Friday, December 3, 2010

audio bible aspirations shattered...

As a part of our churchwide focus on spiritual disciplines in 2010, I have almost finished reading aloud and recording the bible in digital audio format.  The last month or so, as we near the end of the year, I've been thinking about possible uses of the audio I've recorded, since the year is coming to a close.  So I contemplated the idea of putting them all on cd and making them available to my faithful podcasters, or family etc...

Which I still could.  But a really frustrating little happenstance:

The NIV version, the version I've been reading, has been updated.  The 2011 revision of the NIV is set to be released in print sometime in March, I think I read somewhere, and has been online since November.  So the good news is, I got two months (most of the new testament) of the new revision recorded.  The bad news is, that my little audio bible is a hybrid of two 'versions' of the NIV version.  Gr.

Oh well...  I've been contemplating another year of podcasts.  We'll see.  Still, a little frustrating, no?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

fantastical night one

I am sitting in a hotel room in Waco, Texas tonight for a "Fantastical Church Music Conference" put on by the David Crowder Band.  Night one did not disappoint.  Some interesting, very enjoyable music.  Welcome Wagon, which I can only define as The Swell Season with Norah Jones on the piano (but the piano player is actually a larger white middle aged dude, so it's a sonic reference)...  Then Gungor played later, and were very impressive with their instrumentation, arrangements, skill level...  A LOT of talent, coupled with heart and creativity.  I'm a fan. 

But the highlight of the night wasn't musical.  It was Francis Chan.  He's a passionate, young(er), very authentic in front of people guy.  And almost every word he said resonated deeply with me.  The scriptures he quoted and preached from are scriptures that have been rolling around my head/heart for the last week or two... maybe longer.  So it was amazing and very impacting to me to hear him share them to a room full of worship leaders.

The main one was out of the book of Amos, and we read in our twenty-ten reading last week, I believe.  Amos 5....

18 Woe to you who long
       for the day of the LORD!
       Why do you long for the day of the LORD ?
       That day will be darkness, not light.

 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
       only to meet a bear,
       as though he entered his house
       and rested his hand on the wall
       only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—
       pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
       I cannot stand your assemblies.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
       I will not accept them.
       Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, 
       I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
       I will not listen to the music of your harps.

Wouldn't that be a striking word to receive from the Lord?  But so important for all of us to remember.  God's perspective is not man's.  Just because your singing, doesn't mean He's listening...  

He also mentioned the verse in Matt 5:23/24 where Jesus tells us to let our sacrifices wait, until we reconcile with our brothers.  Another one on my heart this week, as a reminder I need to give as a worship leader (and remember as a worshipper).

And I'm not quick to endorse people who sit around and point out flaws in the church.  Scolding, negative tones...  Cynicism and pious accusations...  That's easy to do.  I always wait for the solution.  For the challenge.  And his was great.  Would your life fit in His Book (the Bible)?  Would it seem normal, in a truly biblical paradigm?  Apart from cultural differences...  Your level of commitment, your level of faith, the way you handle your relationship with Christ in your life...  Would it be able to be listed in Hebrews 11, or alongside Peter, Paul, Elisha, Elijah...  They were all human too.  Would your story even be worth recording?  Good thoughts...

Even made me write....  inspired, kind of flow of consciousness poetic scribbling.  Felt really good, and really uncomfortable and challenging at the same time.  If I get the guts, I might share some of the scribbles.  later.  For now they stay in the notebook...

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I don't know what this is called, but I just read a great, short (which is closely related to good for me, in blogs, movies, reading, etc) blog from Mark Driscoll.  Taking an objective look at what we do, think, and say to discover our own heart behind the words, thoughts, actions is such an important practice...  We are so prone to self-deception and unawareness that we need to take an objective look at even our prayers sometimes...

Here's the original post.  (copied below)

Throw Away Your Resume

by Mark Driscoll on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 12:00am

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

Forgetting What Lies Behind
Whenever I read Philippians 3:13-14 I think “forgetting what lies behind” means the bad things I have done or my personal shortcomings that have resulted in undesirable outcomes. But that is not what Paul is talking about when he mentions “forgetting.”
What he is forgetting is his past righteousness. He is moving past anything that might give him a standing with God apart from Jesus Christ: like being a Pharisee of Pharisees, or having incredible zeal for God. Earlier in this chapter he has called all of his former righteousness dung, and now he says he is forgetting it.

Look Away From Yourself 

This couldn’t be more refreshing. I tend to get historical with God when I don’t get my way:  “God, I have served you wholeheartedly,” or “I have sacrificed a lot to serve you.” And any time I say these thoughts in my heart, what I am looking for is past obedience to secure a future good.  I am counting on my righteousness to secure blessing from God.  
That is exactly why I need to forget it. My eyes have swerved from Christ right back to myself.  And I cannot press towards any goal with my eyes on myself. But when I look at Christ, I see the righteous One who went to the cross because of my disobedience—to pour out spiritual blessings in spite of me, not because of me.  
When I see that grace, I can finally live free of the resume.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Practice of the Presence of God

I mentioned this book last night in eikonLIVE, and stumbled across some highlights that I had copied from it.  If you're interested you can read it here...

It's from the 1600s, but I guess it's a "Christian classic" (which means people still read it even though it's really old.)

Anyway, here are a few quotes...

 Brother Lawrence said that the worst that could happen to him was to lose that sense of God which he had enjoyed so long. Yet the goodness of God assured him He would not forsake him utterly and that God would give him strength to bear whatever evil He permitted to happen to him. Brother Lawrence, therefore, said he feared nothing

 "When I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to do so. I shall never do otherwise if I am left to myself. If I do not fail, then I immediately give God thanks, acknowledging that it comes from Him."

 We ought not weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.

Please recommend to him that he think of God the most he can in this way. It is very fit and most necessary for a soldier, who is daily faced with danger to his life, and often to his very salvation.

It seems to him (in fact, he feels it) that this God of love, satisfied with such few words, reposes again and rests in the depth and center of his soul.

I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of God. For my part I keep myself retired with Him in the depth and center of my soul as much as I can. While I am with Him I fear nothing; but the least turning from Him is insupportable. This practice does not tire the body. It is, however, proper to deprive it sometimes, nay often, of many little pleasures which are innocent and lawful. God will not permit a soul that desires to be devoted entirely to Him to take pleasures other than with Him. That is more than reasonable.

You need not cry very loud. He is nearer to us than we are aware

I do not advise you to use many words and long discourses in prayer, because they are often the occasions of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before God, like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man's gate.

We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him. And when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure.

You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you. Why, then, must God be neglected? Do not forget Him but think of Him often. Adore Him continually. Live and die with Him. This is the glorious work of a Christian; in a word, this is our profession. If we do not know it, we must learn it.

I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains; but I pray earnestly that God gives you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross. He will loose you when He thinks fit. Happy are those who suffer with Him. Accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He judges necessary for you.

He never forsakes us until we have first forsaken Him. Let us fear to leave Him. Let us always be with Him. Let us live and die in His presence. Do pray for me, as I pray for you.

Let all our efforts be to know God. The more one knows Him, the greater one desires to know Him. Knowledge is commonly the measure of love. The deeper and more extensive our knowledge, the greater is our love. If our love of God were great we would love Him equally in pain and pleasure.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

drama and choir.

I just sent an email to two of RMCC's finest- our Dramatic Arts Director (Joe Kneller) and our Choir Director (Laura Lindstrom, also my mother-in-law.)  I thought I'd post it in a blog, just for the record.  :)  I cut out the intro small talk and a few unnecessary lines, to get to the point...

I realized that I have allowed myself to be labeled (or maybe even labeled myself) 'anti-drama', or 'anti-choir' (which is why I copied you Laura)... 

Well, for the record, I'm not.  I am against tradition for the sake of tradition, and ministry that is more self-serving than other-serving.  And from what I've observed, that seems an easy trap for choirs and dramatic ministries to fall into.  BUT... wait... that should be bigger...


I LOVE artistic expression that glorifies God and effectively communicates to people.  I love EFFECTIVE drama and choir!  I DO!  And I think both of you do that with your work, in drama and choir.

Joe- I love your approach to drama ministry.  I love that you produce a quality product, but with a relatively laid back spirit (or so it seems from my perspective).  I love your heart to minister, and the fact that you keep that in front of the people you lead.  I LOVE that you do recognizable plays like LWW and the Christmas Carol with an intentional outreach focus.  Love it.  I DON'T believe that the MEDIUM is no longer effective to any generation... and I think you're proving that at RMCC.  (But I do think there are a lot of places still doing it wrong, too)  But I'm proud to be a part of something that is done well for God's glory.

Laura- ditto for you.  :)  The choir you lead serves it's audience faithfully and effectively ever week.  While a 'church choir' would have a lot to overcome in the minds and hearts of younger folks, I don't think that any artistic expression is beyond God's use...  And I wouldn't be eternally opposed to an UNtraditional choir, if it were UNtraditional enough.  But for me it honestly is much more about the results than the medium itself.   I look forward to enjoying this play and working together on another Christmas season with you.  You're a wonderful co-worker, mother-in-law, and choir director.  I mean that sincerely.

I love that we're all parts of the Body, and we need each other...  And I think God smiles when we get together and do something for Him.  It's very cool.  Thanks for reading...

PS- And if you're wondering, we are getting together for the Holidays...  If you're an RMCC'ite, you don't want to miss being a part of it!  :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Multitasking and God

Just thinking about the two... Obviously we need time set aside for Him alone. Time devoted to God. But if we are to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and do everything as unto Him, we need to learn to multi-task... Or at least change our motivation and mindset when we're doing stuff that feels 'un-spiritual'. So my quick prayer... 'God forgive me for multi-tasking you when I shouldn't, and help me to multi-task when I should.'

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Almost two years ago...

Evan was born. And the world changed. I changed. It wasn't a conscious decision, there wasn't a moment of hesitation or question (though those came before and after). It was like one moment I'm just a guy, cheering on the most important person I'd ever met... So proud of her strength and courage (and yes, physical ability to some how push another living human being into the world)... But then the next moment, I'm a dad... Without learning how, I'm instantly connected to this gooey screaming alien child... And I can't take my eyes off him. I want to tell him that he's okay, and that I'm watching out for him and taking care of him. Even though everything happening around him and to him is incredibly traumatic and terrifying, I'm there for him. And I look at Christine knowing we have something so special at that moment... A family. We're parents. (I'm also very aware and thankful for amazing drugs that allow us both to be smiling and talking at this point.)

So fast forward to tonight... I hold him down to put eye drops in his pink-eye stricken eye, pray beside his bed, and kiss him on the head, knowing he'll scream when I leave the room. I go in an hour later, take the big wire with the wooden beads toy thingy off his bed, pull his cup out from under his side, and cover him up. Think about his newfound affinity for altoids, his pronunciation of the word 'daddy', how I never planned on calling anyone 'buddy'... But since the day he was born it just seems to fit. And I still have the deepest, most profound love for him (and his beautiful prego mama)... And I realize that part of the gift that a child is, is the experience of fatherly love, perspective, nature... It really is a gift.

So I go to bed thinking 'Jesus, we really need to name 2.0 before he gets here...' and realizing I'm about to go from being amused and amazed by ultrasounds, heartbeats, and belly-fluttering, to completely enamored and eternally connected to another human being... (one we still don't have a name for). Life is so weird.

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Thursday, February 18, 2010


That can be a scary question... Especially to ask God... Especially when you're reading through the Old Testament... I know it won't get any better as we go. And I've been thinking about rambling on in a blog about it...

But to avoid putting words in God's mouth, or thoughts in His head, or telling a backstory that isnt really there, I'll just say this... The question that helps me through the Law isnt so much 'why', but more 'what value system is God instilling by these patterns, rituals, rules and repetitions' in the lives of people living totally by faith (though it doesnt seem too impressive at times)... The middle of the desert, fed by something I picture as flat oily rice cakes, getting water from rocks, and following a glowing, stuttering, mountain-climbing shepherd.

I really am tempted to start writing all the maybes in my mind rolling around... And I would, if 'maybe God' wasnt so scary to type... In the end, I think God was teaching his people his value system... Holiness is valuable. Sin, even unintentional is costly. Atonement is a life or death issue. Our relationship with Him isnt something to be approached haphazardly... WHAT WE THINK HE WANTS, HE MOST LIKELY DOESNT... Because our values are not His. And that's really the overarching lesson for us, as NT believers... He put pricetags on things we dont have pricetags for now... He put His value system in some terms of THEIR value system. He ACCOMODATED tainted, unspiritual humanity, by giving them physical represntations of the mysterious unseen. Come to think of it, that really sounds like something He would do, huh?

And 'modern' self-enlightened Dave, like Judas, sees a very strange waste of material goods (and animals lives) that, in my mind is unnecessary for a lesson you could have just taught from a book... But it seems God is less of a test-driven and booksmarts kinda guy, and more of a hands on, you've learned it when you've felt it, experienced it kinda guy.

Anyway, more unstructured ramblings for the sake of rambling...

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Friday, January 29, 2010

worship sets on

One of my mini-resolutions for 2010 is to keep our worship sets online, so people can find the music we do for worship and enjoy it between services...

Our set lists and AmazonMP3 links are on under Media, then Music.  If you're interested...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not enough memory...

Isnt that the most annoying error popup on a cruddy old computer...
trying to run programs that it wasnt designed to run? But I kinda
feel like that...
The other day, Ev was screaming and crying as we drove away from
'appanodals' (McDonalds) because he didnt get to play... And
Christine and I just died laughing. It was one of the small things
that just bring a smile or moment of happiness, but probably wont be
remembered in the long run. So my joy was a little squashed at the
thought of how many memories will be lost due to my 'not enough
memory'... Hopefully someone in heaven is video taping this stuff for
In the meantime, I might just have to blog some silly little moments,
so they're not forever lost...
Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do you ever get in the shower

and think, man I'm a spoiled American...  Showering every day is a foreign idea to much of the world.  There are millions of people who would love to have water to drink like the gallon I just used to wash the shampoo out of my hair and down the drain.

Is it mind boggling to anyone that we haven't figured out a way to make sure kids aren't dying around the world of too little food and water?  Because it is to me.  They had free cookies sitting out at the bank the other day, and somewhere some kid is literally starving to death.

And I feel so small.  I do my part, or enough to make me feel like I am.  But sometimes I wonder if we should all sell our tv's and furniture and computers and help someone.  I know...  give a man a fish...  Whatever.  Most Americans don't know how to fish (figuratively speaking)...  We hire out all the fishing to other countries, and make our money at the expense of incredibly impoverished people... and pat ourselves on the back for giving them something...  And I don't exclude myself from these charges at all.  I'm part of the culture responsible.

And in my own mind, when I'm not so contemplative as today, I'm struggling to get by.  Because the numbers on my bank account webpage aren't always the color I'd like them to be.  But I'm listening to world class music, streamed to great speakers (most definitely made in China), with comfortable shoes, a warm sweater...  You get the picture.

And I'm really glad I've been so bothered by this the last couple days.  I hope it bothers me enough to make me think of something I can do to change it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


wow.  at the beginning of a new year, a new decade, i am totally buying in to the hype.  my optimism levels are some of the highest in years.  even though i refuse to call them resolutions, because i'm just a rebel by nature, i've already made a dozen or so. 

a huge milestone for me is the realization that i graduated high school a decade ago, and have already been replaced as the youngest member on staff at RMCC.  life moves fast.  in the last decade i graduated high school, attended three colleges, (graduated one), got married, had a child, and am expecting the second in a few months.  I've lived 5 different places (much more than the previous decade) bought 3 cars, had 8 jobs, that i can count right now...  and it feels like a chapter of life is closing.  10 years that I can't change.  those pages have been filled and i've used up 10 years of the gas tank of my life.  and the weird thing is the little red E has been erased, so I don't even know how much i have left.

so it motivates me, to try to make the most of the next 10.  i'm starting out this year recording myself reading through the bible, and sharing it with whoever would want to listen. if you'd like to take a look.  and if i feel like i might succeed at my other not-resolutions, i may share them.  i'm just not brave enough to broadcast potential failures, in my overly optimistic state.  (so maybe i'm not as optimistic as i think i am...)  but it's safe to say i want to reach out more, live more purposefully and effectively, and have faith to allow God to do the miracles he wants to do through my life.