Tuesday, November 30, 2010
It seems nowadays that saying “Xmas” either makes you a rabid secularist or at least a sub-Christian who, like the atheists, want to take Christ out of “Christ”-
Let’s get a little history lesson in real quick: (you can find most of this information on the internet. Ie: http://www.oed.com/, http://www.christianhistorytimeline.com/ amongst others … but I urge you to research it for yourself)
For at least the last thousand years, “X” has been used as an abbreviation for Christ, far surpassing the breadth of time the modern usage of “Xmas”. Actually “Christ” was written a number of ways “XP” (Chi Rho) and also “XT”. The dating of these particular christograms are difficult but there are some references in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles (which are historical accounts of the Anglo Saxons written in Old English) that date back to the early 1000’s. The “XP” that we widely see used in modern Orthodox denominations as well as Catholicism, Episcopalians as well as others, is called the “Labarum” and are the “x” and “p” letters of “ΙΧΘΥΣ”, the Greek word for “Christ”
The “X” has also been cited as being used in terms “Xtian” and “Xtianity”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary as early as 1485. In many New Testament manuscripts and Greek images X was used as various titles for Jesus and is still viewed as a symbol of Christ and used as chrismons.
In 1436 Johannes Guttenberg invented the printing press and as such, the tedious and expensive typesetting, led him to use the Greek symbol as the abbreviation for the church. Even Webster’s dictionary acknowledges that the abbreviation Xmas was in common use by the middle of the sixteenth century.
Only within the last century has the idea of “Xmas” taking “Christ” out of Christmas, become widespread. It’s only because of rising fears of secularization and wrong ideas about separation from worldliness, that the urban myth of “Xmas” being a removal of Christ still exists. In 1977, the Governor of New Hampshire issued a press release stating that journalists should cease taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas” as “Xmas” was a pagan spelling of Christmas. Perhaps he should have run that press release by a religious scholar before issuing it. Like anything, if we continue to be under educated about things, and because of our ignorance develop fear or separation … we then begin to lose the attachment to what Christmas really is … the celebration of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Understanding this use of Christian symbolism might help us modern day Xians focus on more important issues of the Faith during Advent, and bring a little more Peace to the Xmas Season.
Until Next Time
Friday, September 24, 2010
2 large McIntosh or Empire apples, cored (keep the "meat" of the apple separate)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant oatmeal (maple works great)
5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
Cut the top of the apple off, at the stem. Gut the apple, removing the "core pieces" and set the apple "meat" aside. Continue gutting the apple until all thats left is a shell of the apple skin. Finely dice apple parts, while mixing in the ground cinnamon and instant oatmeal and water. Heat the current ingredients until the instant oatmeal is well cooked and "bubbling" ... add brown sugar and raisins. Take the concoction and add to the apple shell .... TOP WITH VANILLA YOGURT!! .... enjoy :)
Until Next Time,
Monday, September 13, 2010
First of all, let’s define “Bloggers Block” a little better … It isn’t at all like writers block. See writers usually have a topic of writing and in that particular scope of topic, they can then stem through the variances of that topic. Bloggers Block is the “brain-fart” of blogger topics … Unless you have a blog COMPLETELY devoted to Cross Training/Cooking/Music Reviews ect. … than you’re probably blogging about life … sometimes life, has “brain-farts”. Here are 10 ways to get over that “Bloggers Block” while also finding 10 ways to kill time while you have said “Bloggers Block”
1. Two Cups of Coffee, your favorite 80’s dance song and a Flip Vid (or any video recorder) … After about 2 cups of coffee you should be wired enough that when that kickin’ 80’s dance tune comes blaring through your iTunes … you’re going to want to video tape that … and then post it as a blog, and how much you regret doing that … but *huph* it’s entertaining
2. Stand in the corner of your office, completely quiet … just observing the rest of your co-workers ….. and when it’s been about 10-15 minutes, scream at the top of your lungs and blog how some people don’t like spontaneity
3. Write 1 line of a song on 100 post-it notes and put them all over your body … then dance around like a maniac until all of them are off you but 1 ….
4. Watch an episode of Psyche on Hulu.com and compare Shawn Spencer’s wittiness with that of your boss, and contrast and compare …. It’ll take about 45 minutes, plus it’s HILARIOUS!
5. Offer to make everyone burgers for lunch, go out and buy tofu burgers … grill em, decorate em … then watch as people’s expectations are destroyed at the mere taste of tofu … then you can blog about how appearances can be deceiving
6. Talk to yourself
7. Depending on your field of employment, disengage yourself from your work and from thinking of “what to blog” and practice magic tricks on people you work with … and completely botch the mess out of them … but be persistent … make sure they don’t leave when you mess up the rings trick for the 5th time
8. Pronounce all Th’s, Ch’s, Sh’s as the first consonant sound … ie: Th = T, Ch = C or K … then become agitated when people are unable to understand you … again, just as #1 have you’re video recording device readily available.
9. Wear track running gear into your morning meetings and in the middle of the “download” … excuse yourself for a morning run … then run around your offices (indoors) … stressing the importance of a healthy body, healthy work environment creates a more productive day!
10. Last but not least …. Find something that inspires you, google it, research it … take a look at it from different angles, take your time studying it, learn to hate parts of it … and by the time you’ve rummaged through whatever it is that inspires you … you’ll know more about yourself and more about what to tell others!
OK! NOW! …. Go … and Blog Block no more! …. Keep in mind 1-9 are really just for fun, but truly … you can blog about that!!
Until Next Time
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
It's never expected to be accepted, when first making introductions. There's that awkward hello, the handshake even. Then from there it's work as usual. Quiet casual conversations, learning the mannerisms/inflections/likes/unlikes/backgrounds/similarities/differences ... still strangers. Then something occurs, a common event/discussion that brings to light who this person really is ... and they're no longer strangers, they have a name, they're becoming friends.
I'm surprised at moments like these - the almost evolution of human interaction, from distance to familiarity to family. Such was/is the case with our summer intern Michelle Webb (check out her blog). In the 5+ years I've worked with the station, we've had a healthy number of people come through the doors and intern/volunteer/work and attempt to fit within the confines of the said family (described at the beginning of this post). Michelle made her home here at The JOY FM, giving of her time, talents, heart ... she impacted all of us, made us smile, and became apart of our family.
She was a stranger, who didn't force her way in ... but allowed us to get to know her, and thus became our friend.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
With in the last decade there has been a growth in Christian culture, regarding emotionalism and experience, and it's focal point in the modern Christian life. Some would argue that because of the emphasis on emotions and the experience an individual goes through, theology and sound doctrine becomes secondary to a Christians growth, even to the point to where THINKING is looked down upon.
I understand that experience is sometimes necessary when encountering a living God (i.e: Paul's conversion) but I do not believe it should at all become the dominant method in which Christians gain their beliefs and understand of God.
There's this book in the New Testiment called "Acts" (you might have heard of it) .. In it there is a society of people called Bereans. It's actually in Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examines the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" - btw Berea was the second missionary journey of Paul and Silas (appx 50-54 a.d.) ... Bible commentator Albert Barnes writes "This (noble character) means more noble by birth ... BUT here the word is used to denote a quality of mind and heart. They were more generous, liberal and noble in their feelings; more disposed to inquire candidly into the truth of the doctrines advanced by Paul and Silas"
The lessons from these verses about the Bereans is plain. There wasn't an experience that Paul was impressed with, not their emotional compacity in their spirituality ... more so their prudence/respect for Scripture and those who teach it. St. Paul, the guy who wrote 2/3 of the New Testiment, was scrutinized and his words tested against the line of scripture to confirm what he was teaching was correct. However, we can believe that Paul and Silas were glad that the Bereans were willing to put them to the test, because the scriptures call readers and believers to study the Bible and to test what they read. Example 2 Timothy "Study to show yourself approved unto God" and in 1 Peter "Always be preparied to give the reason for the hope you have" ... this is Apologetics 101!
Again, our foundations are not built upon frail human emotionalism nor the experiences, which we tend to give more credit to than should do .... Our faith is built upon 2000+ years of scripture and doctrine, study and a prudence attitude toward those who preach these sacred scriptures .... respectfully
Until Next Time
Monday, July 12, 2010
Here are some of the BEST NEW and USED tracks to you! … Mix Tape style! HERE WE GO! VOLUME 3!!
Hillsong - Forever Reign
From the newest Hillsong release "A Beautiful Exchange" .. this song (Forever Reign) is one of the most memorable and emotive ... Musically - fantastic, Lyrically - edifying, worshipful, Christ-centered ... seriously one of the best cuts on this disc!
Andy Zipf - Our Voice Is A Weapon
Im a HUGE Andy Zipf fan, and since the release of this small (but epic) EP ... I can't stop listening. A Folk/Americana gem musically, hints of Dylan/Petty/Young style vocals and lyrics ... seriously amazing (also check out his "The Cowards Choir" EP) It was either between "Our Voice" ... or "Like A River" ... anything this guy touches musically, needs to be given a good ear to listen.
Joy Williams - We Mapped The World
Joy might be known for her AC Christian music ... but I hope more so for her ability to craft a ridiculously good song! She has a lot on her plate right now, with The Civil Wars and releasing EP after EP of seriously amazing Folk/Pop songs ... this girl is on a mission (or so it seems) ... We Mapped The World (off of the EP of the same name) is SUCH a great cut. With Fiest and A Fine Frenzy-esq sounds ... a sweet beat to accompany the music ... and her voice ... I'm not sure if there is one I could equate it too ... she's amazing!
David Crowder* Band - Shadows (Acoustic)
After the release of "Church Music" in 09' DC*B has changed (in a way) the face and sound of modern Christian music ... which is good! The album goes through these mountainous emotive tones, from high and perky to borderline industrial dark ... one of those cuts "Shadows" was re-done on "Summer Happiness" EP (which is an acoustic EP of songs from "Church Music") ... The acoustic rendition of this song is AMAZING! It's not so much dark, the industrialized pieces are still present but the sound and feel of the song changed ... and in so ... has become a little more beautiful than I had expected.
WELP! That should about do it for this months “Monday Mixtape” .. check out Aprils and Mays!
Do you have a Mixtake suggestion? .. maybe a song that you just can’t get out of your head?!
What is it?!
Until Next Time,
Sunday, July 11, 2010
You may know this kind of person, and maybe at times ... become this person ... The "accolade" kind of person.
It's OK to admit it ... we, as humans, sometimes fall into this "default mode" of pride and arrogance. But I'm not talking about the times when you become proud of something you've worked so hard to accomplished, more so the affirmation we want or respect we feel we deserve to show off whatever "accolades" we might have ... or for that matter, whatever "accolades" we might create.
I've known people who, for whatever reason, seem to grasp at whatever prize, medal, promotion that comes along to prove, either to themselves or maybe to someone else (or for a more common reason, to be affirmed by colleagues, classmates, family) that they are good, great, best. This isn't a terrible thing, but it's not what makes us who we are ... these "accolades" are all vanities (Ecclesiastes is a dangerous book to read depending on your mood) We're told not to store our treasures on Earth (Matt 6:19), but sometimes we concern ourselves with how we are perceived professionally, either with our titles, schooling, how many initials we have at the beginning of our name and even, at times, with trophies or diplomas of sorts. We hang them nicely on our wall as a means of being recognized for what we've done, or at times what we what other people to THINK we've done. Like I said, this isn't a terrible thing, but it definitely doesn't make us who we are.
Mother Teresa, being born in Macedonia, didn't receive a plaque of honor from the Sisters of Loreto when she first joined at age 18. She didn't get a "Graduate of 1931" diploma for her initial vows, in India. Nor was she given the key to the city when, by permission of the Holy See, She started her own order "The Missionaries of Charity" (whose primary task was to love and care for those who no one else would) ... Yet this woman is a modern day example of Christ's heart, hope, love, compassion, trust ... but also in a worldly manner: determination, commitment, work ethic ... She was completely unconcerned with the chronicling of her life that STILL there is dispute to WHEN she was born ... she didn't care to correct/confirm/recognize herself. This woman had MANY accolades ... but she didn't care at all about the ones for which she received here, on Earth.
Something to chew on.
Until Next Time
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Romans 14:19 that says “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification” … This verse, in its context, deals with varying measures of faith, moral conviction and cultural practices.
It seems Paul dealt a great deal with followers bickering back and forth with each other and in a sense “running to daddy” when they had issues. In Paul’s letter to the Roman church and both letters to the church in Corinth, he confronts the legalistic tendencies of faith, and identifies that the follower, individually, has been bought by Christ (1Cor 6). In doing so he chastens the believers in Rome and in Corinth, to not hold men accountable to their own convictions, but leave the conviction and convicting to God. (Romans 14:22)
It seems to be a common thing now to want to debate convictions based upon theologies and doctrines … I know I’m right there in the midst … but before all of that there’s this comedic analogy that Christ uses about a tree in the eye of the guy pointing out the dirt in his friends eye … Can’t you see Christ talking to the disciples about this ignorant man pointing fervantly at another man who’s rubbing his saw dust infected eyes. Christ then picking up a tree stump, holding it to his face and mockingly saying “why do you point out the saw dust in your brothers eye, when you have a stump in your own!” … it’s easy to be the finger pointer, but I think whatever differences believers have needs, first, to first go through a filter of GENUINE thought, to “make peace and find mutual edification”.
There will always be differences in the Christian World view, but always the same foundation! No matter what the convictions: drinking, movies, cussing, smoking, music, sabbath … “keep these things to yourself and God” (R.14:22) and also in our differences “make EVERY EFFORT to do what leads to PEACE and MUTUAL EDIFICATION”
Until Next Time,
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
BECAUSE IAM SELF RIGHTEOUS.
It’s common to find my nose in the fold of a theology book. Whether it be apologetics, church history or the latest Mark Driscol book … I love reading. Even more so I LOVE knowing things, truths about my faith … not suggestive beliefs or assumed non-biblical “life” lessons.It’s this want/desire to know the truth that sometimes finds itself as my “stumbling block”.
If there is a practice that isn’t biblical I used to have a tendency to dismiss those particular people, but then my frustrations would grow and I wouldn’t just dismiss the people but the group … not only the group, but the church … not just the church, but the faith. My frustrations of “how come people can’t see the truths I SEE!” grew to the point where my own opinions and discernments about the Truth of scripture became the “canon” on to which I would either accept or dismiss … It’s my self-righteousness, that put me in a position of false piety and conceitedness. Just because I read a few dozen books on theology and doctrine … doesn’t mean I get to be a jerk about it.
There will always be crazies in religion, in Christianity … But neglecting the crazies and looking at the differences in churches like the churches Paul wrote to in confidence, in guidance, in love … they will be different in practices/convictions/ideals but its the common thread of “Love God, Love others” that knit our differences into a fabric of faith.
Until Next Time
Thursday, June 10, 2010
A little background info for you real quick.
When I was 15 my step-dad bought me a set of drums, spent all night learning the "4 On The Floor" ... my life was changed from there.
Music has always been an outlet for me. Awe sometimes comes over me when I'm struck with the sound of good music, chord structures or over all feel of the environment. SO of course, coming to the knowledge of my salvation in Christ ... I chased the opportunity as a worship leader.
This July will mark my 8th year leading worship. In the 8 years I've been doing this there have been MANY denominational flavors, and theological understandings and misunderstandings. (Thank God for Charles Surgeon's view on "searching" scripture "No man who merely skims the book of God can profit thereby, we must dig and mine until we obtain the hidden treasure")
For some time now I've been contemplating the historical/cultural/biblical relevance of MUSIC as worship. I had been tossing around the thought that it's turned into an idol (in some ways, to some people ... maybe it has) but I read 2 articles on modern worship and its leaders ... I can't tell you how refreshing it was ... let me break down some bullet points.
- If we have a gathering with killer music but no truth, we have a pointless gathering
- People draw much of their cultural identity from the style of music they listen to
- The songs that we sing need to not only have the ability to stir affections, as long as it is shows our people who God is or who we are in light of him
- If the songs we play are only true, but not singable, memorable, or enjoyable, our people will be far less likely to have their hearts stirred by the truths we are presenting
- When we gather to sing, the “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” are the means by which truth is prompting people to respond
- God has made music a powerful tool. As a body of believers we can communicate, memorize, express, and emotionally connect with truth through music in ways that no other medium allows
- We have one target in mind, and all band members should be shepherded to aim there together, to Him
- If we have to work in the confines of music and all the cultural baggage it brings, we must also take advantage of the cultural benefits.
Music as a medium is one of the most powerful tools to express the emotion, grace, mercy, truth, salvation, heart of God ... "To worship Him in Spirit and in Truth" - some denominations emphasize one more than the other, but the idea of MUSIC allowing the truths of scripture to become a real revelation to the hearts of Christ's followers, for me .... is something I will from now on embrace!
Until Next Time
Friday, June 4, 2010
I will admit, when I first heard of the BP OIL SPILL, I wasn't surprised. The unfolding, however, and the blame shifting involved, I was surprised.
I was even more surprised to learn that BECAUSE of the BP OIL SPILL, our beloved Sunshine State will be taking a HUGE hit. Florida offers hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue during the summer vacation season. Although, now having to discontinue Florida's "Coast is Clear" campaign, it looks like a HUGE percentage of vacationers are canceling their holiday stay!
Florida summers are bleak right now. With billions of dollars out of flow, hundreds of thousands of jobs for those in need and the beauty of the Florida coast and it's inhabitants looking more and more like an episode of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, we are in need of answers and camaraderie!
Nashville showed their community stripes when dealing with the flooding. Florida AS A STATE needs to do the same. The oil is already encroaching on our shores, with birds, fish and other ocean-life in need, as well as the shores themselves ... find a way to help! Be safe, be open and be the change!
Encourage each other to find a way to help Florida's coast lines.
Until Next Time
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
So this whole things is rolling out from a little encounter my wife and I had before going to bed the other night. I'll lay it out for ya.
My wife and I were going through our routine, she was brushing her teeth as I was robotic-ally plugging in my cellphone and taking off my glasses on my side of the bed ... As I was coming around the corner ... I noticed she was starring at me (I thought it was sweet until I REALLY knew what it was). When I realized why she was starring at me, terror struck my face ... and as if I were in a teen-slasher movie and I was said teen ... I shrieked out " YOU'RE STARRING AT MY BELLY?!" .... she started laughing hysterically (still while brushing her teeth ... she's got talent)
The next few minutes were spent DRAMATICALLY (and completely in play) whining about the idea that my wife thinks I'm getting fat. Now my wife is fully aware that I like to keep myself in shape. I run and cycle often as well as engage in some healthy doses of the "Ultimate Frisbee" (which by the way .. I rule at) So I know that when she stares gawkingly at my "not so chubby" belly, shes looking out for me haha .... I hope.
This whole "Hee Haw" episode that unraveled as we were getting ready for bed reminded me that I've been wanting to RESTART my P90X challenge ... and DO IT RIGHT! ... so ... here we go. Through the next 90 days (starting June 1st) I'll chronicle the progress and on goings of this David and Goliath ... this Joe and the Volcano challenge haha ... but yeah. I'll keep you up to date, and attempt to help YOU have the courage to do it for yourself!
Until Next Time
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
It's been a week and some change since the "1000 year flooding" of Nashville, taking with it the shelter of Tent City. 120+ homeless men, women and children literally becoming EVEN MORE homeless, after the flooding consumed the community harbouring underneath a Nashville highway.
Sometimes when people see the word "HOMELESS" 2 things happen: 1) either they are put off almost immediately, barking about "just get a job", "they made their beds", "lazy" ...ect. 2) Help ... When my wife and I left for India, December of 08, we didn't expect to see the magnitude of depravity and homelessness ... Coming home to the states, we were able to see that the need isn't just THERE but HERE as well. So we put on a "BBQ For The Homeless". Excited about the opportunity, we had people wanting to help, but when it came down to ACTUALLY helping ... we were left with 7 people ....... 7 people to show LOVE, COMPASSION, COMMUNITY, and HOPE to a subculture often times forgotten.
Tomorrow (Thursday May 13th) from 3:00-7:00pm at Lifeway Christian Store in the Brandon Town Center (directions here). The JOY FM's Morning Cruise will be collecting TENTS, TARPS and SLEEPINGBAGS, as well as GIFTCARDS (Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart, Target) to Rebuild Tent City! So stop by tomorrow to show Tent City the LOVE, COMPASSION and COMMUNITY of Christ. Don't wince at the idea of helping, or throw money at them and pat yourself on the back ... BE the help and hope to these people by YOUR donations!
Until Next Time,
Monday, May 10, 2010
Audrey Assad - For Love of You
First off having the pleasure of this upcoming artist was amazing. Real, fresh, honest and vulnerable ... not to mention EPIC pipes and witty lyrics ... Take a listen
Dave Barnes - God Gave Me You
This guy has talent and personality coming out of ears ... If you look in his resume you'll find: constant tweeter, Vlog phenom, stand-up coming and epic romantic song writer. Known for previous songs "Until You" and "On A Night Like This" ... he's earned his right to swoon the burliest of people HA! ... "God Gave Me You"
The Killers - When You Were Young
I've been a Killers fan since "Hot Fuss", it's catchy, introspective and dancable rock and roll, but we did this song "When You Were Young" as an introduction song to our church (The Bridge) youth group study on "Relationships" ... and it was right on, catchy + introspective + dancable ... take a listen
Passion - Our God
We (The JOY FM) started spinning this single shortly after the release of Passions "Awakening" CD ... This song is (in my opinion) another "How Great Is Our God" .. and ANTHEM of the greatness of God "Our God is great, our God is stronger, God You are higher than any other, Our God is healer .. awesome in power!" ... Check out this cut, don't be afraid to shout!
WELP! That should about do it for this months "Monday Mixtape" .. check out Aprils!
Do you have a Mixtake suggestion? .. maybe a song that you just can't get out of your head?!
What is it?!
Until Next Time,
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
December our Garbage disposal wigged out on us, and decided not to allow any water down the drain. I did all that I personally could have done to try and correct it myself, but not being a plumber ... it was limited. So dialed up the landlord (God bless him) told him our issue and low and behold it was covered. Day or so later, awesome repairman comes by and assessed the issue ... which then turned into issues ... he was able to see that the problem want' JUST in the disposal and the pipe but in the dishwasher (who would have thought that right? ... well ... a plumber I guess) ... spent a few hours correcting the problem and with a hardy handshake was done and out of there!
Everything was fine over Christmas break ... BUT. Halfway through January our plumbing decided to get clogged .... in the bathroom NO ONE USES!! (insert epic suspence music here) I, again, attempted to fix the problem with my unlimited knowledge or plumbing art ... and the internet, and to no avail. So called the landlord and like clockwork ... a day or so later, here comes the cool handyman guy with this HUGE scary looking plumbing thing (that's the technical name for the tool btw) and fixed the problem (at least for a little while)
For the next month and a half things were good ... we enjoyed our townhouse. Windows open, letting the lovely cool air circle through the house. Baking cookies (and pizza) often because it fit with the mood of the house! It was such a wonderous time in our house, I wouldn't have been surprised if spring lillies starting sprouting from our living room rug!
April came ... and ... and ... We decided to get an indoor pool, well kinda. One morning, in the wee hours before heading to work, I mosied downstairs to get ready and to check on the cat (stupid). When I saw (forgive the graphicness of the next comment) a hairball in our sun room area. As I walked closer ... I noticed said hairball ... was FLOATING! Our water heater exploaded during the night and filled an area of about 12X8 with water about 3 inches high. Probllem. So as I calmed the wife and told her it would be ok, I just need to call the landlord, we proceeded to go on with our day. Called the landlord, and later that day A PLUMBER! (I'm seeing issues with plumbing) As I swept the water our of the area and cleaned the tile, the plumber set up a new water heater, hooked up some new breakers that blew and headed out!
May 3rd, it had been a week and a half ... with no A/C. Something happend to our A/C. We've changed out our filter regularly. We are carefull with when we use it and when to open the windows (electricity ;)) So we were baffled when it was 90degrees in our home. Called the landlord ... PLUMBER!! (seriously these guys do everything) Assessed our 15 year old A/C unit was out of some kind of cold gas ... went to pick some up and hooked us up ... FIXED!
I've been joking with my wife, since moving in, that our house doesn't like us. But in all of these mishaps and inconvieniences it's shown us, young married inexperienced couple, how to handle things with better care, how to be responsible with your living conditions and how to adapt .. and not complain ... My wife and I are STILL unbelievably greatful for our home, problems and all!
Until Next Time,
Monday, April 5, 2010
I remember back in Middle School/High School I used to make mix tapes (mix discs) of my favorite songs ... (the occasional "date-mix" was made as well) ... So I thought, why not introduce some of my favorite NEW and USED tracks to you! ... Mix Tape style! HERE WE GO!
Mix Tape #1
"we run, we run to find will we be set free ... but we're fighting for what we've already received"
T.A.N.'s new album "The Light Meets The Dark", set to drop May 11th 2010, features a 5th cut called "All The Pretty Things" ... an AMAZING well done song and a redemptive story that sometimes we as Christians forget and try to "run" past - Click here to HEAR (sorry YouTube quality)
A pair of singing sisters, who instead of writing songs against each other, rather encapsulate real "Pride and Prejudice" moments for the helpless romantics. With sweet plucking of the piano strings and a lovely accordion addition, this song is .... adorable
Gungor - Beautiful Things
Micheal Gungor has been one of the most "under the radar" leaders in the worship world. This new album is stinkin' RADiculous (yes ... I used rad and ridiculous ... "rad-iculous") This song embraces a very progressive sound and engages the listener in a wonderful crowd of chord choices .. it's gorgeously epic, and embracing the beautiful creation God created ...
"You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of dust" - Click here to HEAR
Johnny Cash - There Ain't No Grave
First of all ... It's Johnny Cash. My personal opinion is, like a fine wine, he got better with age. His biblically laced songs embrace such a remorse for choices but adheres to God's promised Grace. But his rendition of this Claude Ely penned song ... is crazy good
"I see a band of angels and they're coming after me ... ain't no grave can hold my body down"
Click here to HEAR
David Bazan - Hard To Be
Bazan has always been one of my favorite singer/songwriters .. his ability to write a story while bombarding you with questions of faith/love/friendship is amazingly poetic. You get a taste of a little "church burn" in this cut, but the hope of being a better person is the overall point, no matter the road
"It's hard to be a decent human being" - Click here to HEAR
The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine
A Christian songstress (Joy Williams) collaborating with an artist and song writer (John Paul White) is bound to make some good music. If you're at all a "Grey's Anatomy" fan you might have heard it and fell in love with the song, or just a fan of good, sultry, slightly depressing folk ... than you will LOVE this cut off of The Civil Wars first EP
"Your hands can heal, your hands can bruise ... I don't have a choice but I still choose you"
Click here to HEAR
Well that about does it for the first "Monday Mix-Tape" ... tell me what you think?! If you like it, I'll keep introducing you to NEW and USED music :)
Thursday, April 1, 2010
During one of our "Catch up" times ... I went through my top 4 characters on T.V. and WHY "If I Were A T.V. Character" I would most likely be one of these 4 ...
They are as follows ...
Micheal Weston -
First off ... he's a spy! That's stinkin awesome right there. But behind the tough exterior he has a warm heart, and knows his way around a bomb/gun/knife/tough guy stuff ....
Shaun Spencer -
HAHA! I love Psyche ... this is one of those shows that no matter what my wife and I are doing we seriously belly laugh at some of the episodes. My wife says that I act like Shaun every now and then ... usually the random "on-liners"
Manny (Modern Family) -
This kid is a healthy equation of: old school romantic X's analytical thinker / latin roots!! Seriously .. for being a prepubescent character ... he's aces! "Can we stop calling me little guy? I'm in the fortieth percentile."
Richard Castle -
This show is a surprising favorite of mine ... anytime there's a new episode on Hulu or ABC.com, my wife and I are slightly giddy and anxious to finish what we're doing, throw on the PJ's and rustle up some pseudo healthy grub for this show! My wife (as well as some close friends *cough*) are convinced my mannerisms and short attention span are perfectly reflected in Castles character ...
Until Next Time
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
As you could assess from my other blog posts, I tend to be a little bit of a "work-a-holic". It's not uncommon for me to overwork myself, drive (or bike) home to the wifey, and veg next to her while she does her French homework. But there are those times, in between the stressful expectations of work, that I are as refreshing and as unexpected as being pushed in the pool.
Yesterday my wife and I set some time aside to drive to the mall (while belting out some old school Further Seems Forever) and see if we couldn't utilize some of the gift cards we accumulated over X-mas and my birthday. As we walked around the mall, trying on clothes and having mini-fashion shows in the dressing rooms, I was strangely refreshed. Just to have the time to relax, take off the stress of the work day and CREATE memories with my wife, was more rewarding than any ounce of "veg" time.
To continue the day I found out that my guitar is ready to be picked up (after 7 months). Jim Gaffigan DVD was only 5 bucks, and we just receive 2 MORE gift cards (I did some graphic design work for) that would pay for a dinner we had scheduled with some GREAT friends later in the night...
I was shown the importance and simplicity of being "refreshed" ... just taking the time to be a husband to my wife and a friend to my friends.
Until Next Time
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"Rest at Night
The Sun from shining,
Nature—and some Men—
Rest at Noon—some Men—
And the Sun" ... BURNS YOUR FACE!!
SO! Yesterday my friend Jayar and I went to take part in some good ol' fashion Baseball! America's past time with the Boston Red Sox Vs. Pittsburgh Pirates. So there we were, Jayar with his Blackberry "tweeting" the games going on's, and me reading a great book on GREAT radio .. with a highlighter. Both of us enjoying the stadium and the surrounding Bostonites yelling "GO SOIX!! GO SOIX!!" (that's my best at trying to TYPE an accent) Through the 5th inning, it looked like Boston was going to take it 5-1, so we chilled out a bit .. got a drink and slowly trotted back to our bleacher seats. It had already been 2 hours and some change by then and we still had about 2 or so innings before we were going to attempt to "beat the traffic". So there we were 2 innings later packing things up and realizing ... "Hey, we didn't put on any sunscreen" ... We didn't think much about it, until we got into the car and were headed back to work ... there, our eyes started to adjust and we realized that JUST the right sides of our faces were soar (we were seated on the third base line) .... made it into the station bathroom and BEHOLD! ... THE RIGHT SIDE WAS CHARRED! (a slight over dramatization ... but still) ... which ended up, throughout the rest of the day, being mocked, touched, "eww"ed at and even "whoa"ed at a handful of times ...
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
- The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work… (Genesis 2:15)
- Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. (Exodus 31:15)
- In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.(Proverbs 14:23)
- So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work (Ecclesiastes 3:22)
- If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
...... I myself tend to go between the 1986 and 2006 numbers often.
I'm becoming more and more aware of the importance of healthy and sanity to REST ... to keep this "7th Day", Sabbath Day ... and observe that I am quite frail and in need of the reminder of redemption.
Redemption ... hmm, it's a great thing to rest on.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
5:30 a.m. - The alarm goes off
5:45 a.m. - The snooze alarm
5:50 a.m. - Actually getting up
5:51 a.m. - Go to the Bathroom
5:55 a.m. - Make Coffee
6:02 a.m. - Enter shower
6:08 a.m. - Shave/Brush teeth/blow dry hair
6:20 a.m. - Drink first cup of coffee/read newspaper
6:32 a.m. - Wake the Kids
6:35 a.m. - Get the kids in and out of bathroom and dressed
6:58 a.m. - Feed Kids
7:15 a.m. - Pack Lunches
7:25 a.m. - Organize kids stuff for school
7:30 a.m. - Organize your own stuff
7:35 a.m. - Final house check
7:40 a.m. - Get the heck out of the house!
Sound at all familiar? Yeah I thought so ...
BUT after crawling into bed around 12:45 a.m. I assumed I set my alarm (which is on my cell phone) to the proper time. Sweet, silent, peaceful, FRANTIC!! I literally poll vaulted out of my dream and off the bed when it dawned on me that my alarm didn't go off. After starring at the clock for a few seconds longer than normal, trying to contemplate what went wrong and if the time was the ACTUAL time ... It became apparent to me that I had overslept. Now given as of right now the schedule above from 6:30 on doesn't so much apply to me (no kids) I found my morning routine, thrown out the window and laying in the front of my yard. Instead my morning routine looked more like an Olympic routine:
7:30 a.m. - Poll Vaulting
7:31 a.m. - 50 Yard dash
7:31 a.m. - Clothes (Gymnastics)
7:31 a.m. - Shot Put
7:32 a.m. - Tug of war
7:33 a.m. - Cycling
7:50 a.m. - Work
So as I scorned and verbally abused my cell phone for not waking me up at the proper hour ... I was made aware (after looking at the alarm time) that I set it for P.M.!!
Yeah ... that just happened
Until Next Time
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Growing up I LOVED Sports. I was totally into baseball, soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee and just about anything active! (btw ... I was the KING of PowerBall - Baseball with racquet's) Since I've been married I've plateaued at around 10lbs heavier. This isn't bad .. surprisingly a lot of people won't shut up about how skinny I look (I hide my weight in my pockets). BUT I'm just not satisfied with where my body is. So for the last year or so I've made a conscious effort to become more active. Running 4.5 miles every other day or so, cycling to work in the morning and even on occasions tearing it up on the Ultimate Frisbee field (don't kid yourself ... I'm a mad Ultimate guy)
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
“India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Internal forced labor may constitute India's largest trafficking problem; men, women, and children in debt bondage are forced to work in industries such as brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, embroidery factories, and brothel houses. Although no comprehensive study of forced and bonded labor has been carried out, some NGOs estimate this problem affects tens of millions of Indians. Those from India’s most disadvantaged social economic strata are particularly vulnerable to forced or bonded labor and sex trafficking. Women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage. Children are also subjected to forced labor as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, and agricultural workers.” - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009
In December 2008 a group of us met at the JFK Airport in New York, in transit to Hyderabad, India. There we spent time observing, loving, serving and learning about human trafficking, debt bondage and slavery in the majority of the Indian provinces. The term “out of sight out of mind” kept hitting me right in the middle of my forehead. “How could I have not known that TENS OF MILLIONS of Indian inhabitants are enslaved!” … the thoughts that each person I pass is a potential slave, a sex working, a life begging for the hope of freedom and a life worth living were the most frequent and the most echoed thoughts as we returned home.
But first … Her name was Axshmia, she was the youngest in her family, her mother and father had died, and she lived with her uncle in the Vishakhapatnam province. She was what the Hindu Caste System calls the Shudras or Untouchables. The Untouchables were literally social outcasts, to the point where after tea they were ordered to break the tea cup they drank from so no one else would drink from it. Axshmia, as we were visiting her village, was the “Belle of the Ball”. With a smile that would steal even the hardest heart and eyes that would make anyone gaze longer. Her family is of the poorest in Vishakhapatnam, her mother and father gone and her only guardian is an uncle who has his family to provide for as well as Axshmia.
With all of the variables … the probability of Axshmia being sold into forced labor and or sex trafficking is sky ward.
Resc/You exists because of Axshmia, and the innocent, beautiful and destitute children she stands for.
With the idea that the children of Khidderpore we serve, spend their lively days enjoying the funs and thrills, a child should, at a local boarding school (a place where change can occur for the oppressed, and hope can be given to a child who knows only an impossible struggle of segregation) ... spend their nights with in the walls of the local brothels, within the sheets of perversion, bound by the shackles of modern day slavery ...
Our hope is this ... To raise awareness and also funds for an education fund. This fund with help the children of the Khidderpore Red Light District to go to boarding schools so they are not living in the brothels. This fund will also continue to grow so that these children can have the opportunity to go to higher education ...
Check out SpendYourself to purchase a shirt to support Resc/You' cause ... also check out our Blog .. here
Until Next Time,
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Occasionally I’ll come across a group or an artist that just sticks with me, and for some reason I have a small musical “crush” on them for a few days (Oh come on, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m saying) This was an unlikely crush. See a while ago I saw an Episode of “L.A. INK” with the notorious Kat Von D. Well this chap walks in, built, brown and ruggedly handsome (I think I’m allowed to say that) Anyway, he says his name is Carlos Whittaker and he leads worship for this church called “Sandals” (check it out, it’s pretty legit!) His story was compelling, and identifiable. His story resonated with the conversion of Saul to Paul (I’ll leave it to you to find the whole story) but he left “L.A. INK” not only with a sweet impression of Saul’s Conversion on his right arm, put made a great impression on me. After some “googling”, I ran across his music … 4 songs “Rain It Down”, “Jesus Saves”, “We Will Worship You” and “God of Second Chances” (check out that link RIGHT when you're done reading this)…. I downloaded the EP off ITunes for pennies … and it was worth it.
That night I went for a 4 mile run, listened to the EP 3 or 4 times. I wasn’t blown away by this amazing musicianship, or unsurpassed lyrics … I was blown away by how open his music felt. There was vulnerability about it, it didn’t seemed littered with “Christian” clichés … but a jubilant expression of genuine gratefulness without getting muddied by our religiosity.
Needless to say, this guy … I like.
God’s graciousness is something that either gets OVER stated … or UNDER appreciated … I think these songs, at least for this guy (me), remind me that during the seasons I feel dry God’s grace can rain down. That my soul is forever saved not because I’m righteous enough but that “I am the sum of failing and of grace” … and that even within complacency and emotionalism, a plea of “Save us from these comforts, Break us of our need for the familiar, Spare us any joy that’s not of You” His grace will restore our hearts to Him and to His justices. ... overall ... I think I'm a fan.
Until Next Time,