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Monthly Archives: July 2007

Music review Tuesday

This week I am reviewing a release that is not so new to some of you but is new to me. IUs and Them have only recently discovered the Southern hard rock band known as Shinedown. The band mostly hails from Jacksonville, Florida (lead singer Brent Smith is from Knoxville, TN) the city that was put on the rock and roll map by the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Shinedown was formed in 2001 and came together using diverse influences such as Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Otis Redding. The Redding influence came from lead singer Brent Smith after his dad purchased him an Otis Redding box set. Smith became engrossed in the soulful emotion that he discovered in Redding and other Motown influences. This influence, I believe is what sets Shinedown apart from their hard rock peers.

Shinedown’s newest release is not so new. “Us and Them” was released October 4th of 2005. It is their sophomore follow up to the very popular debut album “Leave a Whisper”. I have read many reviews since listening through the album for the first time and I agree with many of them. But many of the reviewers state disappointment in this new release expecting the full bore rock sound of their debut album. Maybe I was a bit advantaged by having only recently discovered Shinedown and then listening to both albums sort of back to back. I can see the progression of the bands taste and influences from “Whisper…” to “Us and Them”, and I really like the progression and the diverseness of each of the songs. You can tell that they enjoy reinventing themselves.

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Posted by on July 31, 2007 in Music Review, Shinedown, Us And Them

 

Jonathan Edwards on music

Jonathan EdwardsNow it’s time for a quote from:

Jonathan Edwards:

The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2007 in Jonathan Edwards, Music, quotes

 

Learning humilty through sarcasm and irony

Have you ever learned anything through someone’s use of humility by Chad Pollpetersarcasm or irony? I know I have. Some of the lessons I learned well I learned this way. Mind you I didn’t like it but it was a lesson learned. Learning through this method provokes an emotional response and engages the mind to think about something from an alternative angle. This method is used to teach the reader critical elements of the south in the 1950’s and 60’s through the fictional novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, considered one of the best books in American fiction.

The apostle Paul uses the method of sarcasm and irony to teach the Corinthian church humility in 1 Corinthians 4:6-13. I am currently reading though 1 and 2 Corinthians in my scripture reading, and when I encountered these few verses in 1 Cor. chapter 4 I was a bit confused at first. I then remembered how my own senior pastor sometimes uses sarcasm to drive home points in his sermons. Using this method the passage was made very clear.

Paul is teaching the Corinthian church not to be puffed up or proud by favoring one member over another. He is making it clear to the Corinthians that he is well aware of their wealth and riches. But this position of wealth and status was causing pride in the local church. The stinging sarcasm comes in verse 8 by writing:

Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you.

Ouch! He contrasts their attitude and position with that of the apostles, including himself, beginning in verse 9. Paul goes on to write that he does not write these things to shame them but to admonish them as beloved children. Webster’s dictionary defines admonish this way:

to express warning or disapproval to, especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner.

I believe that is the attitude of Paul toward the Corinthians. The Corinthians did not recognize that everything they had was a gift of grace from God. By recognizing and acknowledging that you actually have nothing. That anything you do have, you have received by God’s grace. Understanding this truth can have a truly humbling effect on how you live your life. I believe this is what Paul is trying to get across to the Corinthian church. It is a lesson we all need to learn.

Check out this sermon by C. J. Mahaney as an additional reference on these verses. It is excellent.

Deflating the Puffed Up Church

Artist Link

 

Music review Tuesday

Today’s music review is quite a change from the music I have been reviewing. It is a refreshing change none-the-less. Colbie Caillat is an American singer/songwriter from Malibu. She has been labeled a folk singer but I think the music she writes and performs is much more. Maybe it’s just me but when I think of folk singer my mind drifts to folks like Joan Baez, or Bob Dylan. Although these are great artists the content of their music is serious or even dark at times. After listening through Colbie’s debut album the first time I see some depth in the lyrics but they are mostly personal light-hearted thoughts put to music. It’s kind of like observing a stream flowing over rocks while someone almost breathlessly sings about their thoughts and dreams. I was trying to remember who Colbie reminds me of when I first heard her music and this morning I remembered. She reminds me of Edie Brickell, of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. You may remember the song “What I Am” from the late eighties. Brickell is married to Paul Simon.

Coco is the title of Colbie Caillat’s debut album. Released July 17th, 2007. The title refers to the nickname given to her by her parents when she was an infant and has since stuck. The album begins with a song called “Oxygen”, which is about a young woman expressing a desire to be with a young man that leaves her needing oxygen. Ok I can not relate to the song on a personal level but I do have a young daughter and I am starting to understand. “The Little Things” is pretty much the same the same content. I do enjoy the way she repeats the words to express a thought. The next track “One Fine Wire” is about something we all can relate to. How often do we try to find a balance while juggling many thoughts going through our head? The song flows so easily I could listen and relate every time. “Bubbly” is the most popular song to date on the album. It is such a feel good song lyrically and musically. How can you go wrong with a chorus like:

It starts in my toes
makes me crinkle my nose
where ever it goes I always know
that you make me smile
please stay for a while now
just take your time
where ever you go

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Posted by on July 24, 2007 in Coco, Colbie Caillat, Music Review

 

I pulled it off …. sort of

This past Saturday we celebrated my wife’s 50th birthday. Yes, Robin is older than me but don’t let on that you know it. I started planning for this party weeks ago and was able to keep her from finding out about it until the very day of the party. It is a feat to be sure. Keeping a secret from my wife is like trying to keep the paparazzi away from Lindsay Lohan, impossible, but I pulled it off…. sort of.

As the day of the party approached I was finding it difficult logistically to get Robin to the party without letting her in on it. We live about 30 minutes from Omaha and most of our friends which are mostly folks we have met from our local church and previous church. In order to get a good turn out to her party I needed to find a place to party locally. My mother-in-law graciously scheduled for us to use the clubhouse of the apartments she lives in which is closer for everyone I had invited. Now I just needed to get Robin to it. Unfortunately my pea brain could not come up with a believable excuse to get my wife to her mom’s clubhouse for the party. So, the morning of the day of the party I approached Robin with a dilemma that I had. It was a bit comical to see me trying to come up with the right words to let her know of my problem and her trying to figure out what was wrong and growing more concerned the more I hemmed and hawed. I finally blurted it out and much to her relief she smiled and then laughed. She could not believe I kept this from her for so long without any suspicions what-so-ever.

The party was a great success and she was indeed honored by it, which was goal. My intention was for the party to be a celebration of her birthday so I used bright colored decorations and a brightly decorated cake. I wanted to stay away from the traditional dirge, you’re getting old, style of birthday party. I think that was appreciated. Many of the folks I had invited came. It was good to see some friends that we had not seen in quite awhile. God is awesome and His grace was evident with the success of the celebration.

Her official birth date is July 25th, so if you are reading this please take the time to go to her blog site here and wish her a happy birthday. 

Thank you.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2007 in 50th Birthday, marriage, party, Personal, Robin

 

Anti-worship

On Sunday morning my pastor, Patrick Abendroth, has been doing a series on worship.Neyland Stadium The first three parts centered on what worship is. The fourth and fifth installments focus on the often controversial topic of music in worship. Last week Pat pointed out six of the twelve misconceptions of musical worship. The misconception point I particularly liked was number 5, “Loud Music is Unbiblical.” He pointed to passages such as Psalm 95, and Psalm 98:4, and 2 Chronicles 30:21 which states:

The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread {for} seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day after day with loud instruments to the LORD.

I liked this because I usually like my music loud, with drums and electric guitars. The misconception is that worship music should be somber and suppressed. I know as Reformers and Calvinists we are known for theology and doctrine but not emotion. What’s wrong with a little emotion? What’s wrong WITH A LOT OF EMOTION! Pastor Pat did ask a humbling question. Do we worship God like we do in the stadiums on Saturday’s in the fall of the year? You know…college football. (There were many Nebraska Husker fans including myself in attendance) Yes, we do get loud for that. I would like to turn that a bit. I would like to state that what might actually be going on in front of the televisions, or in the stands, is anti-worship. Anti-worship at least where God is concerned. What is anti-worship? I would contend it is idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of something other than almighty God. When we put other things before God it is idolatry. We should be concerned with the worship of God alone. Because worship does matter. It matters to God.

The audio for the Worship Matters series can be found on this audio page.

I found a brief video from Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church that refers to what I am talking about as anti-worship or idolatry. It’s only a couple of minutes long. Check it out.

 
 

All are yours!

One of the things that used to frustrate me was to read or Oppositionhear some theology promoted by a respected bible scholar that differed from a theology I had called my own. I would attend a conference and hear something from one scholar and compare it to something I heard or read by another. Why do they have to differ on things? Why can’t they all agree on everything? Do we take sides and oppose those who do not agree with a certain theology? Now I am only talking about secondary theological issues. For example I am not talking about a comparison of someone who believes in the Trinity and someone who does not. The one who does not believe in the Trinity should be opposed because it completely undermines the teaching of scripture. I am writing more about the differences such as amillennial vs. pre-millennial, or a non-cessationist vs. a cessationist.

I am reading through 1 Corinthians and Paul addresses this latter kind of opposition in the church in 1 Corinthians chapter 3. He starts out by addressing the issue of those in the Corinthian church who support the teaching of one apostle like Paul and oppose the teaching of another such as Cephas or Peter. What was happening in the church was Paul would come and teach and evangelize the church and then he would be gone. Then someone else like Apollos would come along and teach with a differing style or pet theology, much like those scholars mentioned above, and the members would create a source of opposition to those who followed the personal teaching of Paul. Paul is writing here to rebuke this opposition in the church. In verses 21-23 of the same chapter Paul encourages the church by writing this:

21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

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