Life, God, Techonology, and Randomness

Category: Spirituality

“Excellent” Propaganda – a review of excellence

Marriage, divorce, creation, evolution, slavery, dogma, Islam, Egyptians and science; these are just some of the hot topics that the most recent effort from Propaganda touches on in his newest album Excellent, no  forgiveness required for asking

You would be hard pressed to find a better word to title this album as it is in a nut-shell, Excellent. In a world full of overproduction, auto-tune and sampling this stands above the rest in my recent memory. The beats — simple, the lyrics — thought inducing and the questions posed and left debated hit hard while focusing our thoughts both toward God and toward the world that we live in currently.

Throughout the duration Propaganda switches seamlessly from Spoken Word to rap and back with no noticeable change of pace. It’s the first time I’ve heard it done so well and it honestly leaves you feeling a bit taken aback by the simplicity of the delivery combined with the simplicity of the beat. From the beginning track to the last there is a story told (one worth listening to) that points to the struggles that we all have in life and in being a Christian. He takes us to a place where we are often afraid to go and leaves you feeling welcomed to the discussion without feeling embarrassed for having similar thoughts.

To be succinct I’ll just say this: in a world full of albums that speak of nothing but self it would be a disservice to not grab this album. Not to mention the album can be gotten for free here or through iTunes. Set aside an hour of your life and really just listen to it…I know I don’t regret it.


Jesus Never Said He Was God

Did Jesus ever say I AM GOD? This question was literally thrown at me recently and it’s a huge question with just as huge implications weighing in the balance based on its answer; Let’s dive in.

There are many ways to proclaim any given fact, multiple proofs if you will (think mathematics here) by simple context. To prove that I am a father I could simply just say: “Hey! Meet my son and daughter, she was just born isn’t she cute?”, or I could also just flat-out say that I am a father in one grand declaration. Either ways work and both are equally relevant. So while it’s important to understand what Jesus, himself, said it’s just as equally important to understand the context as well as what the people who He was speaking to believed He meant depending on what He said. Let me show you just a few examples.

There are many references where Jesus calls himself the Son of Man here is one.

Mark 14:60-64

Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

Notice that they accuse him of blasphemy for saying he is the Son if Man, but why…I am the son if a man? It’s in reference to Daniel 7:13-14.

I’ll let you look that up on your own but he is basically saying that he is the divine authority.

His claims of deity are just as numerous, here is an example.

John 10:24-33

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me? The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

The last sentence there is think hits it home. His enemies are the ones that claim he is God, Jesus never implicitly says it much like it’s not necessary for me to implicitly claim I am a father. There is enough other corroborating evidence to support it without me laying it out kindergarten style. Moreover, Jesus does something that only God has the authority to do, like the forgiveness of sin spread throughout the Gospels leading up to the Gentlemen on the cross next to Him at death.

It’s important to see the overall context and the audience that Jesus is speaking too when answering this question. Did Jesus ever flat-out say he was God? No. Did he explain it in other terms? Absolutely.

These are just a few examples and I challenge you to seek out your own answers.

Be blessed.

We are Eternal (that’s huge)

This morning as I was checking the news on Flipboard the first two stories I read (saw) were exact opposites and it was, I don’t know the word, but I’ll try to express it here.

The first story that I saw was of a child lost to their family extremely early in life. The abruptness when it happened a few months ago hurt me to read and learn of and when I was reminded of it today the same feelings of loss and grief and frustration at our broken world were reignited. I can only pray for my friends in their loss and know that God is good but that doesn’t make it any less infuriating. It reminded me that we are all born broken in one way or another and that we are destined for a date with death and can’t stop it, none of us.
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Awesome Poem about Religion and Jesus

A friend of mine posted this to Facebook and I couldn’t help but relate in response to my last post

Hope you enjoy!

What Christianity is and what it is not

Hello all! I hope you have had a great start to the new year. It’s been awhile since I posted but mostly that is due to the ruminations in my head. I’ve thought and thought and this is what has come out. It will be, possibly, abrasive; depending on how you want to take it and where you are currently in life. Still interested? Read on

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Kids Understand We Don’t: Generosity

What is it about the innocence of children that makes the petty things that adults argue about seem insignificant in the overall scheme of things.

Here is the back story involved, it involves my son but this post is not intended to be a brag on my son but instead to brag on how children are as a whole. My son goes to a daycare and there are obviously many children there. Yesterday there was one that was without lunch. Her father had forgotten it in the rush, that we as parents know to well, to get everything together in time to get her dropped off and get himself to work. I’m not sure when it was realized that she didn’t have anything to eat but around lunch time is my understanding. They all sit and eat together as a community at our daycare and my son (without being asked) offered his food to her.

This blows my mind! Not that he would do that (well actually yes..that is it in part as he can get pretty selfish as we all can) but the fact that he saw a need and filled it. Too often in the world that we live in we act out of necessity instead of out of generosity. Let me try to put it into perspective by asking a few questions:

Do you offer to pray at church? Do you donate to the Salvation Army year-long? Do you really think about the starving children in Africa between the infomercials? Do you really give of yourself as often as Christ did?

I know I don’t and that’s sad. My wife told me that story and I thought of it all night. I truly learn so much from my son. Children have an untainted and un-jaded way of thinking and it blows my mind.

My sons frame of mind brings Luke 3:11 to mind

And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with them who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

I have never taught my son to do this yet he knows it’s what’s required and the way it should be. We as adults would be mindful to follow by our children’s example. What would the world look like (especially around the holidays and in todays economic climate) if we gave more abundantly and acted less selfishly?

Yet another reason the church is still relevant, alive, and kicking!

I had the privelage of attending part of the 7 Tour over this past weekend. My amazing wife bought us both tickets and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. That concert in and of itself is the reason for this post.

Earlier this month I wrote, a post, about why the church is relevant in today’s day and age. The post was a call to arms for the youth of America to be involved in “church” more actively. While I was jamming with John Mark McMillan, Gungor, Chris August, and DC*B, as well as my wife a memory hit me. You see the concert was at Liberty University which is where I went to school and the thing was almost filled (save for the seats behind the stage) with people there ready to worship Christ. I was spoiled by attending that University as 3 times weekly that arena was filled with people actively ready to worship and I hadn’t been around that many people of faith in awhile.

By the time Crowder hit the stage the place was very loud and ready to rock. That band then led worship for an hour. Yes it was a rock concert and yes I paid to go to it. But the fact remains that at moments the sound of the crowd as a whole literally drowned out the sound of the band and you could hear the corporate voice over all the loudness singing as one body to our Lord. It was amazing; at one point David Crowder (while transitioning instruments which is always me) said:

Man there is no place better to be than in a room filled with people worshipping God…no better place to be than right here.

He was right. This is why it’s so important for the church to remain relevant. Scripture is filled with the importance of congregational worship and it’s not always at a “church”. It’s in your car, bathroom, closet, and life and it’s there at all times.

Don’t be afraid to sing/shout at the top of your lungs and drown everything out!

Sing loud and sing proud…to heck with singing on key!

Shadow Proves the Sunshine

Switchfoot is an amazing band and their lead singer, Jon Foreman, is straight money lyrically.  They have this one song though that gets me called The Shadow Proves the Sunshine.

The lyric that gets me is part of the chorus

We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight,
Dry eyes in the pouring rain
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Here’s the deal. We are all born crooked souls and many people try their whole life to walk a straight path. That’s easy enough to see day in and day out. My question to you is this: Does the shadow prove the sunshine (or in other words…does sin prove grace/salvation)?

Let me know

Here’s the song for your reference:

I Am the 4%, Let’s Occupy the Church

Hello again folks! It’s time for another gut wrencher (or my attempt at it).

In my church we are currently doing a study together as a church. In every service both old and young as well as Bible Study (Sunday School) everyone is studying the same thing and applying it as a collective congregation. I think this is great and something that hopefully continues!

This past week during worship though my Pastor said something that has eaten at me since he said it. The part of the study that we were doing is “Is the church still relevant [in today’s culture]”. I think it is but obviously I’m biased as I attend church. The stat that David through out was crazy though. Between young adults (18-28) only 4% are participants in church. This. Is. Crazy.

It’s also unacceptable. I don’t know if it speaks to the perception of Christians that are my age or the culture that we live in. I personally think that the church is extremely releveant in todays day and age. But if the youth of this nation can’t get their stuff straight it’s going to be a sad future.

What are your thoughts?

Brunt of the Pain

I’m not a huge fan of brushing my teeth and I don’t know many people that would line up to do it. I do it because I must, because if not I will look h0rrible and will be unable to eat. I will say this: I LOVE TO EAT! My son it seems is not exception..he is not a big fan of brushing his teeth. He fights it vehemently. Last night he was fighting against me to brush his teeth and rolled off the couch and slammed his arm into the coffee table.  He jumped up screaming and holding his arm and ran to his mother. That is not the problem though, we have all been hurt and we all run to a safe place.

The problem here is he was blaming his hurt on me. “Daddy hurt me..daddy Read the rest of this entry »