A model of effective, powerful communication...and maybe the best Super Bowl commercial I've ever seen. Never before has my whole family turned breathless.
A model of effective, powerful communication...and maybe the best Super Bowl commercial I've ever seen. Never before has my whole family turned breathless.
White Horse Inn posts a review from Anthony Parisi on the Courageous movie. I haven't seen the movie, but I resonate with the reviewer's take on the state of Christians and this kind of "art." If you have seen the movie, what are your thoughts on the review? Even if you haven't seen the movie, does the review reflect your concerns about how some Christians do art? Here's a teaser...
While surely produced with good intentions, Courageous is likely to further entrench the misguided culture wars and bring harm to the Christian witness in the world.
The documentation (videos and photos) of the tsunami in Japan is unreal. This is one of the most unbelievable and scary videos I've seen yet. (via)
My family loves to watch and listen to Les Miserables. We own the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in Concert DVD. Today we've been watching the The 25th Anniversary Concert and I was taken by Samantha Barks' rendidtion of "On My Own" from the character, Eponine (Lea Salonga is also amazing on the 10th Anniversary edition). It's one of my all time favorite songs, and it's here for you. Lyrics are below if it's new to you. Also look to DVR the concert as it's showing on PBS right now.
And now I'm all alone again nowhere to go, no one to turn to
I did not want your money sir, i can not hear 'cause i was told to
But now the night is near
And I can make believe he's here
Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and then I'm happy
With the company I'm keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head
On my own, pretending he's beside me
All alone I walk with him till morning
Without him, I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me
In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and forever
And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us
I love him, but when the night is over
He is gone,
The river's just a river
Without him the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers
I love him, but every day I'm learning
All my life I've only been pretending
Without me his world would go on turning
A world that's full of happiness that I have never known
I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own
Here are the performances of Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and then both of them backing Bob Dylan at the Grammys. Love it...
A really great look at Detroit. Anyone interested in cities, suburban sprawl, culture, art and creativity needs to watch all three parts. One of the coolest things I've ever seen on these topics.
The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating.
Curator: And the Mad Waters Rise (on Mad Men)
There is already evidence in Mad Men, from some of the plights of other characters, that the writers believe in some form of reconciliation, some redemption. Perhaps Draper too can recover from the fact that possessions and success are ultimately meaningless, and perhaps the hole this has left in him can be filled with something more meaningful, some rock to build on when the waters rise. We’ll have to wait till Season 4 to find out.
Dan Kimball: I Was Wrong About Church Buildings
I have recanted from my earlier belief that buildings drain resources and create consumer Christians. I was wrong. Now I see them as missionary centers to impact lives for the gospel.
Ray Ortlund: Brothers Together in Christ
Three ways to create a church where brothers demonstrate love for one another...
Brief Molly Update: All is very well with Molly and her Chiari issues. Sleeping is pretty much completely normal. She is taking no meds, works out regularly, volunteers in the schools, etc. Life is pretty much back to normal. We are so thankful to God for His mercy and her health. For a while we thought there may be no more days like this.
John Piper: The Pastor as Scholar
Resurgence: Re:Train (Resurgence Training Center) launches & Re:Sound (Resurgence Music) launching soon. Re:Bound (Resurgence Basketball Association, also known as The RBA) and Re:Lative (Resurgence Genealogy Project) still in the works.
John Frame: Questions to Ask a Film
Daniel Block: Gideon's Fleece
Jonathan Dodson: Confessions of a Failing Disciple
SBTS Towers: 3 Questions with Tim Keller
Art of Manliness: The Art of Summer Grilling
Robert Frost was a wonderful poet. With famous poems like "Fire and Ice" and "The Road Not Taken," we can see why. One of the places I first heard Frost was from the mouth of Ponyboy in the movie The Outsiders. Here's the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay."
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Kent Shaffer over at Church Relevance has determined that Reformissionary is the #27 church blog in the world. Some good blogs on the list, and I'm honored to be there. It's the best system of measurement I've seen for judging the popularity of a blog. Impressive, Kent.
I've started a new church blog (Doxa Blog), though I don't know exactly the role it will play yet. Working on it. I have the domain doxablog.com, but right now it's only masking the link to this blog and it's a headache. Also working on a Facebook group for Doxa.
My new article: When Doctors Are Stumped
Scot McKnight says some nice words about my photography, which I have long neglected
Brief Molly Update: We are going to Molly's neurologist today. He will hear that the medications are not working so far. Then we will hear whether Molly's EEG shows us anything worth knowing. And all of this is contingent upon the weather not being so bad that we can't go since it's in Crystal Lake and a snow storm is coming.
Jonathan Dodson: Four Church Planting Manuals Reviewed
David Allen has a new book, Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life
This 9Marks video is kinda funny. "It's calligraphy. I can't even read it."
Keller and Powlison: Pastor's Self-Evaluation Questionnaire
John Frame: Christ and Culture audio
Very excited about Jerram Barrs' newest book coming in May of '09: Learning Evangelism from Jesus
Quick Molly Update: Molly has been doing a little better lately. She is even starting to sleep on her own (without meds). It's not every night, but it's getting better. When she sleeps well her Chiari symptoms seem to be significantly better the next day. When she sleeps poorly, her Chiari symtoms get all jacked up. She still isn't sleeping deeply and consistently, but things are headed in a better direction. We are going to her neurologist (not neurosurgeon) today to ask about the sleep issue. Hopefully he will have some insights. Thanks for your continued prayers for my wife and family.
Here's the Advent devotional my family is using (via). We are also using selections from the excellent Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas.
Karis Church's Theology Weekend audio featuring Bruce Ware is up
Mark Driscoll on The Mission and Vision of the Acts 29 Network. It's nice to follow Mark over the past few years and hear the the ways he's changed as well as how he hasn't changed.
The New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2008
Outstanding. More at RE:LIT.
Quick update on Molly & Chiari. Her MRI's haven't happened yet as our local hospitals don't have the equipment to do the specialized ones she needs. So we either have to go closer to the city or wait until her appointment with her surgeon in September. Dunno what's going to happen just yet. I'll let you know.
Some days are better than others right now. The last few have been pretty bad, though the worst of symptoms from last year haven't shown up yet. Glad about that. Thanks for praying for her.
Here's David Ford's "Song for the Road," which I put up here as a tribute to my wife who is in constant pain, hourly frustrations. Should she ever wonder if I will be there when she needs me...
Now I know someday this all will be over
And it's hard to say what most will I miss
Just give me one way to spend my last moments alive,
and I choose this, I choose this, I choose this.
Joe Thorn is rebooting his prayer life. I'm actually planning some extended prayer in the near future. Good thoughts from Joe.
Al Hsu points to more Andy Crouch Culture Making stuff. Excerpts and more.
New Wendell Berry short story in The Atlantic.
David Powlison on Breaking Pornography Addiction.
Jonathan Dodson: Dark Thoughts from The Dark Knight
Ben Arment: How to Attract High-Caliber Leaders to Your Church
William Willimon: Pastoral Wisdom
Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat audiobook FOR FREE! Get it now, only a few days left.
Kay Ryan is the new U.S. Poet Laureate.
JD Greear: Writing Stuff Down
Paul Tripp has a potty mouth, and he's right on the money...
What are your Big 5 romantic movies?
It's ok. I know some of you will mention cheesy stuff. No worries. Others will mention movies that don't seem all that romantic. But this is YOUR Big 5, no one else's. And sure, mention a romantic comedy if you like. But just because there is a relationship in the movie doesn't make it romantic. It should sweep her off her feet or shine a light on her Prince Charming. It may find her in need of rescue! It may find him fighting for her life! Please, nothing steamy. Let's leave that for after the movie (pre-married couples not included).
HT to Goodyear
Good to hang for a couple of hours with Darryl Dash of DashHouse last night. He is in a city just north of me for a conference and decided to look me up, so we found some time for coffee. Great guy.
Care to buy Scott Lamb's 6,000 book library?
Jonathan Dodson isn't starting new ministries.
Scott Hodge describes The Orchard's critiquing culture.
Joe Thorn pointed me to this video: "From Russia With Hate." Wow. Awful.
Jeremy Pryor continues his explanation of The Story-Formed Life discipleship class...
In music news, Dr. Dog has a new album coming out in July. I really like We All Belong, so I'm looking forward to Fate. Hear some unreleased stuff at their MySpace. Tegan and Sara have an iTunes live EP releasing tomorrow. I'll be downloading it.
Matthew Smith, of Indelible Grace fame, loves him some Ryan Adams. Here's the amazing "The Sun Also Sets"...
"Oh My God, Whatever, Etc"...
Of all the wonderful 80's music memories, how can I not mention this one...
When I was a kid "Hollywood" came to my hometown of Pontiac, Illinois and filmed a movie called Grandview, USA. The director was Randall Kleiser (a film school friend of George Lucas and director of Grease) and it starred people like Jamie Lee Curtis, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell and John Cusack. I know what you are saying. "Wow! That must be an awesome movie!" Nope. But I did find some clips online and thought you might like the music video dream sequence.
I've been out-of-pocket for a couple of days, so here's a post with just a little bit of Music Monday, Lots-o-Links, and National Poetry Month.
A new video from Hot Chip. Pretty cool...
In case you didn't know, here's the reason wearing red jock straps over your pants is SO popular now...
I love this clip. If you ever need to work on your business card envy, here's how. (WARNING: A little colorful language. This clip is for Mommies and Daddies only.)
Love this stuff from Borders Open Door Poetry.
Check out The Poetry Center of Chicago.
Saw Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! with the fam today. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Worth watching and discussing. Jonathan Dodson weighs in.
Tom Schreiner, my NT prof from my SBTS days, has been interviewed. Among other issues, he speaks about his new New Testament Theology. It will have a prominent place on my shelf.
I read Coraline to our kids last year. Should be a creative and somewhat spooky movie...
Ben Arment sent me a Whiteboard box this week. It included a nice quality Reston Town Center book, Rob Bell's Everything is Spiritual DVD (best use of a whiteboard), a 2 disc TED dvd set (if you haven't yet, go check out the TED website), Lashey and Joyner's wonderful Hymns CD, and a nice note on Whiteboard stationary. Lot's of good stuff.
The early bird registration for the cheapest rate, $99, ends on the 29th of February. Sign up for the Whiteboard Sessions.
The WGA writer's strike is over. I've been following the strike online and through some podcasts, and was hoping the writer's would get a fair shake. It appears they are content, and now we can get back to watching some well-written new TV and movies.
I recently rented The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, a documentary of one man's effort to beat the high score of Donkey Kong from a guy who you want to see lose it. It's a very entertaining movie that I highly recommend. Rent it and then tell me what you think. Here's the trailer...
Pitchers and catchers reporting today for the Cubs. Very good news. I've briefly visited HoHoKam Stadium, where the Cubs have spring training, in Phoenix a few winters ago when on a golf trip with my dad and uncles. My rabid-sports-nut-7-year-old, Elijah, reported as a pitcher last Sunday here in Woodstock. They have a handful of pitcher's and catcher's training sessions at our local rec center. He's shorter than most kids his age, but has an arm on him. AND he is accurate. I often have to encourage him to throw harder because he's afraid the kid across from him will not catch it and get hurt, or something. And since I'm helping to coach his team this year, I'm considering trading him to another team for a case of Schlitz!
Some of you know I have an autistic son. My wife enjoyed this video recently, so I thought it was worth sharing...
Our family woke up before 6am this morning for the celebration of Groundhog Day. It may not seem like a good reason to wake up early on a Saturday (and at 5:45 this morning it didn't feel like a good reason either), but we were all excited to enjoy the morning festivities together.
The movie Groundhog Day, which was filmed in my city (Woodstock, IL), sparked Woodstock's own week of Groundhog Days. Lots of stuff to do. It all peaked today at 7:07am when hundreds of people gathered to see Woodstock Willie, "the prognosticator of prognosticators," reveal the news about our fate.
Will it be a longer winter or an early spring? For the answer we turn to a large rat who bases his infallible answer on, of all things, whether or not he sees his shadow. Rather than telling you his answer I felt it was only right for you to experience the event for yourself. Thanks to the McCoy "shakycam" (as well as a few photos) you can hear it straight from the rat's (Bill Murray's term, not mine) lips. Here's how it went down. If you want to hear what the other rat said (the slightly more historic one), go here.
For all you lovers of the movie Groundhog Day (and the rest of you who should be), here's a video with Quinn Keefe from the Woodstock (IL) Chamber of Commerce. Quinn leads you on a tour of my city, Woodstock, IL, as it was experienced in Groundhog Day. We watch the DVD often in my house. It's a great family movie that also makes you think...BING!
Anyone care to add a favorite quote or moment from the movie?
Friendship evangelism rests upon generosity, sacrifice, kindness, openness, hospitality, goodness, and open-handedness. That is to be the texture of your life, and non-believers are welcome to come along with you. In short, is your evangelism giving or taking? Are you a benefactor or a salesman?
Steve Ogne on mobilizing leaders (from GCA conference).
I've been looking forward to Son of Rambow for over a year now. It's finally coming out in May. Here's the trailer...
If you haven't seen Juno, you should. Start with the trailer. Easily one of the best of 2007 for me. Every actor in every role impressed me, especially Ellen Page who first showed up on my radar in Hard Candy. My wife loved Juno too. It's an hysterical and quirky movie that I will own on DVD when the time comes. The Juno Soundtrack is just as quirky and makes this movie go from great to outstanding. You know it from the opening credits. This soundtrack was a must-own for me. Delightful.
Andrew Bird has a new EP: Soldier on EP. Seriously, is it even possible this EP won't be great? Didn't think so.
I've really enjoyed Dr. Dog's latest album, We All Belong. Here's "Alaska"...
I'm finally taking the plunge into Panda Bear (MySpace). I haven't enjoyed Animal Collective, so this has taken some time. But I like it so far. Here's "Bros"...
"Comfy in Nautica"...
Folks are asking for my take on the movie, so here we go. It will be brief and hopefully spoiler-free. If you are worried about spoilers, as I have been for months, just go see it and experience it before reading more.
I went early last night not knowing how many folks would be there. I went alone because my best friend, Joe Thorn, didn't care to watch it with me. I found a way to stay strong and go anyway. By the time they opened the theater and let us in, the theater filled up to about half. When the previews began it was almost completely full. I might have been the oldest guy there. Seriously. I didn't see anyone who looked older than me or even my age.
The Star Trek teaser was fun. It's the originial Enterprise under construction with a brief Leonard Nemoy voice-over. Looking forward to this one at the end of the year.
After watching Cloverfield I have to admit that the teasers and trailers gave me a very good taste for what the movie experience would be like. It's all hand-held personal video documenting a few good friends experiencing the attack of some sort of monster on Manhattan. They are working to escape, save friends, and so on. There are moments of both terror and humor, but they also did a good job of keeping the atmosphere real.
I thought the filming and the CGI work was outstanding. I'm no expert, but I bought it and was able to stay focused on story. They also did a fine job of teasing you with a progressive revelation of what the monster looked like. I was afraid they wouldn't show enough or satisfy my desire to see what it looked like. But I was also afraid they would focus so much on seeing the monster that it would hurt the movie. I thought it was pretty well balanced.
The also do a very good job of not saying too much about the monster. They work hard to avoid giving monster origins and such. Leaving us in the dark on that stuff was a good move.
I could say a lot more, but since I've already crossed the line of brevity I'll just add one last word. Two days before seeing Cloverfield I checked Rotten Tomatoes and found it was getting mixed reviews. That was disappointing since I already own the T-shirt. But after seeing the movie I was very, very satisfied. I've also noticed the reviews are getting much better. I give it a big thumbs-up and encourage you to see it! Seriously. Go now.
Time Magazine: Rob Bell is "The Hipper-Than-Thou Pastor."
A Missouri Baptist Acts 29'r talks "View and Brew." He (Kevin Larson) has also been interviewed by Tom Ascol.
Scott Hodge talks about "Fuel," leadership training at The Orchard.
Joe Thorn has found the secret to a better prayer life, and it's probably not what you think.
Ben Arment announces the White Board Sessions. Love the idea.
Vote your top albums of the year at NPR's All Song Considered. My top 30 (or so) are on the way soon.
With The Golden Compass releasing soon, the Christian demon-recognition email-forwarding machine is fully active. Everyone seems freaked at the murder of God in the Philip Pullman's books. My question is, Is Philip Pullman killing the Christian God, or is Philip Pullman killing a false view of God? I think it's the latter, and is probably a god we would want to kill too. Jeffrey Overstreet at CT writes head along those lines with "Fear Not the Compass." Oh, and check out Carl Trueman's post on the matter.
Ain't No Party Like a Holy Ghost Party - Shavey and Resurgence interviews Sam Storms.
What Leaders Can Learn from Rob Bell: I'm convinced that Bell is one of the most engaging and important communicators of our time. Regardless of what you think about his message or his theology, I think he knows how to engage with listeners better than most. You can still pull 5 clips from his Everything is Spiritual tour on iTunes, or on the Everything is Spiritual site, or...
New Mission to Suburbia Links
-Cutting Edge Summer 2007 on Suburbia - Vinyard Church Planting (HT: Kevin Cawley in all his awesomeness)
-Suburban Spirituality by David Goetz
-Patio Man and the Sprawl People by David Brooks
-Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks
-God of the Latte: Faith in the Suburbs by Lauren Winner (on Hsu's The Suburban Christian and Goetz's Death by Suburb)
-Seeking God in the Suburbs (printable) - interview of Hsu and Goetz
-Religion in the 'Burbs by Agnieszka Tennant
Me and a certain pastor friend are going to see this tomorrow. I'm pumped!
-Bob Hyatt is good reading, as usual. 80-20 and the Organic Church Part 1 and Part 2
-Harry Potter as "Shared Text"
-Seth Godin's "Unleashing Your Ideavirus" (Part 1 and Part 2) was an excellent and thought-provoking read. It's not very new (2000), but it was good. More Godin here.
-I really dig this creative photography of kids.
-Must reading for those mashing the Thanksgiving potatoes.
This is why The Office is such a fantastic show...
A handful of things that you need to know, hear, see, or read...
- Tonight I will probably put up a single post that I will update throughout Molly's surgery and hospital stay. I will try to keep updates at the top of the page with time stamps on the page so you can read what has happened as they happened. The hospital says it has wifi throughout, so being online and live-blogging the next few days shouldn't be much of a problem.
- Please start immediately downloading Stereogum's tribute to Radiohead's OK Comupter. It's free and includes some great bands like Dave Bazan's Black Cloud, Cold War Kids, and Twilight Sad. It's not Radiohead, but it's still fun. By the way, they aren't going to leave these free mp3's up forever so grab them asap. Couldn't wait for Music Monday on this one.
- JJ Abrams. 1-18-08. Nuff said.
- John Piper on Why We Should Have Courage to Speak About Christ.
- Gary Rohrmayer on Sharpening Your Evangelistic Skills.
- Darrin Patrick's The Journey Church has done a service by providing this Keller-oriented Religion and the Gospel.
A smattering of shtuff...
Update on sabbatical last week. I was greatly encouraged by Jonathan Edwards' Personal Narrative. I also listened (again) Tim Keller's "Being the Church in Our Culture" and "Doing Justice" from the Reform & Resurge conference last year. Every time I hear Keller I stop at some point and freak out by how good it is.
Time for a roundup of random stuff.
1. I've started a Bible study series at our church based on Kris Lundgaard's book, The Enemy Within (@ Monergism). Lundgaard's book is based on two of John Owen's works on sin. I read it a few years ago and rereading it for this series. Very helpful book. Justin Taylor points to some of Lundgaard's audio messages on The Enemy Within.
2. Watched the movie Click with my wife yesterday. It was moderately funny. Best part of the movie is what Adam Sandler does to David Hasselhoff (there's a bad word here, so don't watch if you can't handle it).
3. Speaking of video, the Smiling Addiction video is great. It's an original piece (including original music) by Crossroads Community Church in GA. I think Joe Thorn first pointed me to this.
4. It looks like Paradox, a music venue at Mars Hill Seattle but not run by Mars Hill, is no more. This article doesn't really give Mars Hill's perspective in a good light, but the news was worth mentioning.
5. Have you taken a trip on Line Rider yet? Throw on a scarf and go!
7. Tim Keller wants to help you know how to "Work." Great sermon. Keller provides Dorothy Sayers' definition of the biblical doctrine of work: "Work is the gracious expression of creative energy in the service of others." Other TK Resources.
Man, I love this commerical.
Driscoll wonders, Is Jack Bauer a Type of Christ?
I love the TV show "24." Love it. My wife and I watch it every week without fail. So I had to steal these "Jack Bauer facts" from Jonathan Herron and share them with you. Great stuff.
* Jack Bauer's calendar goes from March 31st to April 2nd; no one fools Jack Bauer.
* If everyone on 24 followed Jack's instructions, it would be called 12.
* If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.
* Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.
* There have been no terrorist attacks in the United States since Jack Bauer appeared on television.
* When someone asks Jack Bauer how his day is going, Jack replies, "Previously on 24..."
* Jack Bauer doesn't speak any foreign languages, but he can make any foreigner speak English in a matter of minutes.
* When Google doesn't know the answer, it asks Jack Bauer for help.
Roger Ebert has a curious article on "The Fury of the Crash-lash." It seems that calling "Crash" a better movie, which Ebert does, is considered more than a little homophobic. He gives a helpful response.
The nature of the attacks on "Crash" by the supporters of "Brokeback Mountain" seem to proceed from the other position: "Brokeback" is better not only because of its artistry but because of its subject matter, and those who disagree hate homosexuals. Its supporters could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what "Crash" had to offer.
If you are an American Idol-ater like my wife and me, you probably noticed the voice and sass of Mandisa. She was the one ripped on my Simon who said they would need a bigger stage, but then they showed her later forgiving him because of Jesus. She said, "I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you."
Well Mandisa worked at LifeWay (SBC resources) and now sings at some Beth Moore stuff. Read about her at BP.