Thursday, April 29, 2010

Page CXVI Hymns I

Download this free album from "Page CXVI"
http://pagecxvi.bkstageshare.com/hymns
Its definitely worth it
The Play List:
          1.     Come Thou Fount
          2.     In Christ Alone
          3.     My Jesus I Love Thee
         4.     When I Survey the Wonderful Cross
         5.     Nothing But the Blood
         6.     Solid Rock
         7.     Joy

Their name "Page CXVI" comes from page 116 of CS Lewis' book "The Magician's Nephew"

From their web site:
The name comes from a reference to page 116 in our copy of The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. It is a poignant passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void.

It starts,

“In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction is was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”


~ C.S. Lewis

Pretty Cool

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waffle

What more would we expect i guess....

Family Devotions

In our current sermon series we have talked a lot about having Family Devotions. Here are a couple helpful links on the subject:


http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2010/04/27/three-main-steps-to-starting-family-worship/

http://ibcparents.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/creating-a-family-worship-time-a-compilation-of-resources/

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pastor Dad

This is a GREAT resource for Dads - It goes really well with our new sermon series on Parenting

And you can download the whole book as a PDF


http://relit.org/pastordad/toc.php

Thats the way you do it son

Monday, April 26, 2010

For the past few weeks the comedy Central Cartoon 'South Park' has come under fire form Muslim Islamic groups for depicting the prophet Muhammad in their cartoon. South park is know for their extreme irreverence towards all religions. They often mock and lampoon Christianity and it is impossible to watch the cartoon and not be absolutely offended. (which is what they are aiming for). But for the past two episodes they have depicted Muhammad but Comedy Central has censored his image, so they put Him in a bear costume, still this was not enough so Comedy Central bleeped all dialog with the name of Muhammad in it! The creators of South Park were threatened by an American Muslim web site (revolutionmuslim.com). From the site:

“We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show,
“This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

Theo Van Gogh was a filmmaker who made a short documentary about the oppression and abuse of Muslim women living in Europe with sheltered Islamic communities. He was stabbed to death by an extremist after months of death threats in 2004 in Amsterdam.

All this reminded me of the sharp differences between Christianity & Islam. I thought this article from John Piper written in 2006 was very insightful (he is responding to the Danish cartoon incident)

Being Mocked: The Essence of Christ's Work, Not Muhammad's
By John Piper February 8, 2006

What we saw this past week in the Islamic demonstrations over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad was another vivid depiction of the difference between Muhammad and Christ, and what it means to follow each. Not all Muslims approve the violence. But a deep lesson remains: The work of Muhammad is based on being honored and the work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very different reactions to mockery.
If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation. This was his saving work: to be insulted and die to rescue sinners from the wrath of God. Already in the Psalms the path of mockery was promised: “All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads” (Psalm 22:7). “He was despised and rejected by men . . . as one from whom men hide their faces . . . and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).
When it actually happened it was worse than expected. “They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. . . . And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they spit on him” (Matthew 27:28-30). His response to all this was patient endurance. This was the work he came to do. “Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
This was not true of Muhammad. And Muslims do not believe it is true of Jesus. Most Muslims have been taught that Jesus was not crucified. One Sunni Muslim writes, “Muslims believe that Allah saved the Messiah from the ignominy of crucifixion.”1 Another adds, “We honor [Jesus] more than you [Christians] do. . . . We refuse to believe that God would permit him to suffer death on the cross.”2 An essential Muslim impulse is to avoid the “ignominy” of the cross.
That’s the most basic difference between Christ and Muhammad and between a Muslim and a follower of Christ. For Christ, enduring the mockery of the cross was the essence of his mission. And for a true follower of Christ enduring suffering patiently for the glory of Christ is the essence of obedience. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11). During his life on earth Jesus was called a bastard (John 8:41), a drunkard (Matthew 11:19), a blasphemer (Matthew 26:65), a devil (Matthew 10:25); and he promised his followers the same: “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household” (Matthew 10:25).
The caricature and mockery of Christ has continued to this day. Martin Scorsese portrayed Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ as wracked with doubt and beset with sexual lust. Andres Serrano was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to portray Jesus on a cross sunk in a bottle of urine. The Da Vinci Code portrays Jesus as a mere mortal who married and fathered children.
How should his followers respond? On the one hand, we are grieved and angered. On the other hand, we identify with Christ, and embrace his suffering, and rejoice in our afflictions, and say with the apostle Paul that vengeance belongs to the Lord, let us love our enemies and win them with the gospel. If Christ did his work by being insulted, we must do ours likewise.
When Muhammad was portrayed in twelve cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the uproar across the Muslim world was intense and sometimes violent. Flags were burned, embassies were torched, and at least one Christian church was stoned. The cartoonists went into hiding in fear for their lives, like Salman Rushdie before them. What does this mean?
It means that a religion with no insulted Savior will not endure insults to win the scoffers. It means that this religion is destined to bear the impossible load of upholding the honor of one who did not die and rise again to make that possible. It means that Jesus Christ is still the only hope of peace with God and peace with man. And it means that his followers must be willing to “share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stephen Baldwin…. The 'new' Job!?!?

Unbelievable……
Speechless…….

How can this not be a joke?

I don't even know how to respond

& Christians wonder why we have no credibility in the world's eyes



Thursday, April 22, 2010

10 Million Fireflies

My kids are just getting into the whole 'music thing' and want all sorts of junk downloaded onto their MP3 players (and are of course saving up for a cool ipod). I try and screen all of their music choices & a lot of the stuff is downright terrible (Lady Gaga, Kesha, etc.). But one song that they really liked is "Firefiles" by Owl City and I have to admit it is a rather catchy song. It is often on the play list in the car. I was pleasantly surprised to find this article in Christianity Today. Its great to see Christian artists engaging in our pop culture!


Owls, Fireflies, and Jesus
Adam Young, the creative mastermind behind the overnight sensation Owl City, is a shy insomniac who takes his faith as seriously as his music.
Mark Moring
posted 4/20/2010

Last summer, few people had heard of Owl City, the one-man synth band masterminded by 23-year-old Adam Young of Owatonna, Minnesota. But when his first label album, Ocean Eyes, went online on July 14, the iTunes music store chose "Fireflies" as its single of the week. The next thing Young knew, he was practically redefining the term "overnight sensation." "Fireflies" had 650,000 downloads that first week, and it wasn't long before it was the No. 1 song in the U.S. (It has been played almost 30 million times at his MySpace page.) Suddenly, everybody knew who Owl City was, and album sales skyrocketed. A star was born.



Adam Young of Owl City








What many people don't know about the young man behind the irresistibly catchy tunes, the sweet voice, and the silly-fun lyrics ("I'd get a thousand hugs / From ten thousand lightning bugs / As they tried to teach me how to dance") is that he's a devout Christian who takes his faith as seriously as his music. We caught up with Young recently on his U.S. spring tour—via e-mail, because he's too shy to do interviews in person—where he was selling out small theaters across the country. Many of those tickets went to teenage girls, who screamed and squealed nightly as he took the stage. And they sang along. To. Every. Single. Word.

I've read that you're pretty shy, but you put on a dynamic live show. What brings you out of your shell on stage?

I quite like my shell and often prefer it over the bustle of social gatherings, wedding receptions, parties, or any large group of people for that matter. Even Christmas holidays can feel a bit "too close" for me, so it really is ironic that such a reclusive hermit like myself has landed the job of a social butterfly. I don't really have anything else to offer other than pointing out the irony that lies therein, and honestly tell you that when I step onstage in front an audience each night and begin to play, something comes over me and I don't feel a single nervous pang.
Despite being shaky and quite flustered every night before going on, performing is an incredibly comfortable process after the show has started and the wheels are in motion. Sudden notoriety has done nothing to change the shy person I was born as, and though I don't see that trait even changing, I am totally okay with it. I'm the sort of person who enjoys listening a lot more than speaking. I suppose I'm the classic definition of a lone wolf.

Your schedule looks grueling, with tours of the U.S., Asia, and Europe. And you struggle with insomnia. How do you do it?

Sleeping is a challenge for me. Exhaustion is inevitable on tour and the ability to fall asleep is much harder in a tour bus than at home, so I find myself awake most nights, which often results in sickness. The common cold is basically my best friend. I've learned to deal with it, however and I've almost grown used to the rigors of life on the road.

Universal apparently wants you to start working on your next album in May, as soon as you come off tour. Do you need time to unwind before the creative juices start flowing again?

There's nothing I love more than retiring into the comfort of my cozy little house in my hometown and letting the creative juices flow without being bothered. Being on the road is tough and also fulfilling, but I see this coming May and the job of writing and recording the next record a "vacation" of sorts. I'm excited to get to work.

What's the source of your creativity?

Faith and imagination. Faith is the reason I do what I do, imagination is the fuel that keeps the creativity flowing. The Lord Jesus Christ is my reason for creating and I have nothing but thanks and gratitude toward him for being allowed to do what I do, and ultimately, seize my wildest dreams as if they were just there waiting for me.

When did you become a Christian?

I grew up in a Christian home, with the most wonderful parents a kid could ever ask for. I came to know the Lord in middle school after hearing a testimony at church. From then on, I've just wanted to serve Christ in every way I know how, music being the only thing I've ever considered myself any "good" at. I guess my whole message or goal of this whole operation is to bring glory to Jesus Christ by all that I do and say, not just as it relates to Owl City, but in all areas of my life.

Do you want to be thought of as a "Christian musician"?

It's up to you, honestly. It's not my place say what people should think of me as. Actions should speak for that. I follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, so any definition that arises from that fact is all right with me. The same goes for Owl City. I am a Christian in a band. Is it a Christian band then? That's up to those who ask that question.

Who are you writing for? Yourself? God? Listeners?

I started writing for myself, wanting to create the kind of music I always wished I could walk into a record store and find on a shelf. That's still what I aim to do, while intending to pay respect and give thanks to the One who has allowed me such talents/privileges along the way.

Tell me about your friendship with Relient K and Matt Thiessen, who shows up quite a bit on your Ocean Eyes album?

Matt was someone I'd always admired growing up, so when I got a chance to send him a few tunes and possibly catch his opinion on them, I was pleasantly surprised when it worked out so that we hung out, did some writing, and ultimately became good friends.

You were a bit wary of signing with a record company. Why did you decide to sign rather than stay indie?

Since the fact that people are somewhere out there listening to an artist's music and appreciating it is absolutely priceless, I answered the question: "Will signing to a major record company allow me to spread my music over a wider range than could ever be done as an independent artist?" with a simple "Yes." That's why I ultimately signed.

Did you set out to write music to appeal to teen girls, or is that just how it turned out?

Haha, I'm afraid I didn't really pay attention. I just write the music I would like to hear as a listener myself, so needless to say I was pretty shocked when teen girls connected with my music so well. Somehow I feel it's a bit too "random" for that age demographic. But I'm certainly not complaining!

The term "overnight sensation" is overused, but it really does describe your journey. What's been the best part of this wild ride so far?

I walked on the Great Wall of China. That was incredible. I think the best part of this whole thing is waking up every day knowing that I don't have to put on my boots and drive to work. I couldn't be more thankful for the chance to do what I love and making a living off of it on the side.

Photos by Pamela Littky
Copyright © 2010 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thursday is Earth Day

.....The Kyoto Treaty, Global warming, rain Forrest depletion (remember this one?), the ozone layer, drilling in Anwar, Nuclear energy, and alkaline barriers killing dolphins (I learned this one from my kids).......

Where do we as Christians stand on the environment?
What does the Bible say?
How do we as Believers develop a Christian Worldview of Environmental Stewardship?



How about we start in Genesis chapters one & two
1. God created everything
2. God sustains His creation
3. God is transcendent over His creation
4. God values His creation
5. God cares for His creation
6. God's creation brings Him glory
7. God's greatest creation was mankind
8. God wants mankind to enjoy His creation
9. God has a role for mankind in His creation
10. God's creation is fallen - affected by sin


Where do we start? James Lovelock (atmospheric scientist) argued with Mother Teresa (!?!?) at Oxford's University's Global Forum for Survival in 1988 - Mother Teresa said that if we take of the people on the planet, the earth will survive. Lovelock countered that we if take care of the planet, the problems of the people will be solved. (Thinking Straight p.239)
- Radically different stating points - one starts with man, one with nature


An interesting exercise would be to compare two official 'Christian' responses to Global Warming & the environment. Both statements have very famous Christian 'celebrates' & pastors as signatures. Check them both out and let me know which one you would sign & why you would sign it


The Cornwall alliance
http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/the-cornwall-declaration-on-environmental-stewardship/


The Evangelical Climate Initiative
http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/the-cornwall-declaration-on-environmental-stewardship/

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gospel Riches

Christianity Today's article at the rapid spread of Pentecostalism and the health & wealth gospel in Africa. Is it a reason to rejoice or is it a cause for concern? Here is one paragraph:

"…prosperity-tinged Pentecostalism is growing faster not just than other strands of Christianity, but than all religious groups, including Islam. Of Africa's 890 million people, 147 million are now "renewalists" (a term that includes both Pentecostals and charismatics), according to a 2006 Pew Forum on Religion and Public life study. They make up more than a fourth of Nigeria's population, more than a third of South Africa's, and a whopping 56 percent of Kenya's."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Together for the Gospel

Last week I was in Louisville Kentucky for the T4G conference. Over 7,000 pastors! It was incredible. Speakers included: John Piper, John MacArthur, Al Mohler, R.C. Sproul etc. Check out the website to hear their messages, MacArthur's sermon 'Theology of Sleep' is really good:
http://togetherforthegospel.com/

Memorable Quotes: (from http://takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com/)
“Jesus’ evangelism plan is the community of faith living out the gospel.” ~ Mark Dever

“The church is multi-ethnical, not multi-cultural.” ~ Thabiti Anyabwile
“Sow the gospel … go to sleep … and it will grow [as God desires].” ~ John MacArthur
“[On teaching simply ...] you can feed a child a steak, but if you love him you’ll cut it into little pieces.” ~ Josh Harris
“[I commend to you] a lifelong meditation on the 4 Gospels to more fully see and savor the glories of the Savior and fellowship with him.” ~ John Piper

Where is the 'positive thinking?'

Reports last week on the Crystal Cathedral said that the mega church is 55 million dollars in debt! I guess someone let their 'positivism' slip!


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g3B704MGHVPBDy5Va4DCUDTNvOEQD9EVUQB84

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100403/church-s-financial-woes-leave-so-calif-without-glory-of-easter/

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lewis on Government

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. "- C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Best Book I've read so far this year

"Son of Hamas" is the true story of Mosab Yousef who grew up in Palestine and was the son of one of the original founders of the terrorist organization Hamas. He grew up hating the Israelis and was on the path to being a terrorist himself. At one point he rejoices and prays that Sadam Hussein's Scud missiles destroy Israel during the first gulf war. Hate was eating him alive. Mosab was imprisoned many times by the Israeli intelligence service where he was questioned and tortured. While in prison he came to see how corrupt and evil Hamas was and soon became a double agent for Israel! (can you believe it?) Then after a chance encounter with a English tourist he begins to attend a Christian Bible study where the truth and love of Jesus Christ begin to change him…. WOW!


You have to get his book!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

President's Easter Message

Someone sent me this to me today

An excerpt from the President's Easter Message
Read the whole thing here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/weekly-address-president-obama-extends-holiday-greeting

“All of us value our health and the health of our loved ones. All of us have experienced an illness, a loss, a personal tragedy. All of us know that no matter what we’re doing or what else is going on in our lives, if the health of someone we love is endangered, nothing else matters. Our health is the rock upon which our lives are built, for better and for worse.”

Oh… so that’s the Rock our lives are built on….!?

How Easter stubbornly resists commercialism

I caught this article on Slate.com today by James Martin
Read the whole article here: http://www.slate.com/id/2249525/
Here are some interesting excerpts:

"Sending out hundreds of Easter cards this year? Attending way too many Easter parties? Doing some last-minute shopping for gifts to place under your Easter tree? Getting tired of those endless Easter-themed specials on television?


I didn't think so.


Unlike Christmas, whose deeper spiritual meaning has been all but buried under an annual avalanche of commercialism, Easter has retained a stubborn hold on its identity as a religious holiday. This is all the more surprising when you consider what an opportune time it would be for marketers to convince us to buy more stuff. Typically arriving around the beginning of spring, Easter would be the perfect time for department stores to euchre customers into buying carloads of kids' outdoor toys, warm-weather clothes, and summertime sporting equipment."


"So what enables Easter to maintain its religious purity and not devolve into the consumerist nightmare that is Christmas? Well, for one thing, it's hard to make a palatable consumerist holiday out of Easter when its back story is, at least in part, so gruesome. Christmas is cuddly. Easter, despite the bunnies, is not."


"On the other hand, a card bearing the image of a near-naked man being stripped, beaten, tortured, and nailed through his hands and feet onto a wooden crucifix is a markedly less pleasant piece of mail."


"The Easter story is relentlessly disconcerting and, in a way, is the antithesis of the Christmas story. No matter how much you try to water down its particulars, Easter retains some of the shock it had for those who first participated in the events during the first century. The man who spent the final three years of his life preaching a message of love and forgiveness (and, along the way, healing the sick and raising the dead) is betrayed by one of his closest friends, turned over to the representatives of a brutal occupying power, and is tortured, mocked, and executed in the manner that Rome reserved for the worst of its criminals."  


"Easter is an event that demands a "yes" or a "no." There is no "whatever."