Friday, May 26, 2006

Finally a place to rest my feet...while I watch TV!

It's taken about two months, but yesterday I put the finishing touches on my coffee table. Ain't she a beauty! Here's some other pics with some exceptional commentary.

Corner view of the coffee table. This is where you could put your feet up if you were sitting on the love seat.

Those black "dots" are called pitch pockets. Don't put your feet on them. They're too pretty.

View from behind our recliner. If you're behind our recliner, you're probably not gonna put your feet up anyway, unless you've got really funny-shaped legs.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

More shocking Da Vinci Code secrets revealed

If you think you uncovered the truth about the Da Vinci've only scratched the surface. Get the real scoop: Fifteen things you didn't know about The Da Vinci Code.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"My ministry is going to the best, most exciting ever!!!"

During seminary, my wise professors warned me about 'honeymoon stage' of ministry and the inevitable moment when all the romanticized expectations would meet reality. To all God-centered seminary professors, pastors and leaders, I say "Thank you for your patience with us 'still green', 'stars-in-the-eyes,' fledgling seminary grads." There's so much talk about re-inventing the church, making it so men don't hate going to church, being postmodern, being emergent...being relevant. May we, the younger generation of leaders, repent of and eschew our generational arrogance, thinking that the previous generation had no clue and we are God's gift to the church. Let us stand on their shoulders, learn from their mistakes, be always reforming, and be convinced of the supremacy and excellency of Jesus.

If your still enjoying the honeymoon, here's some advice...

Real ministry does not take place on a romantic balcony but on a spiritual battlefield.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Kingpin Wrecking Crew

Back in the day when I played in band called Leap of Faith, there was another band emerging on the scene, The Kingpin Wrecking Crew. I had a hard enough time learning how play blues on my plastique excuse for a guitar (i.e. Ovation) with my band, but I had no clue what to do the first time I hear The Kingpin Wrecking Crew. They were raw-energy, in-your-face, turn-table-sampling crazy brothers. We were more southern rock and classic blues whereas they were eclectic rock, old-school hip-hop, and funky jazz. Despite the fact that they opened for us at one gig, it's telling that while Leap of Faith is extinct, The Kingpin Wrecking Crew is thriving.

Their newest CD release,"Abolition Strategy", is hogging my mp3 player. I cannot stop listening to it. Check out the lyrics to the opening track "Reel to Real":

Drink up while it's warm. A time comes to plead. And give up a painful surrender indeed. "So sorry," said Elated, "so glad," said Forlorn. "I'm willing," said Regret, "I'm ready," said Not Yet. Changes upon changes stack up; so imperceptible. Its when I realize I'm empty; I'll know whow it feels to be full. Like an enemy soldier, brought trembling before a conquering king to be tried. Only to be embraced, and kissed on the face and given a robe, ring and wine."

The craziness never seems to end. Back in the late 90's I met Doug Elder, the Kingpins lead vocalist/guitarist, at UMF. Fastforward to now, and we go to church together! Crazy huh! So needless to say, I know the man behind the music. There's creativity, honesty, and passion in their music that not only makes CCM music look even silier than it really but also rarely found on the radio dial.

I love how Jesse Jordan captures what Kingpin is about in her review "As The Underground Rises":

Having heard a breathtaking new cut called "Burn The Bridges" from their upcoming release, it is evident that the writing is on the wall. The musical underground is about to represent in a major way. More than just another musical fad to be devoured and regurgitated by the corporate rock machine; KingPin invites us into the very catacombs of the musical underground with them to show us where they live and breathe. Don't be afraid of this subterranean journey, you're with friends and they know the way. All you need to bring is everything you believe, feel, fear, and hope. You might just find your own voice for it all there in the process, after all your guides are music makers and dreamers of dreams.

Give 'em a listen. Let me know what you think.

The Kingpin Wrecking Crew

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Informational vs Experiential Preaching

The “informational” view of preaching conceives of preaching as changing people’s lives after the sermon. They listen to the sermon, take notes, and then apply the Biblical principles during the week. But this assumes that our main problem is a lack of compliance to Biblical principles, when (as we saw above) all our problems are actually due to a lack of joy and belief in the gospel. Our real problem is that Jesus’ salvation is not as real to our hearts as the significance and security our idols promise us. If that’s our real problem, then the purpose of preaching is to make Christ so real to the heart that in the sermon people have an experience of his grace, and the false saviors that drive us lose their power and grip on us on the spot. That’s the “experiential” view of preaching (Jonathan Edwards.)

~Tim Keller (emphasis added)

(The quote is found on page 2 of the article.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

McLaren's Open Letter to Songwriters

I came across this article yesterday and found it to be very insightful when it comes to writing lyrics. Brian McLaren is one of the most outspoken leaders today, calling for fresh innovation of telling the “old, old story.” I haven’t read all that he’s written, I don’t agree with all of the little that I have read, but this article deserves our attention. I hope that it challenges you to exult (i.e. “to rejoice greatly over") in the excellencies of God in a way that is fresh and causes the world to take notice of the good news we believe about Jesus the Christ.

Here's a snapshot:
"Let me make this specific: Too many of our lyrics are embarrassingly personalistic, about Jesus and me. Personal intimacy with God is such a wonderful step above a cold, abstract, wooden recitation of dogma. But it isn’t the whole story. In fact—this might shock you—it isn’t, in the emerging new postmodern world, necessarily the main point of the story."

Link: McLaren's Open Letter to Songwriters

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Engaging the Emerging Church with Hymns

Kevin Twit, of Indelible Grace, recently spoke to SBTS about the modern hymn movement and the ironic way this old music is impacting a new generation. You can listen to his lectures or read through his notes. Either way, you'll better understand why and how modern hymns should and could be used when you gather with other believers.

Here's a few titles of his lectures:

"My Grandmother Saved it, My Mother Threw It Away, and Now I’m Buying It Back: Why We Still Need Hymns in a Postmodern World"

"Exploring the 'Why' behind the Modern Hymn Movement Part 1"

"Exploring the 'Why' behind the Modern Hymn Movement Part 2"

"Engaging the Emerging Church with Hymns"

Link:SBTS Institute for Christian Worship

Got coffee?

If you've got coffee, I've got the table! Almost anyways. My first piece of fine furniture is nearly completed. All the parts are assembled. All that's left is to sand and apply the finish. A friend from WBC who refinishes furniture for a living has offered to teach me how to finish like a pro, so I hope to take him up on the offer this week or next. This table is held together by wood joints and carpenters glue. No screws except for the drawer guides, and that was for future adjustments not strength. It would have been a lot easier not making a drawer but it was so worth the extra effort.