Sunday, March 30, 2008

8 Gig oughta be more than enough...

I finally bought myself an MP3 player. In typical fashion for me, I over-analyzed it and nearly did nothing at all. But, I talked to some Ipod bigots and they convinced me to give the Microsoft Zune a try. So, I bought the 8 gig version thinking that would be more than enough for me.

Well, then I bought a ZunePass and got unlimited downloading of songs and podcasts. Now I have more than 20 gig worth of old gospel songs and bunches of contemporary Christian songs that my daughter hopes will expand my mind. I also have downloaded soundtracks to musicals I was in nearly 30 years ago. Plus, I downloaded some classic rock and roll from my teen years (Ssshh, don't tell my Mom and Dad about that last part)

Here is a little window into the world of my Zune.

Feel free to check out some of the stuff that I am listening to at

I am probably the only guy you know with 33Miles, Cathedral Quartet, Electric Light Orchestra, Antonio Vivaldi, and the soundtrack from Annie Get Your Gun on the same Ipod or MP3 player! But that's just me!

Currently I am listening to the following contemporary Christian artists:

Aaron Shust
Brian Littrell
Casting Crowns
Charity Von
Charlie Hall
Chris Tomlin
The Fray
Jadon Lavik
Jars of Clay
Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Riddle
Lincoln Brewster
Mat Kearney
Matt Redmon
Paul Baloche
Paul Colman
Robbie Seay Band
Sanctus Real
Shaun Groves
Third Day
Todd Agnew

So, what is on your MP3 player? What Christian music is on it? Is it old stuff? Is it new stuff? What are some of your favorites? I am open to your suggestions. After all, I have unlimited downloading with ZunePass! And I have come a long way from The Cathedral Quartet!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

Words by Isaac Watts
Music by Lowell Mason

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Serving God or Knowing God? - A Generational Thing?

Sitting in Bible Study Thursday night my father-in-law made an interesting comment. He was commenting about folks in his day who initially were excited or energetic about their personal relationship to the Lord. This comment was made in the context of discussing sanctification. He said, "Many folks start out wanting to really serve the Lord." He said it emphatically with his arm raised and a little fist pump for emphasis.

I thought about that...

Then it hit me. This is yet another generational difference in how folks perceive the Gospel. And it not surprising. His generation is the one chronicled so well by Tom Brokaw in his book The Greatest Generation. That generation had a mindset and view of the world that lead them to service as the pinnacle of demonstrating ones devotion to something.

As I look at this present generation, service does not seem to be the pinnacle. That is not a value judgment, just an observation. Many folks today view "knowing" God as the key thing in their relationship. Here is what I see. In times past folks began serving God before they really knew God. Knowing God came later as we gained more and more experiences with God and trust in God as He led us day by day.

Today, the opposite seems to be the norm. Today it seems that the desire is to know God first. To try Him out and get to know Him first before there is a real commitment to a lifelong relationship and service. Again, not judgment here. (Although it sort of sounds like one!) Just an observation.

So what does that mean for me?

I am not sure. I grew up both serving God and knowing God. That was just the way I was raised. Unfortunately, neither of them are requirements for a relationship with God, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. What he required of me was that I acknowledge that I was a sinner, that I confessed those sins, asked for forgiveness, and turned to Him and began walking with Him in an obedient and personal relationship that has now stretched for almost 40 years.

At some point in there, and I can tell you the time and the place, I finally dealt with the issue of control in my life and with what Wesley would call the "bent toward sinning." It was at that point that I was serving a God that I knew intimately. Not only did I know Him. He knew me!

Any thoughts or comments that you would like to add?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mike & Mike in the Morning ... ESPN Radio

I hear that tag line every morning. I hear it about 20 times each morning in the car on my way to work. In fact, I really look forward to hearing it each day.

Not these words actually. But rather what they represent. Those words are the words that Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic use to signal a commercial break for their popular sports talk program.

I have made Mike & Mike a regular part of my morning routine for the last 13 months. And I really miss it when I can't listen to them on my way to work.

That's just the way it is with my quiet time with God... Oh wait... What I mean is... That's the way I wish my quiet time was... You know, a standard part of my day... Something I don't miss... Some thing I look forward to... Something I can't wait for each day... Well, I am glad at least that no one else ever feels that way...

What??? You mean you feel this way, too, sometimes?

Lord, rekindle that fire in me that draws me into your presence with great anticipation. Amen

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10 NKJV

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sitting Outside in the Dark

The following quote from Annie Dillard's book, Teaching a Stone to Talk, struck a chord within me this week. She says,

Experience has taught the [human] race that if knowledge of God is the end, then these habits of life are not the means but the condition in which the means operates. You do not have to do these things; not at all. God does not, I regret to report, give a hoot. You do not have to do these things -- unless you want to know God. They work on you, not on Him.

You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.

Alas, that is how we view Holiness sometimes. We view it as a series of habits or do-s and don't-s. We think of it in terms of the things we do, or at least should do, that will make us Christlike.

We think God wants us to go to church. -- God wants us to be in His presence.

We think God wants us to sing hymns vs. contemporary music. -- God wants us to worship Him.

We think God wants us to do good works. -- God want us to love one another as Christ loved us.

We think God wants us to give 10% of everything we earn. -- God wants us to give it all to Him and allow Him to use it to build His Kingdom.

We think Gods wants us to DO a bunch of stuff. -- God wants us to know Him intimately. And that may mean sitting in the dark sometimes.