Monday, June 29, 2009

MJ in Paradise

This is from the Provocative Illustrated Blog you see under "Blogs I Recommend."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

I couldn't put my thoughts any better or agree more with what my friend had to say about MJ, check it out here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

People in our lives

There's people in our lives that give us energy and there's people in our lives that suck energy out of us. Ideally, its wise to make a concerted effort to navigate our lives in a way that we put ourselves in situations where we are around the kind of people that give us energy.

However, some circumstances put us in moments or seasons of life where we are around more people that drain us dry than that speak life, encouragement and support into our lives. During those seasons, I think we basically just have to suck it up and rely on God. As Jesus said "Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest."

If you are in one of those seasons where you feel weary, drained and sucked dry, God can give you supernatural rest and restoration.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can you be a holy Christian and...

Does it make me less holy if I listen to secular music? I was counseling someone recently who often feels like a fish out of water in the church because she enjoys listening to Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Metallica and other popular alternative rock bands. She adamantly does not like specifically Christian music.

I can relate. While there is some specifically Christian music I like, a lot of it seems cheesy and inauthentic to me. I could also say that specifically Christian radio stations overplay a lot of songs, but all radio stations do that.

Two of my favorite bands of all time are Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine. Both hard/alt/rapcore/rock bands. If you know either band, you know that some of their lyrics are quite colorful (especially Rage Against the Machine). Does that mean I'm not holy?

Early on in my College days, I felt convicted about some of the music I was listening to (I loved Nine Inch Nails at that time). I felt like God was telling me to get rid of it, so I sold all of my secular music (which was most of 90 some CD's if I remember correctly). A few months later, I felt God was telling me I could listen to secular music again. So, I started listening to it again, but with different ears. I began to hear the message in the music: broken relationships, depression, anger and big questions that came from just living life. I started thinking about how the music relates to being a Christian and it actually brought me closer to God.

For some Christians, it may not be wise to listen to secular music, but I would never say its immoral. I hope I am humble enough and teachable enough to let go of the music I really enjoy if God ever asks me to do so again, however, at this time I enjoy "plundering the Egyptians" by thinking of ways much of the music can be redeemed and used for God's kingdom. (For more about "plundering the Egyptians, check this post.)

Love is more...

There's a line from a Jars of Clay song that often comes to my mind whether I want it to or not. Its a line that's convicting and challenging to me: "Love is more than your good intentions." So true.

As Andy Stanley once said "your direction-not your intention-will determine your destination."

I almost always have good intentions and the right motivations, but I often fail to follow through on those good intentions and right motivations. I'll say it wrong or forget to act or if I do act it will be with a bad attitude.

Thank God for grace and forgiveness. And thank God that he went beyond his good intentions and demonstrated His love for us. God's good intentions alone would've gotten the human race and His kingdom nowhere.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I preached this past Sunday on the idea of being "sheltered." Our church has been in a series of sermons called UnChristian based on a book of the same title. The book is all about the negative perceptions that outsiders have of Christianity and Christians. Each sermon has addressed a specific way that Christians have typically acted unchristian.

So I talked about the perception that Christians are "sheltered." Many outsiders use words like old-fashioned, boring, club-like, out-of-touch and irrelevant to describe Christianity. Its easy for us as Christians to get into our "christian bubble" and remain there. This is not good, because Jesus calls us to be more than a member of a club and do more than just hang out with other Christians.

Jesus calls us to be salt and light in the world. He challenges us to engage people with the same love and wisdom he did. When we are sheltered, we aren't doing that. We are called to be "unsheltered." To be engaged and involved in people's lives and in the culture around us.

Ask yourself how you are sheltered (because most of are in some way) and then seek ways to move out of it. When you do, you will fulfillment, purpose and blessing.