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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Laugh Today

Yep, I laughed out loud.

HT: What If

Martin Luther Quote

Keeping with a bit of a theme of the week, this quote from Martin Luther (known to drink [and brew!] a beer or two in his day) is helpful:

We must not...reject [or] condemn anything because it is abused. This would result in utter confusion. God has commanded us in Deut. 4 not to lift up our eyes to the sun (and the moon and the stars), etc., that we may not worship them, for they are created to serve all nations. But there are many people who worship the sun and the stars. Therefore we propose to rush in and pull the sun and stars from the skies. No, we had better let it be. Again, wine and women bring many a man to misery and make a fool of him (Ecclus. 19:2; 31:30); so we kill all the women and pour out all the wine. Again, gold and silver cause much evil, so we condemn them. Indeed, if we want to drive away our worst enemy, the one who does us the most harm, we shall have to kill ourselves, for we have no greater enemy than our own heart, as the prophet, Jer. 17, says, "The heart of man is crooked," or, as I take the meaning, "always twisting to one side." And so on - what would we not do?

-From his fourth Invocavit sermon from 1522, found in Works [American edition] 51:85.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Alcoholism vs. Legalism

The following is from a sermon John Piper preached almost 25 years ago. Keep in mind, Piper is against the consumption of alcohol… but he’s against something else far more adamantly…

I want to hate what God hates and love what God loves. And this I know beyond the shadow of a doubt: God hates legalism as much as he hates alcoholism. If any of you still wonders why I go on supporting this amendment, after hearing all the tragic stories about lives ruined through alcohol, the reason is that when I go home at night and close my eyes and let eternity rise in my mind I see ten million more people in hell because of legalism than because of alcoholism. And I think that is a literal understatement. Satan is so sly. “He disguises himself as an angel of light,” the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 11:14. He keeps his deadliest diseases most sanitary. He clothes his captains in religious garments and houses his weapons in temples. O don’t you want to see his plots uncovered? I want Bethlehem to be a place Satan fears. I want him to be like the emperor in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” And we will be the babes (not in thinking! 1 Cor. 14:20) who say, “Look, he thinks he is clothed in white, but he is naked and ugly.”

Listen as I uncover one of his plots. Legalism is a more dangerous disease than alcoholism because it doesn’t look like one.

-Alcoholism makes men fail; legalism helps them succeed in the world.

-Alcoholism makes men depend on the bottle; legalism makes them self-sufficient, depending on no one.

-Alcoholism destroys moral resolve; legalism gives it strength.

-Alcoholics don’t feel welcome in church; legalists love to hear their morality extolled in church.

Therefore, what we need in this church is not front end regulations to try to keep ourselves pure. We need to preach and pray and believe that “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, neither teetotalism nor social drinking, neither legalism nor alcoholism is of any avail with God, but only a new creation (a new heart)” (Gal. 6:15; 5:6). The enemy is sending against us every day the Sherman tank of the flesh with its cannons of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. If we try to defend ourselves or our church with peashooter regulations we will be defeated even in our apparent success. The only defense is to “be rooted and built up in Christ and established in faith” (Col. 2:6); “Strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy” (Col. 1:11); “holding fast to the Head from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together … grows with a growth that is from God” (Col. 2:19). From God! From God! And not from ourselves.

HT: Brian Petak

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

50,000 Hits!!!!!

At 11:38am (US Central Time) *The Blogstar had it's 50,000 hit.

It took a year and a half, but all I have to say is...."word".

Thanks to Ally at Supersimbo by the way. Cheers mate!

NEW Music & Film

IT IS FINALLY HERE TOMORROW! Superman Returns opens everywhere. I am pretty sure that it could suck, and I would still enjoy it.

Keane's new record "Under The Iron Sea" is one that will grow on you. I really like this CD. It released last week.

Underoath released "Define The Great Line" is a good effort by the young rockers.

"Gang Up On The Sun" by Guster is lots of fun. Check it out.

Hillsong London released their first record of many to come I'm sure "Jesus Is". I have only made it through the first 4 tracks, but so far it is good. The open track it amazing! Cheers.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Southern Baptist's No No

Well, every year after the SBC meets at their annual convention the world gets to hear about it. One of the issues at this year's gathering was their stance on drinking alcohol. While stopping short of officially preventing drinkers from serving in the SBC, it "urges" that no one be elected or appointed to SBC offices if they are "a user of alcohol."

Read more HERE or HERE.

Different cultures can be a funny thing. The south can be an odd place when it comes to religion. I do find it a bit strange that the southern culture tends to have no issue in putting having a glass of wine right up there with actual sins such as lust, lying, or stealing. One would think that we could all make each other stronger as we are the body. I hope that by this post I am doing nothing but helping us all think (including myself). I realize that thinking out loud (blog and all) that the whole world gets to hear our thoughts.

Please realize that I don't have life figured out. I am on a journey. I do however like to ask questions and talk about things that some tend to stay clear of just to play it safe. Now, with that being said...

I'm not sure how wise it is to pass resolutions that functionally condemn the actions of Jesus (Luke 7:33-34; John 2 ) and Paul (1 Tim. 5:23). Also, I'm not sure it's wise to prohibit that which God has given as a gift (Deut. 14:26; Ps. 104:15). I realize that wine back in Jesus' day might have been different than the wine today. (I hope it was as tasty):)

Where it is true that excessive alcohol consumption has and is ruining many families. What about pride and arrogance? There are many other issues that need to be addressed as well. Gluttony (& obesity) for example is affecting many families all over the USA. What about pornography addiction, lust, and ethics?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Invisible Children Revisted

You must see the new videocast of the Invisible Children.

Nicely done guys.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Forbes Top 10 Celebrity Power Rank List

1. Tom Cruise
2. Rolling Stones
3. Oprah Winfrey
4. U2
5. Tiger Woods
6. Steven Spielberg
7. Howard Stern
8. 50 Cent
9. Cast of Sopranos
10. Dan Brown (Author)

Forbes Power Ranking is based on celebrity earnings, internet presence, and media coverage over the past year.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Willow Arts Conference 2006

Last week I attended the Willow Arts Conference with the Arts team of TPC Franklin. We heard Patrick Lenceoni (Death By Meeting & 5 Disfunctions Of A Team), Dan Allender (Leading With A Limp & To Be Told ), as well as film producer Ralph Winter (X-Men & Fantastic 4). I want to thank Charlie Hall for a great time of music and response to God.

Thursday night be saw the Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theater in Chicago. It was amazing!!! We were calling it visual wiskey. It was truly 2 hours of sensory overload. We all walked out with our head's spinning.

I have to thank Ken Davis for providing a comic history lesson on the ride to the Briar Street Theater. He's a stud.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rock N Roll In The W.C.

This past SAT skateboarders who perform daring (almost life-threatening) stunts and bands who describe their alternative-style music as "indie," "emo" and "post-emo" took over the suburbia's CoolSprings Galleria, in the middle of the ultra-monied, ultra-Republican and ultra-leafy-green Williamson County.

Saturday, the mall parking lot was swarmed with ultra-hip teenagers and young adults waiting to listen to music from Switchfoot, Family Force 5, The Hot Rocks, Falling for Yesterday and Franklin-based Lenny along with stunts by skateboard king Tony Hawk, "Jackass" co-star Bam Margera and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White. The event also featured motocross demonstrations by Chuck Carothers and Jonny Ebenal.

Do you remember Wayne's World 2 when Wayne and Garth "purposely invited the rock n roll element into their community"? Aurora, IL sounds a little like the W.C. (Williamson County).

Friday, June 16, 2006

What's Important

"What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us."
- Tozer

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

FILM: Cars

We saw Cars Sunday night. Frankly I wasn't looking forward to it that much.

WOW, was I suprised! This was one of my favorite flicks of 2006. Great story, amazing visuals, funny, and a little bit everything else. Pixar and Disney has another winner.

If you haven't seen it or not planning on seeing it, I must say.....GO! It is a feel good, entertaining film.

Oh yeah, stay through the credits.

Monday, June 12, 2006


So many have asked me about the Obey shirts I wear. "What does Obey mean? It looks out there if you asked me. What does the propaganda mean? Is it Christian? What kind of propaganda is it?"

The designs make one think. Some don't like to think, they would rather have someone tell them what and how to think.

Shepard Fairey is one of the artists behind Obey. His work is amazing!

This might help explain...

Other links to check out...

Swindle Magazine

The Giant


Click on the photo to get a closer look.

What do you think?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blu-ray Disc: Beyond HD....DVD Is So Old

What is Blu-ray Disc?

Blu-ray Disc is the ultimate next generation optical packaged media format, offering the following key features:

-Largest capacity (25 GB single layer – 50 GB dual layer) – with over 5 times the amount of content possible with current DVDs, particularly well suited for high definition feature films with extended levels of interactive features

-Pristine picture quality with the capability for full high definition resolution 1920 x 1080p

-Best audio possible with native uncompressed surround sound (it is better than theater sound)

-Enhanced Interactivity – seamless menu navigation, exciting new bonus features, network/ internet connectivity

-Broadest industry support – ensuring more choice for consumers in the marketplace

-Hardware products will be backward compatible with DVDs, allowing continued enjoyment of existing DVD libraries

-Robustness of Disc – new breakthroughs in hard coating technologies means that Blu-ray Disc offers strongest resistance to scratches and finger prints on a bare disc the same size as existing CD and DVD (i.e. no cartridge is required)

What is Blu-ray Disc? It is next.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

MUSIC: You Need To Hear

Red (Helping the case for Nashville ROCK!) CD releases TODAY!

Phil Wickham (Sounds like stuff that I am writing....oh well...)

Leeland (Sounds like stuff I wish I were writing) CD releases in AUG!

Jason Morant (Refreshing worship music that helps you reflect as well)

Snow Patrol (No sophomore slump here...Great record)

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Dream Of A Church....

I had to post an entry that Dan Kimball posted on June 1. I hope it speaks to you like it is still speaking to me. Kudos Kimball. Dan is on staff at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, CA and is a great author.

I dream of a church......

We just wrapped up a teaching series at Vintage Faith Church where we were talking about "church" being people and not a building. As part of the series, we had little blank white post cards in every bulletin and asked the question of everyone "What do you dream this church could be?" and then had them fill in the black on the card, "I Dream Of A Church....." and then whatever they might dream of. We are really trying to create a culture where the church is not about just the pastors dreams and hopes but the people of the church, who are the church, are the dreamers of what God could do in us and through us as a church.

I got the responses and it was really amazing and humbling reading the several hundred responses that were turned in. Such as:


- that reaches the broken world to bring a healing that can only come from Jesus Christ

- that does not get caught up in technicalities and politics but stays focused on the Lord

- that helps me understand

- that is more about helping others than about us

- that listens to the Holy Spirit and is bigger than man's efforts

- is honest and open-minded rather than self-righteous and dogmatic OR has donuts. I will be OK with either.

- who is loving and unafraid

- accepts people where they are in life and not just when they have achieved a level of "spiritualness"

- grows in the knowledge of God and His love for the world

- lifts up Jesus and redeems things like the environment, stewardship, the arts and philosophy

- that prays for one another

- that serves others, feeds the hungry, visits the sick and imprisoned

- lives a diversity of thoughts, opinions, ages, worship expressions and celebrates the differences

- is a soft place to fall; that is a daily part of my life; that doesn't feel like a wall; that is the heartbeat of Christ

- that knows me and loves me anyway

- impacts the community around them so that it can be a light for Jesus in people's lives

- that gets lost in worshiping Jesus and lingers in His presence

- that is the church throughout the week and not just on Sunday

- that is real and where people are not fake and has a passion to serve those in need

- acts like a family, reaches out to community, accepts all people

- that Jesus would be proud of

- whose whole heart is consumed with Christ and flows to others

- that is completely outward focused and selfless

- that will challenge our minds to learn God's Word and support each other in our walks with God

- that doesn't isolate and separate ourselves from "this bad world"

- that has a love for the untouchables of our era

HT: Vintage Faith