Performing in a confessional booth, Derek Webb performs a song from his latest release that deals with our impatience with God and our desire to have what we want, when we want it because we know better than God.
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.Read More
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 youRead More
(reflections on Advent)
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.”
"I wrote this poem called "The Calvinist" to capture a glimpse of God's sovereign intersection with the life of a sinful man. There is no part of life where the greatness of God does not penetrate deeply. I want to help you feel that..."
- John Piper
It’s that time of year again. Time for our annual mix of christmas music. My hope is that it might be an introduction to some new and great Christmas music for you or a place to find some song that are already part of your Christmas experience.Read More
John foreman, lead singer of the band Switchfoot was asked if his band was a "Christian" band.
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.
"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.Read More
One of the greatest songs of all time with one of the best lyrics ever written. "I've never been to Vegas but I've gambled all my life."
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.Read More
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.Read More
A great song by the wonderful husband and wife duo of Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb.
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"
I recently watched a documentary called Indie Game: The Movie and I was really blown away. It was beautifully shot and edited - a real visual treat. What blew me away were the insights shared by some of the folks in the film. This film strikes at the core of what we believe here at Types & Shadows; that God speaks to us everywhere. His common grace extends to all walks of life and types of people and his truth can be found in even the darkest of places.
I am a documentary nerd. I enjoy documentaries on the most boring of subjects. I think my love for them flows from the fact that I am a “big picture” kind of person. I like to see how I fit into the puzzle of providence and I like to see how others fit as well. I find that any opportunity to get my attention off of me and onto someone else is always an opportunity worth seizing. We all have struggles and victories and seeing someone else’s can bring a tremendous amount of perspective and an appreciation for the common struggle we share.Read More
This side of our redemption in Christ we will always be faced with struggles with work. No matter what we do vocationally, we'll see someone else as having it better or "easier" than we do. Although it's envious it doesn't make it unnatural for us to do so. But in our struggles with work we can be assured that there is purpose and that it matters. It matters to the people that you work with and around and it matters to God. God provides our every need and work is his gift to us to be a blessing to others. What do you think of Keller's take on work? Do you agree with him? Is there anything that you disagree with? Was there anything particularly encouraging to you? Do you struggle with work? How? Why? Hopefully this is a blessing to you. Enjoy and feel free to comment if you wish.
This was one of my favorite songs in it's original form but I LOVE this slowed down version. It really brings out the fantastic lyrics. My favorite line is:
My heroes had the heart to live their lives out on a limb And all I remember is thinking I want to be like them.