Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Comma

Please skip over to the Stuff Christians Like blog for a great, encouraging read about grace at Easter.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Come Thou Fount

I have never been able to sing the 2nd half of the 2nd verse of "Come Thou Fount." I try every time, but nothing comes out.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wand'ring from the folds of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Bought me with His precious blood.

I have no voice until I recover at the start of verse 3, but then it's gone again when we sing,

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for thy courts above.

And then the song is over and it's time to mop up. What song 'goes right through' you?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Recipe For Life

Family friend Jim Besaw wrote this for English class...pretty perceptive for an infinitely-distractable-hyperactive-frizzy-haired-skinny-jeans-wearing-Christian-math-core-hippy-freak 17-year-old.









The Recipe For Life
by Jim Besaw
Add 3 tsp of Energy, 1 cup of Joy and 2 parents beautifully in love. 
Let sit for 3 years, then slowly add 2 pinches of curiosity, 5 scoops of adventure, a handful of “I told you so moments” and 4 rancid rotten rebellions. 
Mix this well for about 5 years and your mixture should begin to turn a soft “know it all” shade.
Add 2 tablespoons of questions and continue stirring. 
Once the mixture has become a soft ball of adolescence, you should roll 13 to 14 small balls of hormones onto a tray of conflict. 
Bake these on a temperature of about “the flaming fury that your parents feel as they find out you’ve borrowed the car to go to your boyfriend's/girlfriend's house”. 
Once they turn a golden shade of wisdom, you should take them out and let them cool off until they are hard and or firm from the hardships of life. 
Finally they are ready to be frosted with a life well spent with the ones you love.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Drainers and Fillers

A wise man once told me, "there are two kinds of people in the world. There are "fillers," who, once you've been around them, you feel "filled" with cheer and encouragement. And then there are the "drainers," the people who drain your emotional energy and make you feel discouraged. I only want to be a filler."

I like that. And I think that for some of us, being the "filler" takes a little more work. I want to try harder at being a bit more of an encourager - even with this blog - though I still want to be as transparent and honest as possible while I grapple and report on life here in "Boothland." It's a balancing act...or maybe an art.

Do you ever think about how you relate to other people? Are you a "drainer" or a "filler?"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prayers From Strangers

Recently there was a "day of prayer" over at Jon Acuff's blog, "Stuff Christians Like." This was neat since it was a 'virtual' thing. Anyone could sign up for a one-hour slot and pray for requests that were posted there at the blog. I got in a little late, but I figured, "well, why not put in a request for Janie anyway?" She'd been having a pretty bad day, coughing and just exhausted really.

So I went on and shared a bit about her story, just a few sentences and, well, I admit I paused a bit before I hit "add comment." I thought, "is this dumb? Is this silly? These people don't know Janie. It's so anonymous. So impersonal."

Call me crazy but,

How He Loves Us

Here's another performance of John Mark McMillan's "How He Loves Us," this time by Jared Anderson who is new to me. He did a really nice job and I love this song.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Janie Update 3-22-10

Hi! It's been a little while since we've updated you on Janie's situation, so...here goes........

Weekly chemo continues, and we really are so thankful for the technology! There are new chemotherapies being developed all the time and we of course pray for a cure. We never let up praying that Janie will be 100% healed!

The blood test called ca27-29 rose by quite a bit (up to 145 from the mid-90's) so it is time for Janie to move on to another chemotherapy drug. The new one is actually a return to

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring!

I know, I know, it's probably bad form to post two songs by the same artist two posts in a row, but, well, it's the first day of Spring! Now or never!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ragamuffins In A Cool World



Now I'm not a very charismatic guy. Any of you who know me would agree: Chris doesn't have a 'rollin'-in-the-aisles kind of temperament (actually, I wonder how many 'melancholics' do...but that's for another post...). So I hesitate posting this lest someone might get the wrong idea...but I just really like this kid listening to David Crowder. Would you have the nerve to just let loose in the middle of your city?

We are called to be "aliens and strangers in the world" (NIV) (or "exiles and sojourners" as the ESV puts it). See 1 Peter1:1;  2:11 and Hebrews 11:13. So I must ask: how well do you "fit in?" Is that a problem for you? Are you as cool as the world? Is the vortex of coolness sucking you in?

Regarding these verses, I've over time kept and added to a little list of words that I think should define me as a Christian. I'm working on living up to it, though I admit it can be a struggle because * gosh darn it! * we all crave acceptance, right? Anyway, try these words on for size and see if they describe your walk in this world:

Alien
Stranger
Sojourner
Pilgrim
Wayfarer
Itinerant
Vagabond
Misfit
Ragamuffin
 Fool

Billy Graham once described evangelism as merely one beggar showing another beggar where to find food. Like it or not, we are spiritual beggars, ragamuffins. When we try real hard to look like something other than - something cooler than - a ragamuffin, we start to assimilate the culture and it starts to have more of an effect on us than we do on the culture. So, it seems, we need to learn how to be more of a misfit, not less.

I can barely remember that old Baptist spiritual - how's it go? "This world is not my home; I'm just a-passin' through...."

Or, to quote Switchfoot, "I'll be a Beautiful Letdown, the painfully uncool - the Church of the dropouts, the losers, the sinners, the failures...and the fools..."

How about you? What words would you add to define the Christian's place in the world?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mysterium Tremendum

Which is weirder for the Christian? That Christ is in you (Colossians 1:27), or that you are in Christ (Colossians 1:28)?

Our pastor, Eric May, made a wonderful point today. (I'm afraid this is going to sound like a, "stop me if you've heard this one..." kind of thing, but, well, since this is a blog, and you can't very well stop me...) He said, regarding these verses, "are we in air, or is air in us?" *Dramatic silence* Then he said, "is a fish in water, or is water in a fish?" The answer is, of course, "Yes." Both are true.

I like this not just because it's clever and presents a bit of a mind-bender. I like it because it points out that, though they may at first sound like opposites, both statements can be true: we can be "in Christ" and Christ can be "in us."

I also like it because

Andy McKee

Completely mind-boggling skill and beautiful music..........

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cowbells and Colossians

Daniel played bass for the jazz band portion of the Green Mountain District 5 Music Festival tonight. Shredded basically and his awesomeness showed the most when his sheet music fell on the floor and he just kept playing from memory with out missing a beat. In fact if I didn't know better, I would almost suspect that he purposely made the music fall so that his awesomeness at playing without the music and never missing a beat could be seen by all. Except that's not like him and also I think no one saw the music fall except me and the trombone player next to him who kindly picked it up.

Plus, they also played an absolutely gorgeous version of Charles Mingus's, "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." Made you weep. (Of course, there is always the version by Jeff Beck, whose guitar weeps and which takes me back to my own high school days...).

There were other groups playing as well: a Women's Chorus and a Full Choir, which sang a really cool Magnificat which I love because school music programs across our great nation violate the supposed 'Separation of Church and State' every time they sing spirituals and no one raises a finger or even an eyebrow.

There was also a Middle School Wind Ensemble, but my personal favorite (apart from the Jazz Band of course), was the Middle School Concert Band. They played, "On Broadway." (Remember, "On Broadway?" Made famous and popular by the cool and suave George Benson in 1978? Well, remove the cool and remove the suave and remove George Benson and replace it all with 6th grade brass and a giant bass drum and you've got the picture...)

Anyway, the reason that this band was so great was because of their

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"God Told Me..."

God speaks to us through Scripture. Undeniable.

God sometimes speaks to us through thoughts and impressions that He brings into our consciousness. Mmhm.

But honestly, though I have even had those impressions myself, and in hindsight I even found out that it was God, well, I also have a concern about, "God told me..."

Here's why:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beautiful Evidence

I nabbed this from the blog of a pastor in the mid west, bloggername, "The Blainemonster" which is cool. His blog is called, "The vertiCALL." Anyway, he just posted this today and it really resonates with me and I wanted to share it here, especially in light of my last post...the two seem akin to me somehow.....

I've always thought that beauty was great evidence for a Creator. What we see throughout history, unfortunately, is humanity worshiping beautiful things, and not the Creator. The sun, moon, stars, animals, weather phenomena - all these things are beautiful (which is an anemic word to describe the majesty of some of these objects) and have been revered as divine by mankind.

Well, we can't blame this idolatry on the beautiful things, nor can we