Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Sunday Asylum

Sunday Asylum: Being the Church in Occupied TerritorySunday Asylum: Being the Church in Occupied Territory by Stanley Hauerwas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

short and sweet and to the point. Hauerwas has insightful comments on the topics of belief, conformity, worship despair, hope & the kingdom of God. Jason Barnhart adds thought provoking commentary to Hauerwas' thoughts.

I liked all 5 chapters - but took exception to most of the chapter on worship. in that - i feel Hauerwas misses the boat - or at least doesn't fully understand where some modern worship is all about.

regardless - the book was easy to read and worth my time.

it is set up to be used as a 5 week curriculum for a small group. there also appears to be a video to coincide with this book - but i felt the book was fine on it's own.

View all my reviews

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Following Jesus is not meant to make my life safe

Following Jesus is not meant to make my life safe, secure, comfortable, or more tolerable to a majority of Americans. It definitely won't compartmentalize down to a nice, cozy pocket! in the same way, Jesus is larger than a political affiliation, so my allegiance to him should be greater than my allegiance to a political party. Following Jesus is going to make my life dysfunctional to most Americans.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Curating Worship

Curating WorshipCurating Worship by Jonny Baker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

i've followed Jonny Baker's blog for a many years now and i've always enjoyed his posts about worship - so it was no surprise that i also liked his book: Curating Worship.

Curating Worship is mostly a collection of conversations with alt worship leaders, designers, creators and visionaries all whom seem very capable with their craft in their own right. Baker's book dives deep into the world of alternative worship - and he brings an interesting perspective on what the role of a worship designer might be - comparing it to a curator of art at an art exhibit or museum.

i really clung to this analogy and felt a close connection with this form of worship creating. in my experiences of leading, designing and coordinating worship services, interactions and experiences i've never quite known how to describe exactly what it is that i am most passionate about. this book helped me process my God-given desire and passion.

i feel drawn to the role of curator. the church in America needs more curators of worship to help people connect with a living and loving God (in a fresh way).

the ideas and stories shared in Baker's book were inspiring and helpful. I underlined and highlighted a lot - particularly the interview with the leaders/creators of Ikon in Ireland.

the appendix in the back was also helpful for any one person or group eager to learn the in's and out's of how to put together an interactive worship service.

bravo Jonny Baker for bringing forth a fresh perspective of how one might lead others to experiential & connected worship of God.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the reality for the follower of Jesus is that we do not need to make the world work

the reality for the follower of Jesus is that we do not need to make the world work. this lie from Christendom has led to more despair than hope. When people die unexpectedly, we don't have to act like we understand or know why. when economies tank, we don't have to have all the answers, you see, when we assume we need to have all the answers and need to eliminate all the mystery in the world, we crucify hope, never experiencing the kingdom reality that is faith.

jason barnhart from the book Sunday Asylum. ch. 3

Friday, July 08, 2011

the Cross is the greatest source of tension the world has ever known.

thoughts while reading ch 2: conflict vs. comfort from the book Sunday Asylum.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

an exploration of Proverbs 20:27

Proverbs 20:27

New International Version (NIV)

27 The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the LORD
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

  1. Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are

The Message (MSG)
27 God is in charge of human life,
watching and examining us inside and out.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 The [a](A)spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the [b]innermost parts of his being.

  1. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath
  2. Proverbs 20:27 Lit chambers of the body

Amplified Bible (AMP)

27The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.(A)

King James Version (KJV)

27The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

27The breath of man [is] a lamp of Jehovah, Searching all the inner parts of the heart.

Common English Bible (CEB)

27 The breath of a person
is the lamp of the LORD,
searching all the inmost parts.


what is inhaled and exhaled... what is spoken from the depth of our soul... the intake and exhaust of our spirit is the light that cannot be extinguished. that illumination is the means for which our Lord examines our inner-most self. as if we could ever think we could hide from God...the essence of who we are is light. that light - from God - exposes our true self... our true motive... our true faith... our true source of life. we may drink from the streams of the Lord or we may drink from the streams of the world. The Lord sees the fruits produced from either source... we can not fool God.

but only true life... only true forever-living breath comes from a soul yearning for the Lord, connected to His life-blood, Jesus Christ.

o Lord search me and know me and expose my sin so that i may be cleansed... may I yearn to drink only from your waters - to find forever-life fulfillment.

Monday, July 04, 2011

the quiet of a july morning

i went out for a morning run today... perhaps it might be better described as a morning jog. although my running has not been as consistent this spring and early summer i still aim for it to be a major source of exercise for me.

but the beautiful thing about this morning's run was not the run itself... it was not the fact that it was a holiday or that in it was my day off...

the beauty was found in the silence.

there was little traffic. and few sounds to be heard... and it was beautiful.

i took it all in.
the sounds of the birds in the trees, singing their morning songs of joy.
an older woman in her housecoat, watering her flowers.
the click-clop-clip of my running shoes hitting the pavement in stride.
the silent sound of the breeze blowing the trees, leaves and wind chimes.
a hedge trimmer and lawn mower in the distance.
a passing car. a barking dog.
a child on a tricycle in his driveway.

the simple sounds of a quiet july morning.
and i took it all in... and it was beautiful.

i wish to crave this more than running.