Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Monday Links and Bullets 2.7.11

Bullet Thoughts First This Week!!

  • I am satisfied with the results of the Super Bowl.
  • Don’t make non-extreme issues into extreme ones (from yesterday).
  • Are the Buckeyes good or is the Big Ten bad?
  • I really wanted to score a long run today before the weather went cold.  Looks like that’s not going to happen.
  • I really like to take care of the little girl we are fostering.  I just don’t think I’d be cut out to do it every day, all the time.
  • I obviously don’t encourage it, but people who find themselves in the situation of being single parents certainly have my respect.
  • My wife is someone I truly respect.  I just don’t think I’d have ever believed we’d be doing the things we’re doing if you’d have told me almost 12 years ago.
  • I’m excited that Red’s new album is out – and terrific.
  • Definitely looking forward to this week.

LINKS FOR THIS WEEK:

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Gotta speak out – abortion in this country is horrific.  And Planned Parenthood should be shut down.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

–The Gospel helps us understand and react to sexual sin.

–Research says . . . teens need strong families.

–Great article regarding guys and sexual sin.  Women should read this too.

–An excellent example of pride, and how to react to it – from a woman’s perspective.

–Very VERY good thoughts on having family worship.  Families, parents, PLEASE read this and let me know if there is any way I can help you start this sort of thing in your home.

Do we have Groundhog Day faith?

–Not a gifted evangelist?  Read this.

A FEW MISCELLANEOUS LINKS

–If a lockout happens, the Browns stand to lose a lot.

–Do you buy things in panic?

–Found this good review of Until We Have Faces, Red’s new album.

Where Was This Album When I Was In High School?

I rarely write much besides my typical Monday Links and Bullets postings, but today I feel compelled to write about an album that I anticipated with much excitement – and haven’t been let down.

I’m not sure I’ve been this excited about an album since the River of Dreams album from Billy Joel in the 90’s.  What album?

I’m talking about “Until We Have Faces” by Red.

A bit of background:  I have listened to Red for a couple years now, intrigued by their ability to be just edgy enough so as not to turn me off.  Seriously, a bit much harder and it would be over the top for me.  It is the type of music that can be too much or too loud for a lot of folks – I even have some friends who don’t like it.  We’re all entitled to our opinion.  But, as the band claims, they try to put something on their albums for everyone.

And the latest had something very identifiable for me as I listened to it:  the power of Jesus Christ to change your identity.

Until We Have Faces never explicitly uses the name God or Jesus, but contains specific references to Scripture, the hope of Christ, and the ability to overcome spiritual warfare.  It is full of songs whose themes have taken me back to places in my life where I struggled deeply in spiritual warfare, fighting daily for my identity because of anger or just feeling generally lost.  I am vastly changed now, and it’s because of the hope these guys are singing about.  A few examples:

The lead track is called Feed the Machine.  It’s a real screamer and the hardest song on the album.  It exposes the way so many people, and I fear specifically young people, navigate daily life.  Pain, drama, brokenness.  All of these feed the machine of messages we blindly buy into.  Love the end of this song with the call to “Kill the Machine!”  Only possible through Christ!

The popular song (everywhere on Christian Radio and soon to be featured on a couple late night shows) is called Faceless. What a stinging endorsement of how hollow life can feel until we’re exposed to real relationship in Christ.  Check out this powerful lyric:  Shadows growing in my mind/ Ones I just can’t leave behind/ I’m not strong enough to pay this ransom.

Destined to be a well known Red ballad, Not Alone sends the message we ALL need to hear from time to time.  We are not alone, when it feels like everything is crashing down and wasting away.  Sung from God’s perspective, this song is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ close friendship with us when everything seems like a pile of junk.

I heard a talk a couple years ago about living life (and specifically our faith) as an album experience, not just an iTunes one track at a time experience.  From start to finish, this album weaves themes together that will speak to me for a long time.  I hope they speak to you too – if you’re up for a good rocking.

Monday Links and Bullets

A bit rushed here.  Links for today:

LINK OF THE WEEK

–A good, quick read which outlines the differences between Catholics and Protestants.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

The top 10 searched Bible verses.

–ALERT: This is a great read.  Is Jesus a King without a kingdom?

–Another good one.  Fifty fruits of pride – read at your own risk.

MISCELLANEOUS

Another Apple game changer?

Here’s a decent story from a show I don’t watch much anymore.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • I am totally unprepared to deal with tech support for more than 30 minutes.  It has been a frustrating day, now over 2 hours total, and a lot of time wasted.  I HATE wasted time, and I am really struggling with my attitude toward people who do tech support that can’t speak English very well.  Prayers accepted!
  • That said, I got to experience a great weekend away from things.  Between a retreat, some extra time with family, and a personal growth experience, it’s been very nice – my frustrations from today are NOT going to wreck the good time I had.
  • Here’s my piece of advice for the week:  it really does work when you confront problems head on.  We waste a lot of time talking about things without actually acting to make the problems better.  If we’d spend half the time acting, things would work better, our relationships would be healthier, and our witness of love would shine much brighter.
  • Just thinking out loud: it seems like God has laid it on our hearts to care for kids.  A dream would be to add on some room to our house to make room for more kids.  Since we’re not flush with cash, guess we better start praying about that one!!
  • I’m praying hard for wisdom and spiritual growth.  Personally, I want to know and experience depths of my faith that I haven’t experienced.  I want to be challenged, and learn, and make the most of my time as I serve.  I don’t want to just know my faith, I want to share it and live it.  I want the same for those I lead.

Monday Links and Bullets 1.24.11

Another Monday, another set of links.  Here we go:

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Heartbreaker alert.  I do challenge you to read this.  Something like this will probably happen to someone you know, and this is a rather detailed look into what it’s like.

CHRISTIAN FAITH

–Nice article here on parenting daughters.

How the gospel can be applied to the abortion issue.  Nice, short video.

–Do we love God with our mind?

For what do we pray?

MISCELLANEOUS

–This is somewhat encouraging.

–Some commentary about boomers being self absorbed.

What?

BULLET THOUGHTS

  • I really want Green Bay to win the Super Bowl.
  • It is hard to type with two fingers only in your left hand.  But, I’m getting used to it.
  • David just said this to me:  “Daddy, I hope you win at your basketball game, because you never win.”  With me and my inured finger out for the season, will our 15 game losing streak come to an end?  Here’s hoping . . .
  • Looking forward to an outstanding weekend.
  • I am praying hard for several friends of ours who seem mired in difficult situations.
  • Similarly, I am rejoicing with MANY friends who are either brand new parents or expecting.  How exciting!
  • I think the Yankees will compete with Tampa Bay for 2nd/3rd in the AL East.  Don’t believe me?  As of now, the Yankees have three legitimate starting pitchers – and one of them is AJ Burnett!
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  Just stop where you are and ponder how deep it is to think about this.  What if we actually did this?

Monday Links and Bullets 1.17.11

Here are some links I wanted to share this week:

LINK OF THE WEEK

–I’ve been thinking a lot over the past several years regarding education.  Here is a YouTube video that was forwarded to me.  I’d love to have an honest discussion on this one.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Legalized Christian publishing in China?

I disagree with John Piper.

–This is a good publication put out by Gospel for Asia.  Take a look if you don’t know much about what they do.

One of the best things I’ve read about the Tuscon tragedy.

–Several different writers’ attempt to summarize the Bible in one sentence.

–The gospel applies to how we live as much as how it applies to what happens to us when we die.

MISCELANEOUS

–Just imagine if this happened here.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

–I had a chance to talk to several  of our church’s college age folks about the passage I was going to preach – right before I got to preach it.  It would be very nice to have the opportunity to hear other people talk about the passage each week as I prepared to preach.

–MLK Jr. fought hard against racist thoughts and tendencies.  How are we different today?  Are you different in any way as you think about racial issues?  Should you be?

–Hmmm.  Brett Favre has filed retirement papers with the NFL.  Who cares?

–Less than a month till pitchers and catchers report.

–I have been fascinated by AIG (the Creation museum people) and their attempt to build a lifesize Ark in the same region of Kentucky.  If you know nothing about this, here is their website.  I am really taken aback by local media’s response to this.  Maybe I shouldn’t be?

–Praying for:  revival, friends, those hospitalized, upcoming missions ventures for people we know, WISDOM, and a growing, deepening love and fire for Jesus.

–Have a great week.  Let me know if there is any specific way I can lift anyone up in prayer.  Feel free to e-mail requests to my inbox!