have to read that in your best Yoda voice] Yes, but it does make you think. I will admit [and I've asked for forgiveness] that I have in a way idolized Bono because he has had some amazing, well-written "Christian" songs and the messages in the songs are sound.

Anyway, like I said, read it and let me know your thoughts.

Grace and peace.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What I'm listening to

I get questions a lot about what's new and good on the worship music scene. So here is what I'm into lately.

Daniel Bashta - My Worship Motion : Excellent stuff. You should definitely check him out. You can actually download his CD on his website for free, which is super cool.

Leland - Opposite Way : Amazing CD. A must have! They are all super talented and he is an incredible song writer

David Crowder Band - Remedy : He continues is creativity on this CD. I love their style. Download any and all of their CDs and you will be pleased, trust me.

Jesus Culture - We Cry Out : 2 words, freagin awesome!

Jason Morant - I have 2 of his CDs, Abandon and Open, and I love them both. The styles of both CDs are different, but both equally as good.

Passion - God of this City : Most of the songs are good, but you can get them on other CDs. My favorite is the song God of this City. Powerful! I recently posted about how the song came to be. Incredible!

Phil Wickham - Cannons : Amazing voice, sweet guitar player, and come on...he stinkin sports a mustache!

Hillsong - Any of their CDs! Get them all!! Enough said...

Kari Jobe - Kari Jobe : She leads worship with Rick Pino out in Texas. I don't know of a better voice than hers!

Anyway, these are some of the worship CDs I'm listening to lately. What are you all listening to? Leave me some comments on artists out there I need to get. It doesn't have to be worship but I always enjoying finding out new worship CDs to add to my collection.

Grace and peace.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Change of Pace

As promised in a previous post [...My Job], this is an inspiring video on how dogs can help children with autism. This is a great story. I can't help it, I'm partial to dogs...

Canine Companions

Grace and peace

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!

This sounds so simple, but often times I find it to be so difficult. There are some things going on [which I will withhold from you because I don't want to share...just being honest] and lately it has been hard to do the whole rejoicing thing.

Why do I let myself get lost in the stress, worry and anxiety of the circumstances of my life, or my job, or my relationships, etc? It's as if I'm saying that my problems are too big for God. Or that my worries out-weigh God's command to always rejoice.

So I continue reading in Philippians and only make it 2 more verses...

Verse 6 of chapter 4: ...Do not be anxious about anything. Busted! Arrogant aren't I?!

Worry implies that we "don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives."

Stress says that "the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control."

Why am I so quick to doubt? How can it be that I can encounter the holiness and otherness of God and still believe that my problems and worries are bigger than Him? Why do I lose sight of the fact that life is all about God and not at all about me? I just need to get over myself!

I am reading a book right now by a fantastic writer and speaker, Francis Chan, called Crazy Love. I just started it today and I cannot put it down. He covers this topic of stressing and worrying early on in the book and I had a hard time moving forward with the reading.

Picture this, you are an extra in a movie and the camera rolls by and catches the back of your head. A whole 2/5 of a second of screen time. You call home or your friends and you talk about this movie and how it features you...that it's all about you. They called you an idiot and are stunned that you think the movie is about you.

Unfortunately a lot of Christians get disillusioned with this. We believe that the movie is about us.

But the thing is, the star of the movie is God and will always be God! Opening scene is the creation of the universe [Were you there? Did God consult you on what to create next?]. There's a flood. Then a character arises, Abraham, and he becomes the father of a nation. After awhile Joseph comes in, then Moses and David. God then appoints prophets and judges to speak against a people who have lost the art of obedience. The movie was still not about these people. They were extras...

The movie starts to become interesting. You sit up in your seat and your pupils dilate as the Son of God is born of a virgin into a world that God still loves, He performs miracles and teaches them about true love.

The climax...your heart is pounding [maybe you cover your eyes or grip the seat handles]...the Son of God dies, in 3 days is alive again, then goes back to be with God the Father! The church is born...Pentecost...

Whew! Wipe the sweat off your palms [maybe the tears], the movie's done. No wait, it's not. There's one more scene. Read about this final epic scene in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4. There are these scary creatures with lots of heads and lots of eyes flying around a throne singing Holy is the Lamb that was slain. Elders are laying down their golden crowns ascribing worth to the Lord. Incredible!

From the opening to the final scenes, it has always been about God!

So where do we fit? You see our 2/5 of a second fall somewhere after Pentecost and the final scene described above. So are you still thinking everything should be about you? I'm glad I am reading this book to re-learn this unshakable truth...God IS the main character. It is ALL about Him!

1 Corinthians 10:31: ...whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.

That's what I want my 2/5 of a second to be about...His fame and renown and glory! If I'm struggling [which I may be right now], then I need to show the world that my God is good and He is the God of PERFECT PEACE and He will calm the storms. If things are good, then show the world that even though you are experiencing a time of blessing, it is still not about you!

God wants to be glorified. Point to Him! Have a blessed 2/5 of a second...

Grace and peace.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The story behind the song...

Story number 2 is such an amazing, jaw-dropping, hand raising, 'no way'-saying kind of story. Hopefully I didn't build it up too much.

During the last worship service Saturday night [which I must add is now in my top 5 worship experiences...yes I rank them], Louie Giglio came out onto the stage and started to talk about the inspiration of the next song, God of this City. Y'all, this story is so sweet. Here it goes:

Louie starts off by talking about a worship event Chris Tomlin and his band were at in Belfast. It was early in the afternoon and Tomlin's guitarist was the only one not doing something. So he decided to go out and "support" the local bands there. While he was listening in the back, the band started singing a song and it gripped his heart. He said he ran to get Chris out of the dressing room to come hear this song because "he HAS to hear it!" By the time Chris got to the stage, the song was over. So Chris Tomlin and the rest of his band met with this local Belfast worship band afterwards. They gave him MP3s of all of their songs and he listened to that one special song. Tomlin said that he was so moved that he just had to ask them what inspired this song.

They started saying that their band and a few other members of their church went on a mission trip to Pattaya, Thailand recently. In Pattaya, there are over 30,000 female prostitutes over the age of 18! [That is not counting the ones under 18, or even the male prostitutes there] While they were walking around the town, they walked into a local bar there called....the Climax bar, which you can imagine the folk that were up in that joint. Anyway, the owner of the bar somehow found out that they were a music group and asked (through a translator) if they would mind playing music for his "guests." They agreed and asked how long they wanted them to play and the owner answered back, "As long as your team continues to buy cokes." So they ended up buying cokes for 2-3 hours.

Think about it! For over 2 hours this band sang Jesus over these prostitutes and they had no idea what they were singing! All of the sudden this song "came down from heaven," as one of the band members recalls. Then spontaneously they started singing:

You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

You're the light in this darkness
You're the hope to the hopeless
You're the peace to the restless
You are

For there is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done in this city
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done here

I'm getting goose-bumps just writing the story behind the song. Doesn't the song mean so much more to you now that you know the inspiration behind the song?! You ARE the God of this city loaded with prostitutes! You ARE the King of these people God! You ARE the Lord of this nation! This city is dark Lord but You ARE the light in this darkness!! And...ANd...AND!!...GREATER THINGS HAVE YET TO COME AND GREATER THINGS ARE STILL TO BE DONE HERE!!

Needless to say, Chris Tomlin asked if he could play their song for the up-coming Passion tour. They agreed [Who wouldn't?] and then Chris sent the MP3s to Louie and told him to listen. He said that there is one song that ruined him but wouldn't tell him which one. Louie listened to the songs and quickly wrote him back asking in wonder about God of this City. It was unanimous, this song had the Holy Spirit and God's heart all over it!

All I can say is WOW!! Believers, soak in this truth! Bask in His light! Rest in the warmness of His embrace! Get close to Him! Your circumstances may be dark and hopeless, but He IS the hope to hopeless and He IS the peace to the restless!

Hold on Beloved! Greater things have yet to come!

Grace and peace.

Freedom we take for granted...

The first story from Passion Atlanta I'm going to share is a short testimony shared by one of the volunteers regarding a girl from Turkey who was there this weekend...

The first night of Passion a young girl was walking into the Gwinnett Center Arena. All of the sudden she broke down and started weeping. The volunteer went up to her and asked her if everything is ok. The girl then said that she has never seen this many people gathered together to worship and her heart was overwhelmed. She comes from Turkey where people are killed for their faith and for worshiping Jesus.

They prayed together and the girl's prayer was gripping:

"Lord, if worshiping like this back in Turkey results in me becoming a martyr, then I am willing."

Whoa, heavy, isn't it?

Grace and peace.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Passion 2008

One word...amazing! I met some really cool new people. The messages...challenging and heart piercing. The worship...let's just say that 9,500 people encountered Jesus. What more could you ask for?!

I have a few stories to share but not now. It's almost 2 a.m. and I just got home. All of the volunteers had to stay after it was over and break down everything. So, I am freakishly tired and I have to work tomorrow.

But I promise to share them.

Grace and peace.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Passion Atlanta tonight at the Arena at the Gwinnett Center. Roughly 10,000 people will be flocking to Gwinnett to unite with one encounter Jesus! I've read that over 550 college campuses will be represented this weekend. I'm super excited to serve [I'm a volunteer], to worship, pray and be encouraged by some amazing people. I mean, can you beat a Louie Giglio message...uh uh, no way.

Details to follow...

Grace and peace.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coming through a T.V. set near you...

is the worship of God! I'm sure it is going to be a hot topic of a lot of Believing bloggers out there, but tonight on American Idol they sang "Shout to the Lord" by Darlene Czech from Hillsong Australia. To add to this, I heard that David Crowder's song, Stars, was nominated as one of the "inspirational" songs the contestants could choose from this past week!

The worship of God is winning the day!!

I find it quite fitting that they sang Shout to the Lord the week of "Idol Gives Back." This event American Idol is promoting revolves around going out to the world to stop injustice. Why is this so important? Because it is near and dear to God's heart. WORSHIP WITHOUT MISSION IS NOT WORSHIP! Just as faith without love is dead, worship that does not inspire you to fight for and help the poor and needy is pointless. We worship because of the faith we have and we help because of the LOVE that is inside of us.

This shouldn't be a once a year Idol event. It needs to be a daily prayer for us.

"God, give me a heart for those suffering injustice."

If you take out all of the verses of the Bible where God talks about justice and helping those in need, then you are left with a very thin book.

I heard Bono say one time, "If you want to be with God, then go and be with the poor."

What's the result?...

Everyone around the world will be singing...

Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing
Power and majesty praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the sea will roar
At the sound of Your Name!

I sing for joy at the works of Your hand
Forever I'll love You forever I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You!

Grace and peace.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why I don't like my job...

So I'm sitting here at my house on my lunch hour contemplating the morning I had. One word...tough. I felt the need to unwind a little through my little blog here. I could have a chat with my dog, but all he would do is wag his tail and perk up his ears.

[He does have some awesome ears by the way...]

I will add here that dogs are quite therapeutic. Back in Athens we used to take my old dog Savannah to a nursing home. The folks there loved her! She just sat there while they petted [that a word?] her for hours. Anyway, I will post a video on how dogs are helping autistic children. It's a pretty amazing story...

Sorry for the digression...

My first appointment of the day was a 2 year old Jack Russell Terrier that the owners said was crying a lot and they noticed a "bump" on his side. They also said that he went missing yesterday for a couple of hours. My physical examination revealed scabs on his ears, a nasty bruise behind his right front leg and this "bump," well I could reduce it. This means that whatever was poking out under his skin I could push back it.

When I finished my examination I talked to the owners, which was a mom and her child, and told them that I'm suspecting he got hit by a car and that he has a tear in his abdominal wall. We took some x-rays which showed a few broken ribs, proof of this abdominal wall tear and that he may have some fluid in his abdomen, which could be either blood or urine. Urine? Yes, a common finding in some blunt-force trauma to the abdomen is a ruptured bladder...not good.

I go over the results of the x-rays with the owners and tell them that their pet needs to have emergency surgery to fix the abdominal wall tear and to find out where this "fluid" is coming from. I gave them an estimate for what it would cost to fix their dog and their eyes widened. The mom at first said go ahead with the surgery, but then quickly changed her mind and turned to the kid and asked him, "What do you want to do? It's your dog." I felt awful for this kid. He was probably 12 years old and was left with the decision to try and save his dog or put him to sleep (aka euthanize him). He started crying so I left them to discuss it for a few minutes.

I went back into the room and the mom again turned to the kid and asked the same question, "So what do you want to do?" In between the tears he said, "I guess put him to sleep." I asked him if he was sure and he nodded his head. Then I discussed with both of them what happens during a euthanization and reassured him that his dog would not feel any pain.

The end went smoothly and pain free. The kid wept...I mean all-out weeping, and I too was fighting back the tears. I gave the kid a hug and even though I knew in my head that I could fix their dog, I told him that he made a very mature and humane choice.

It hurts because I could have fixed him but I didn't get the chance. The price to pay for the procedures was too much. I hate that. I HATE THAT!

Maybe the afternoon will be better?

Grace and peace.