Dear Santa, I want you to have these cookies because I love you. Adam
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
1. Bon Iver
I discovered Bon Iver at the end of 2008 and was instantly hooked. Both of his albums are great.
2. Sojourn Church's "Over the Grave"
The song "Warrior" has got to be one of the greatest songs I've heard in a long time. I couldn't find a video for it, so check out this link from Grooveshark (if you haven't signed up for your grooveshark account, check it out).
3. Mumford & Sons
Just heard about these guys through Steve McCoy's blog. Loved it immediately! Some free downloads to get you going can be found here.
4. Derek Webb's "Stockholm Syndrome"
Perhaps you've heard that this album is controversial. Webb has always been controversial because of his message, but now he's gone off the deep end by including two curse words in his song. Here's a good article about the new album, and enjoy the video.
5. The Fray
I know they've been around for a little while, but this year I've listened to them a lot.
6. Fiction Family
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot plus Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek = Awesome.
7. Brooke Fraser
I first heard Brooke Fraser on a Hillsong United album. Such a great voice. Her album Albertine came out a couple of years ago, but I came across it this year. So many great tracks.
In my opinion, you can't have a top 10 list of music for 2009 and not include U2's newest album.
9. The Avett Brothers
It took me awhile to get into these guys, but then I heard this song...
10. Kings of Leon
I loved these guys when they first came out, but haven't listened to them in awhile. Then I heard this song awhile back and was instantly happy.
2. When Helping Hurts - I heard Steve Corbett speak at CCDA and then purchased the book. Here is an article by the co-author, Brian Fikkert. I have to say that I had never heard anyone say these things, yet something resounded within me that these guys are speaking truth.
We moved to Midtown Memphis almost four years ago from the SF Bay Area. We had a six-month old at the time. We learned right away that most young families don't stay in Midtown long because of the school system. We felt called here to start a church, and believed that we needed to live here long-term in order to be effective.
We also learned that our neighborhood has a public elementary school, but the families in the neighborhood don't send their kids there. So we began our research. I should point out that my wife is an educator and taught in a Memphis City school our first two years here. This helped immensely. In April, 2007 we hosted a forum at our neighborhood school to determine if this was a quality issue or something else (racial, economic, safety, etc...). There was a large turnout, and the consensus at the end was that it's a great school. So something else is keeping families from sending their kids there. After the discussion, my wife was asked to be the Community Representative on the school's Leadership Team. Other parents (of not-yet-school-age children) have already begun to take leadership roles in school events as well. The principal is working closely with neighborhood families to see the school bridge the racial, economic, and academic gap.
Throughout the last few years, we have encountered dozens of people with the same heart cry as ours - for this to become a neighborhood school once again. Some of these we knew to be followers of Christ, but many would not identify themselves as such. Yet a community has begun to form, full of families with a common vision and mission.
Next fall our oldest will be attending Kindergarten at our local elementary school, along with several other children from this group, with dozens more planning on attending in the coming years. Over the last few years we have held this very loosely. We have prayed a lot. We do not want to sacrifice our child, and what we're doing is actually far from that. This is an excellent school, and he's going to have an excellent education, even beyond the academics. He will learn diversity, both racially and economically, and our prayer is that he learns to love others as God loves him.
At the same time, though, what we are doing is extremely intentional and strategic, and I know that it is a big part of why we're here. We never would have set out to integrate our local elementary school or attempt to change the school district, but when we pray, "God, do only what you can do" be ready to walk through the doors He opens!
We could have been called to a different neighborhood in the city, and though our process would have been similar, I recognize that the result may have been different. There are multiple bottom lines, but they all have to be prayed through and considered.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
If it's December, then there must be frost in the air, gingerbread in the oven, and ... right on time, Bill O'Reilly and the other defenders ofbemoaning the prevalence of "Happy Holidays" - rather than "Merry Christmas" - greetings.
There's a war on Christmas, O'Reilly recently reminded viewers, driven by those who "loathe the baby Jesus." This season, a holiday-dÉcor company is marketing the CHRIST-mas Tree, a bushy artificial tree with a giant cross where the trunk should be. And the Colorado-basedFocus on the Family is continuing its Stand for Christmas campaign to highlight the offenses of Christmas-denying retailers. The campaign was launched, according to its website, because "citizens across the nation were growing dissatisfied with the tendency of corporations to omit references to Christmas from holiday promotions."
But to a growing group of Christians, this focus on the commercial aspect of Christmas is itself the greatest threat to one of Christianity's holiest days. "It's the shopping, the going into debt, the worrying that if I don't spend enough money, someone will think I don't love them," says Portland pastor Rick McKinley. "Christians get all bent out of shape over the fact that someone didn't say 'Merry Christmas' when I walked into the store. But why are we expecting the store to tell our story? That's just ridiculous."
Read the rest of the article here.
The following article was in Saturday's Commercial Appeal. Unfortunately, it's not online, so I decided to post it here.
Neighborhood Church believes that Christmas can [still] change the world and has partnered with the Advent Conspiracy (www.AdventConspiracy.org) to celebrate Christmas by spending less, giving more, worshiping fully and loving all this season.
Neighborhood Church (NC) has partnered with Advent Conspiracy (AC) to help Memphis experience what Christmas is really about (celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and peace and love for each other), and away from what it has become (consumerism).
NC Pastor Robert Grisham says “We’re encouraging one another to get creative and give meaningful, relational gifts this year. Then, the money we save we’re going to give away to those who really need it.
NC is holding events like the “Think Globally, Party Locally” party, where, instead of toasting to our own good health, we’re asking all of our friends to toast to the world’s good health at a rockin’ good party to raise money for global clean water initiatives through Living Water International.
The Advent Conspiracy is a grassroots movement with more than 1,000 churches in 17 countries participating as co-conspirators- with projects as varied as drilling a water well for those who lack access to clean water or simply encouraging congregations to think of meaningful acts of kindness as meaningful gift options to replace traditional gifts.
Last year, through Advent Conspiracy, $3 Million was raised for relief projects which included providing clean water and medical attention in communities around the world.
This year, Advent Conspiracy anticipates that individuals and churches will match last year’s commitment to charitable gifts and will make a lasting impact in communities around the world.
For more information about Advent Conspiracy, please visit: www.adventconspiracy.org.
For more information about Neighborhood Church, please visit www.ncmidtown.com.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
O Come O Come Emmanuel, Sufjan Stevens
Joseph's Lullaby, MercyMe
Winter Snow, Audrey Assad & Chris Tomlin
Last night I arrived around 5:00, armed with my Bible, notebook, laptop, some books, some leftover Chinese food, and some coffee. My goal was to come away with a week by week outline of the series. Last night I read through Luke again, and jotted down more notes. This morning I began the process of compiling those notes. I am thankful that as I prepare to leave this morning, I have an outline of 21 sermons.
The theme for this study is "Christianity: Religion or Revolution?" Jake Fasano has once again designed a visual for us to use.
The series begins next Sunday and will run a few weeks past Easter. I'll continue to post on the study as we go along, but here are some of the resources I'm using.
- The Prodigal God, Tim Keller
- Luke for Everyone, NT Wright
- Jesus in the Margins, Rick McKinley
- This Beautiful Mess, Rick McKinley
- The Myth of a Christian Religion, Greg Boyd
- Money, Possessions & Eternity, Randy Alcorn
- The Politics of Jesus, John Yoder
- ReJesus, Michael Frost & Allen Hirsch
- The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus
Monday, November 23, 2009
Here's the description from the Neiman Marcus catalog:
Put on your matching hat, slip under the muffin top of your Cupcake Car, and let the world figure itself out for awhile. Get (or give) the sheer, joyful chaos of a gift that is mind-blowing, triple-dog-dare, double-infinity forever cool. Make the kids or grandkids literally squeal with joy. Bring it to work and buzz the breakroom. Crash parades! Putter about the 'hood. Ever had a crowd of kids chasing after you just for the crazy gleeful heck of it? (No worries, the top speed is a comfy-safe 7 mph.) What's it made of? A 24-volt electric motor, a heavy-duty battery, sheet metal, wire, fabric, wood…and mad genius.
Be sure to get yours while they last. Only $25,000!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Deuteronomy 8:18 (ESV) You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV) Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 (ESV) For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
Proverbs 6:10-11 (ESV) A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.Proverbs 20:4 (NLT) Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV) "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- Working hard is good.
- Being lazy is bad
- Putting work ahead of everything else in your life will destroy your soul. Learn to Sabbath well.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wondering about Google Wave? Here's Lifehack's first look and best uses, as well as The Complete Guide to Google Wave.
The trailer for my friend Joe's new movie Hitting the Nuts is live.
Five tips for utilizing RSS feeds. I use Google Reader for this task and love it.
Ten ways to cut your energy bills this winter...and not freeze
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
150 of Tim Keller's sermons available for free
Summaries from some of the talks at Catalyst this year
Free ebook on discipleship from Winfield Bevins. I'm printing it out right now and am looking forward to reading it.
Videos from The Nines
Video/audio from the Lead09 Conference featuring Tim Chester and Jonathan Dodson
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009