Types & Shadows Playlist - April 2014

So I keep toying with ideas about how to share what I'm listening to with you guys and have finally decided to put up a monthly playlist (a spottily embedded playlist to be exact) for you guys to enjoy. These will be songs that I am currently loving and think that you might too. I'm going to limit myself to 20 songs. This one is coming in the middle of the month but usually that will be posted at the beginning of the month. Let us know what you think about what we are listening to. 

Without further ado... The Types & Shadows Playlist for April 2014!

Beginnings and Endings

Today, a large portion of the Christian Church celebrates the annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ to Mary. The early church also held that Jesus died on this day, keeping with the tradition that a prophet of God died on the same day he was either born or conceived.

Today is also an important day in J.R.R Tolkien's story of Middle-Earth. On this day the Dark Lord Sauron the Deceiver was defeated once and for all when the One Ring was cast into Mount Doom. By having that event fall on this day, Tolkien points us all to the victory over evil that Jesus Christ achieved through his incarnation and death.

Today is a good day.


(HT to my friend Christopher Walk) 



I Am Second Feat. Propaganda

Underground rap artist, Jason “Propaganda” Petty, grew up a fish out of water. Born black in a mexican neighborhood. A poet and artist in the midst an alpha male urban environment. When his family went suburban, it got no better. Now he was the poor black kid in the all white neighborhood.

So who was Jason “Propaganda” Petty? What was his purpose in life, his identity? How would he find himself? Was he an artist or a thug? Rich or poor? Black, caucasian, or Mexican? Watch his film and discover the surprising answers he found to life’s most challenging questions.

Death Is Anything But Natural

Death Is Anything But Natural

I was watching old Sesame Street clips with my family and a familiar one came up. When Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper, died of heart attack on December 7, 1982, it left the producers of Sesame Street, the Children's Television Workshop, with questions about how to acknowledge the death of one of the series' most visible actors. After considering a number of options, CTW decided to have the character of Mr. Hooper die as well On Thanksgiving day 1983 an episode aired in which it was communicated that Mr. Hooper died and Big Bird struggled with it.

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Merry Christmas From Us Here At Types and Shadows

Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doin. It’s about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of te people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes(sometimes on purpose), they get afraid and run away. At times, they’re downright mean.

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne–everything–to rescues the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is–it’s true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling on Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in the puzzle–the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
— Sally Lloyd-Jones (The Jesus Storybook Bible)

Interpretation, Translation, and the Gallagher Brothers

Interpretation, Translation, and the Gallagher Brothers

I was listening to Ryan Adams' cover of Wonderwall by Oasis and it got me thinking. One of the things that I like about music is that the same song can cause a wide variety of emotions and responses from its listeners as well as those who chose to perform the song. While I was thinking about this I remembered another example of this and thought i'd share them with you

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Wild Things

Wild Things

(reflections on Advent)

Knotty Oak copy.jpg

Do wild things know grief?
Are they familiar with the path of pain and fear?
A startled rabbit might bolt into the thicket;
A deer might wheeze and snort,
Leaving her nemesis with bounding blur of white.

Do they know loss?

Does the tree resent her shedding of color,
To soon be exposed to the cold of winter?
Decay and disappointment covers all of our geography;
It’s an  indiscriminate blanket, covering us thoughtlessly.

Nature groans to the passing of planets, and the marching of men.
Bones and briars, stumps and stars are reminders,
Of distance and death; fragility and breath.

We plod on.

Do the wild things know or are they immune to time?
While trees are moved only by death or nature,
Time is their friend, giving them rings of strength.
Man stumbles and falls as the leaves of autumn.
Crying and boasting we bemoan the crack,
The perilous fissure in the disorder of things.

The courses of temporal movement feed our longings for goodness.
“Mercy!” We cry to a distant deity.

We wait...we trust...
An answer as clear as the babbling of the creek,
Or the music from the wind.

A Deity descended bringing rest amidst this haze…

“Truly I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing "Christian" Songs

John foreman, lead singer of the band Switchfoot was asked if his band was a "Christian" band. 

The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty.

Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others. Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music.

Born, Raised, and Handcrafted

Scott and I are fans of art and craftsmanship in all of their varied forms. I have enjoyed John Mayer's latest record Born And Raised and have enjoyed looking at the artwork. however, there is something amazing about learning what goes into a particular piece of artwork. Knowing the skill, determination, hard work, and passion of the artist allows you to take your appreciation and enjoyment of their work to the next level. I was blown away as I watched the video (below) of David A. Smith's work in creating the album artwork for Mayer's latest record. In such craftsmanship we see the image of God, the creator, whose work is infinitely more creative, passionate, and inspiring. In taking the time to learn what goes into such craftsmanship we allow ourselves to see the image of God on the artist allowing us to think on him or her with the dignity they deserve. I know nothing of the faith (or lack thereof) of Mr. Smith but the fingerprints of his creator are all over his work.

Take the time to watch this video. At 18 minutes it is a little lengthy but like the artwork is showcases, patience and deliberateness have their rewards.


The Exact Place...God's Place

The Exact Place...God's Place

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live"

Paul, in Athens. Acts 17:26 NIV

The Westminster Confession of Faith Larger Catechism Questions 12 asks, "What are the decrees of God?" and then answers without ambiguity that, "God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will, whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men."

I admittedly have a hard time with this. Not because I don't believe it and not because I don't believe God to be sovereign or that scripture can contain seemingly irreconcilable differences yet still be inerrant. No, my difficulty with this wonderfully encouraging Catechism is that I want to be God. I want to be the one who chooses my "exact places" and I want to be the one who believes that I have a better plan than the One who created me. The great news is that my story, my geographic situation and my circumstances upon which I thankfully embrace are not what I would have chosen. There is freedom in trusting a sovereign and loving God who uses all of our "exact places" for his pleasure and his good will and like Margie, I wouldn't change a thing.

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Art and the Artist

Art and the Artist

During some post-turkey downtime this long weekend I picked up an edition of Smithsonian (November 2012). My curiosity was piqued when I noticed that this edition centered on Abraham Lincoln and the recent historical sediment which has been stirred with the new movie by the same name (Lincoln) starring Daniel Day-Lewis and produced by Stephen Spielberg. I didn't get to the Lincoln article, at least not yet. I even passed over an article entitled, The Gospel of Jesus' Wife for the sake of this topic: Art.

I'm not an artist. I am really bad at drawing even the most rudimentary of stick figures. My students, even now, make fun of every shape or diagram that I try to use in order to help them make sense of something. I argue that my poor drawing acts as a mnemonic device allowing them to associate the poor drawing to proper information. I suppose we all have things that we use to justify our inadequacies.

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Sacred Spaces, Sacred Times, and “Ctrl”

Sacred Spaces, Sacred Times, and “Ctrl”

I love technology. From phones to computers to the internet, I love it. But lately I have noticed it creeping into the crevasses of my life in ways that I’m not comfortable with. I’m unable to go a significant amount of time without checking my phone. If I get a notification or an email I have to check it right then. I shudder to think about the time I’m giving up with my wife and kids, my real relationships, for whatever is on the other end of that screen.

It is so easy to get caught up in the vanity and the self-consciousness that services like Facebook and Twitter can create. Don’t get me wrong, I love those services but I feel like they have creeped into my life in a way that they need to to purged. It’s not just social networking either. Games and other apps have a way of competing for your time and attention.

While I had been having these notions, these fears, for some time, the real push over the cliff for me came in waves.

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Constriction And Creativity

I'm up and perusing YouTube videos later than I should be. I came across a clip from a dvd of one of my favorite artists and I wanted to share it with you guys. Jack White, in this clip from a dvd chronicling one of the last tours his band The White Stripes ever did, talks about creativity. He talks about how opportunity can stifle creativity and how there is a law of diminishing inspiration. His words ring true for me and I hope they do for you too.  I've also added a video after the post break of a performance of one of my favorite white stripes songs for those that are interested. It a a cover of a song by the great Blues legend from the early 20th century, Son House called Death Letter.


The song is about a man who learns of the death of the woman he loves through a letter delivered to him early in the morning, views her body on the cooling board at the morgue, attends her funeral, and returns to his home in a state of depression.

"You know it's so hard to love Someone that don't love you Won't get satisfaction Don't care what you do"