Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Hard Being Chris Martin

Coldplay is my favorite band. They have been #1 for me ever since I first saw them in concert and totally rocked my musical world. Not only is their music solid and creative, but their charismatic frontman, Chris Martin, is in my opinion one of the greatest musical entertainers around. Many people think he is extremely weird and goofy onstage, but I flat out disagree. He brings a realness that makes you feel like you are getting the real deal - the real Chris, not a show. His personality shines through his music and it is obvious that he loves what he does.

Nevertheless, its hard to follow in his footsteps. This weekend at Third Format I sang LOST!, a song from their new album, Viva La Vida or Death and all His Friends. Putting away my guitar and singing without it is a hard thing for me to do. It is kind of like my security blanket so-to-speak. On top of that, it is a Coldplay song so you have Chris Martin's energy and charisma as the bar. I probably watched 20 or so videos on youtube trying to capture a fraction of the pizzaz that he possesses. Now, my goal was not to copy him and be some sort of Chris Martin "wannabe." Instead, I wanted to do my very best to make the song as enjoyable as it's original creator makes it.

The song went alright and I was mostly satisfied. I still felt slightly uncomfortable without my guitar, but thats ok. It's just like anything else in life. You have to keep trying even if you fail, then eventually you will grow and get better. All in all, it was a good challenge and a fun song to perform. If you want to see Chris in action performing it, watch the video below.

PS. A review of their new album is coming soon. It is awesome!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Legend of Hood

I absolutely love reading fiction books. I mean, who doesn't love a great story that draws you in as you get lost in the adventure? A few years ago one of my professors, Dr. Baloian, recommended a book called, Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead. Intrigued, I read it and it immediately became my favorite fiction book (One of the easiest ways to judge how good a fiction book is that you have to keep reading to find out what happens). Its about an Irish monk named Aidan, who sets out on a journey to Constantinople to deliver an important manuscript to the Byzantine Emperor. Aidan experiences many trials and through his unfortunate circumstances he loses His faith in God. God, however, does not give up on him, but rather floods Aidan's life with grace, compeling him to rekindle his faith.

Since Byzantium I have read other books by Lawhead that have just been alright. One that I was extremely excited about was Hood. I just finished it last week, but was sorely disappointed with it. It is the first book in a trilogy that gives a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood. I have always loved the story of Robin Hood, yet Lawhead's story is lacking good action. It is mostly filled with character development. In other words, this book was hard NOT to put down and I had to push through it. I was really bummed with this book and I seriously doubt I will be finishing the trilogy.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NOOMA She | 21 Rob Bell

I don't know if you know what NOOMA videos are, but the newest one is now out. You can watch it until tomorrow at 9am for free on facebook. NOOMA videos are 10-13 minute teaching videos by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Michigan. He is one of my favorite preachers/authors.

To watch it, click here

This one is dedicated to all the mothers out there. What would we do with out their compassion, their love and their deep care? Thanks Mom! :-) And how much more is the love of our God who cares for us like a mother to her children? What an awesome God we have!

I hope you enjoy this video. Hurry and watch it before tomorrow!

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Saturday, August 16, 2008


In this busy, chaotic, fast-paced world we live in I am reminded of the dire need for the discipline of solitude. Though we find it hard to be alone and away from matters that keep us occupied, it is in that place that God can intimately shape us. Solitude can be the best remedy for the weary soul.

"In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken, nothing." - Henri Nouwen

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Monday, August 11, 2008

The Language of God

This past April the 3F team went to the Q Conference in New York City. One of the presenters was a scientist named Francis Collins. Collins was formerly the director of the Human Genome Project, but now has resigned on August 1st to pursue writing and other opportunities. After hearing Collins talk about evolution and how it fits into God's plan of Creation, I knew I had to read His book called The Language of God to hear this heretical idea.

The Language of God is Collin’s argument that science and faith are compatible and complimentary to each other. For hundreds and hundreds of years the debate of science vs. belief has been met with extreme contention. Through historical evidence, scientific data, and some supernatural mystery, Collins attempts to bridge the gap.

I was blown away by some of the things I learned about evolution and biology. I willingly admit that this was a tough read and that a significant amount of the scientific data went right over my head. Nevertheless, the information I was able to grab a hold of was extremely insightful.

The biggest intellectual transformation for me was my view of evolution. I used to think that this was a naughty word. Growing up as a Christian I was taught that evolution was an atheistic theory to prove that God does not exist. It is true that many people hold to this strong of a view. However, there is a more balanced view of evolution, which Collins lays out in this book. Collins claims that God is indeed the Divine Creator, yet somehow in His own infinite way He uses the process of evolution within his plan of creation.

I learned so much about how the scientific world works and how theories like evolution have evolved (no pun intended ☺). This book has opened my eyes and has burst my “Christian Creationist bubble.” I feel enlightened, really confused, somewhat frustrated, but most of all reassured that there is a Divine Creator who is so powerful and far beyond my understanding.

I did not agree with a lot of Collins views by any means, but it did open my eyes to the science world. Some of the scientific evidence simply cannot be ignored, even when it contradicts Christian tradition. Ultimately, there is no way to prove many of the things that science claims. Though scientists try to have "everything" figured out, no one can comprehend the mind of God - not even close. He must laugh at some of the "theories" and "facts" we come up with.

Here are some interesting things Collins says in his book that I wrestled with:
- The universe was created with the Big Bang approximately 14 billion years ago
- The Earth came into existence approximated 4.5 billion years ago
- Homo Sapiens start showing up around 500 million years ago (I don't quite know what to do with the fossil records)
- Human beings evolved from apes and share a common ancestor with Chimpanzees (yeah right!)

If you are interested in some of this scientific stuff, here are some links that will help you in your journey:

God and Science
Human Genome Project
Theory of Evolution
Reasons to Believe
The Hubble Site

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Two Books Worth a Read

I recently read two works of fiction that were simply "can't put it down" reads. I would recommend that all followers of Christ read these books. They bring such a fresh perspective to life, love, and relationship to God.

The first book is called The Shack. This is about a guy named Mac who has been plagued with a few traumatic circumstances. Because of this, he finds himself having a supernatural experience that will leave him changed forever.

The thing I appreciate most about this book is that it deals with real life issues. It also addresses many misconceptions about Christianity. Through Mac's weekend away at a shack, he has an encounter with God and is forced to face a past that is filled with guilt, fear and plenty of doubt. I give this book a 5 out of 5!

You can even get a free copy of the book at

The second book is called Redeeming Love. It takes place in the late 1800's and is a loose retelling of the book of Hosea in the Bible. It's technically a romance novel, but I didn't know that going into it :-)

What would you do if God asked you to marry a prostitute? This story will send you on a roller coaster of emotions. The thing I appreciate about this book is how it captures God's heart for His people. I give this book a 5 out of 5 too!

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