Hold Me Back

03 Nov 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been listening to Jason Gray’s latest album, Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue, quite a bit these past few weeks. The lyrics of “Hold Me Back” I’ve found particularly compelling. It’s a whole lot more honest than most of the songs I find myself singing these days.

When it’s best that I fail
Don’t let my will prevail
Cause my salvation is
My magnificent defeat

I need you to hold me back
Hold me back
Cause it’s just like me to
Run from the one who loves me

That’s a hard prayer, but it’s one we all need to pray a lot more often than we do.

Categories: Music, Thoughts

The Evolution Of The Geek

21 Oct 2010 Leave a comment

Categories: General

Why I Am Not A Muslim

18 Oct 2010 Leave a comment

Often in my travels there are “local attraction” magazines waiting for me in the hotel room. Most of the time I trash them, but for some reason I leafed through one today. What caught my eye was an interview the magazine did with a local Imam. The following snippet made me ache for this man’s soul:

San Diego Reader: Where do you go when you die?

Imam Taha: I am working very hard in my life to be blessed enough to be granted paradise.

SDR: And what happens if you’re not blessed enough?

IT: I’m not thinking about any other place but paradise. I cannot even think about it. It’s so painful and so hard, even when I think about hell.

I cannot imagine a more destructive concept of eternal life than this viewpoint, one so prevalent I wonder if human beings (certainly Westerners) have a hard-wired susceptibility to the notion. It’s just so terribly logical. Grace makes much less sense, but I’ll happily play the fool.

Categories: Thoughts

I’ve Been Slacking

13 Oct 2010 1 comment

At least with respect to posting here. Shame on me. I guess life just isn’t terribly interesting when it’s lived away from home. I’ve been reading a lot, which has been nice, but I haven’t been writing down meaningful quotes, not because I haven’t read any, but because I’ve been too “into” the stories to stop. This is particularly true of Dune, which I cannot believe I’ve never read before. It’s truly awesome. I was able to jot down the following statement, though, which I found insightful.

The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.

I’m both frightened and excited by what the future holds for my children, especially with regards to technology. Anyone who doesn’t feel the same just isn’t thinking enough.

Speaking of thinking, if you’re a person who cares about being successful, I would highly recommend the blog Little Things Matter. So much of what I’ve tried to say about leadership, communication, email habits, etc. can be found here (in a much more concise and well-expressed form). This particular tidbit really caught my eye:

I have never met anyone who took pride in their work, but not their car.

True or false? I’m interested in hearing your opinion. As of yet I have been unable to think of any counterexamples.

Categories: Books, Quotations

Answers

07 Oct 2010 2 comments

Thanks to everyone who sent me replies. The winner was my favorite Nazarene, Brannon Hancock. Here are the correct answers:

  1. D (Elevate) – I can’t believe no one got this right.
  2. B (60 minutes) – 4 songs, prayer, sermon, closing song. Nice.
  3. B (75 minutes) – And it was this long only because it had a 5 minute coffee break in the middle of it.
  4. A (100 folks) – It was an 8am service, what can you expect?
  5. B (500 folks) – All crammed into a high school auditorium.
  6. D (67%) – Yeah, I barely knew any of the music I sang. And if you exclude one of the services, the percentage goes up to 90% unknown. Interpreting what that means I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader.
  7. D (105dB) – And it was mixed incredibly well. I loved it (just wish I knew the songs!) Incidentally, I’ve had complaints at EBC for sound levels a full 10 dB less than that (i.e. about half the perceived volume).
  8. D (All 3) – Makes me thankful for the folks at EBC who work hard to not make mistakes in this critical piece of Sunday morning ministry.
  9. D (All 3) – No surprise there.
  10. C (2 of 3) – Perhaps I need to show them my tiny rubber band trick.
  11. C (twice) – Really liked the method of serving done at Flood.
  12. D (All 3) – Natch. This is California.

In completely unrelated news, I’m now on my 5th book of the trip. Here’s what I’ve read:

  • Jayber Crow – Wendell Berry (9/10)
  • Sin Boldly – Cathleen Falsani (8/10)
  • Through A Screen Darkly – Jeffrey Overstreet (7/10)
  • The Air I Breathe – Louis Giglio (4/10)
  • Dune – Frank Herbert (in process)

Good times. But I trade them all for a kiss from my wife and a hug from my girls. Thank God for Skype!

Categories: Books, General

Tale Of Three Churches

04 Oct 2010 Leave a comment

I found it immensely enjoyable spending the weekend sampling a few local churches. Admittedly, it can be difficult when visiting a church for the first time to focus on genuine worship instead of doing analysis and critique, especially for a person like me who constantly thinks about church structure and worship service organization. I don’t want to live in the analysis state forever, so in the interest of purging the minutia out of my mind, I present to you Jud’s weekend worship trivia quiz:

  1. Which of the following is NOT the name of one of the three churches I visited this past weekend?
    A. Newbreak
    B. Flood
    C. Green Valley
    D. Elevate
  2. What was the length of the shortest of the three services I attended?
    A. 45 minutes
    B. 60 minutes
    C. 75 minutes
    D. 90 minutes
  3. What was the length of the longest of the three services I attended?
    A. 60 minutes
    B. 75 minutes
    C. 90 minutes
    D. 120 minutes
  4. What was the approximate head count of the smallest service I attended?
    A. 100
    B. 200
    C. 500
    D. 1000
  5. What was the approximate head count of the largest service I attended?
    A. 200
    B. 500
    C. 1000
    D. 5000
  6. Of the 15 or so songs I sung over the course of the weekend, what approximate percentage were ones I’d never heard before?
    A. 7%
    B. 20%
    C. 33%
    D. 67%
  7. During the music, what was the loudest sound pressure level (SPL) I measured from my seat?
    A. 90 dB
    B. 95 dB
    C. 100 dB
    D. 105 dB
  8. How many of the three churches had difficulties with their lyric projection ministry?
    A. Zero
    B. One
    C. Two
    D. Three
  9. How many of the three pastors used headset microphones?
    A. Zero
    B. One
    C. Two
    D. Three
  10. Of those, how many had to fidget with them to keep them in place?
    A. Zero
    B. One
    C. Two
    D. Three
  11. How many times did I take communion this weekend?
    A. Never
    B. Once
    C. Twice
    D. Thrice
  12. At how many churches were flip-flops spotted on stage?
    A. Zero
    B. One
    C. Two
    D. Three

Submit your answers in a comment. The person with the highest score will win a sweet prize (cash value of 10 US dollars, but its value goes far beyond that). Good luck!

Categories: Thoughts

Whoa

04 Oct 2010 Leave a comment

If even a tenth of the world’s Christians were the kind of people who might inspire a non-Christian artist to want to capture or honor or evoke their lives in some way, Christianity would conquer the world.

Is that the kind of life I’m living? Most days it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Categories: Quotations, Thoughts