Monthly Archives: January 2012

Movements of the Spirit

I am on a quest to experience deeper movements of the Holy Spirit in my life right now. Through Him I can have the power to become the man God wants me to be.

Paul writes to the followers of Christ in Corinth, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Hillary and I don’t know exactly what the future looks like for our family. We are seeking God for a job in Denver and a place to lay down roots in a place that really is home for us and the girls. We are taking it day by day knowing that God is along with us to provide. There isn’t a better place to rest. My prayer this morning is that with the power of the Spirit I will move from:

WORRY to

FAITH

DISCOURAGEMENT to

HOPE

SELFISHNESS to

LOVE

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The Information Diet

I have an information addiction. Just ask my wife and kids. It is a struggle for me to put away my phone and focus. I am drawn to the latest tweet, email or blog post. This morning I came across Clay Johnson’s new book The Information Diet. Johnson’s contention is that just like junk food can ruin our personal health and overall society, bad information and its overconsumption has negative effects. The book is next on my reading list. Check out the website for the book here. There is a great list of tools and software to help us on our information diet. I am personally excited to try out Self Control which blocks email and websites for a predetermined time so I can concentrate on one task.

Here’s a video promoting the ideas in The Information Diet.

Internet Piracy and Censorship

Today you will notice something strange on many of the websites that you frequent. Even the main page of WordPress had censorship images on the top blog posts. Today some websites are going dark protesting two bills before Congress, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). These bills are designed to stop the piracy of copyrighted music, movies and television shows. Many in the tech world believe that though piracy needs to be stopped these two bills go too far. Here is a great explanation of the issues by Google.

I was in college during the heyday of Napster and thought it was a little strange that we could get music from the internet without paying for it. At Taylor University we had many discussions about the ethics of Napster and other file sharing services. My sense of justice always kicked into overdrive when fellow Christian students saw no problem with downloading free music illegally. Now almost twelve years later I still see the same lack of ethics in those who are younger. They see no issue with downloading movie or television shows illegally for free.

Hillary and I are currently addicted to the television show White Collar. We could have easily gone to a website and downloaded the shows for free but that went against our beliefs. You pay for the goods and services you consume. So we paid for a season pass on iTunes for the show. We have to wait an extra day to see the show after it airs on television but those who play a role in the show get paid. And it’s legal.

Though PIPA and SOPA go too far in censoring the internet, Congress needs to work with those in the tech world and the entertainment industry to shut down and prosecute those who distribute content illegally.

Here are a couple of videos which explain the potential impact of PIPA and SOPA.

Star Wars Meets Heartlake City: Legos for Girls

Growing up with two brothers in the 1980s in the midst of the space craze, Legos were everywhere in our home. Without a TV in the house, every Saturday morning was spent designing the latest spaceship to Mars or Tatooine.

Now that I am a father of two girls, I had resigned myself to not having Legos around our home. I thought it would just be Barbies and dolls. Boy was I wrong! Randomly our oldest daughter Anna became infatuated with anything Star Wars. Gone were the pinks and purples; blue was now in. With Christmas coming, Anna began to dream of a Star Wars Lego set. I bought her a couple $5 Star Wars Lego sets that Target sells in what I call the “sucker aisle.” That’s the aisle that tempts you as you wait in line and try to keep your kids from touching all the candy. Anna loved playing with the Legos and dreaming up stories as she flew the ships around the house. Read the rest of this entry

Future Belongs to the Curious

The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out. – Skillshare

Skillshare is an innovative community that is driven by the idea that everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Their website has a huge variety of classes in major cities that people can take to learn something new. Definitely worth checking out if you live in a major US city.

Listening to the Spirit through Transition

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).

Since the start of 2012, I have been going through a 14 Days on the Holy Spirit reading plan from Examen.me. Growing up in non-charismatic churches, I heard about the Holy Spirit on occasion but it was never really emphasized. Then in my first ministry position at a dispensational church, experiential manifestations of the Holy Spirit were for a different era in church history and not for our times.

As I met with a counselor/spiritual director this fall, he helped me realize that I needed to desire God with my whole being. It wasn’t just a mental pursuit but a holistic, experiential pursuit of God. The more I thought and prayed I realized that part of what I might be missing was experiencing and listening to the Holy Spirit. As of yet, I don’t know what this means exactly but I am pursuing the Holy Spirit and what the writers of Scripture tell about him. Most of all I am asking the Spirit to show himself to me and speak his truth into my heart and soul. Read the rest of this entry

12 Movies to Watch in 2012

2012 looks to be a great year for movies unless the Mayans are right and the world ends. Since it’s 2012, here are twelve movies to watch, one for each month:

Red Tails – January

Safe House – February

The Hunger Games  – March

The Five Year Engagement – April

The Avengers – May

Snow White and the Huntsman – June

The Dark Knight Rises – July

The Bourne Legacy  – August

No trailer yet but learn more about the next movie in the Bourne series starring Jeremy Renner here

Argo – September

No trailer yet but this story about a CIA agent trying to save six Americans during the Iranian revolution sounds good. Ben Affleck stars and directs this thriller.

Gangster Squad – October

Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling star in this movie about the LAPD attempting to keep the Mafia out of LA in the 40s and 50s. Read more here.

Skyfall – November

Daniel Craig returns to his role as James Bond and the creepy Javier Bardem plays the villain. Find out more here.

The Hobbit – December

2011 in Review: Books, Music, Movies and Television

This being the time of the year when we reflect on the past year in the rear view mirror, I thought I would reflect on my favorite media choices.

Books

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – Having worked for Apple Retail and hearing stories of what it was like to cross paths with Steve, I was excited to read what he was really like. He was a flawed human being like all of us but in spite of those flaws he was a relentless genius.
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – I just devoured this trilogy over the holidays. It tells the story of Katniss, who is an angst teenage girl who is thrust into the spotlight of competing for her life in a post-apocalyptic world. I can’t wait for the first movie in the series coming out in March.
  • Weird by Craig Groeschel – Hillary and I love Craig’s honest, practical and biblical wisdom. This book was no exception. In Weird Craig challenges Christians to go against the lifestyles of those around us and live like Christ even if it means being weird.
  • The Restless Heart by Ronald Rolheiser – My counselor recommended anything by Rolheiser and this book was definitely thought provoking and soul stirring. Rolheiser dives deep into explaining the soul stirrings that we all have to connect with others and ultimately God.

Music

I’m only including full albums because I firmly believe that artists should be judged by their full albums not just one catchy song that gets radio play.

  • Gungor (Ghosts Upon the Earth) – by far the most innovative and beautiful worship music I have heard in a long time
  • Civil Wars (Barton Hollow) – a group that features a former CCM artist and a Johnny Depp look alike just has to be good
  • Mumford and Sons (Sigh No More) – thanks to Spotify I haven’t had to buy this album yet but once I get the cash I’m springing for it
  • Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto) – the song Paradise is so addictive I keep coming back again and again to listen to the full album
  • The National (High Violet) – The National is my soundtrack for deep thought moments while I drink coffee

Movies

  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – you can’t go wrong with former Pixar director Brad Bird in charge of this movie
  • The Way – Emilio Estevez’s beautiful description of the spiritual journey is well worth seeing
  • I Am – Tom Shadyac’s documentary journey of finding out what’s wrong with our world and how we can fix it
  • The Beaver – I love stories of redemption and this one had an interesting connection to the real world as Mel Gibson played the role of a depressed man trying to find himself
  • Ides of March – this rather depressing and hopeless take on politics played into my current view of selfish, people pleasing politicians who deserve to be unemployed

Television

  • White Collar – my brother-in-law works on the show and we love the intrigue and team dynamics of this show about a FBI agent and “former” white collar criminal working together to solve crimes
  • Parenthood – though Sarah Braverman annoys the heck out of me and I play with my iPhone during scenes with her in it, Hillary and I still love the family dynamics and raw emotion of this show
  • Friday Night Lights – we miss our favorite coach and long for the small town life of Dillon
  • Modern Family – we are in danger of giving up on this show as most of the characters are venturing toward the extremes of their archtypes