The Speckled Mind

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good Music Thursday: Volume 2

Let's see a show of hands. Who is way too busy right now?

**Raises hand and grunts "oooh, oooh" in second grader 'I have to go to pee' style**

You too, huh?

Well, even busy-ness is no excuse to pass on good, free music. Thus, I bring you Volume 2 of my (hopefully) ongoing series 'Good Music Thursday.'

Derek Webb sang with Caedmon's Call for over a decade, but decided to leave the band after its (excellent) 2003 release Back Home. By all accounts, it was a friendly split caused completely by artistic differences rather than bad band chemistry. Derek quickly became the musical voice of progressive Christianity championed by folks like Donald Miller and Shane Claiborne. Derek's lyrics pull no punches on subjects such as:
  • Evangelicalism's unhealthy alignment with the Republican party
  • Jesus' commitment to the poor and his hope that his followers would be likewise committed
  • The correct Christian role in war discussions
  • The Church's wrong desire to live by the Law rather than the Spirit
A prophet? A heretic? You be the judge. Right now, you can download Derek's new album "Mockingbird" in its entirety for free. Just click here or on the banner above. The tracks are yours to keep, forever at no cost. This is a very intersting move for an artist, and I would encourage you to check out why Derek decided to do this. One of his reasons was to promote discussion amongst churches, small groups, etc. I would love to know what some of you think about what Derek has to say.

Happy Thursday, Speckled Mind readers. And remember--life is too short to listen to bad music.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Good Music Thursday: Volume 1

I'm going to try to be a bit more thematic with my blogging this fall. Thursday seems like a good day to talk music, agreed? Alright, it's official. Thursday shall be the day when all my music snobbery comes to the foreground and I go on and on about artists of whom you may never have heard...or may never care to hear.

Hey, if a guy can't be a music snob, what is he supposed to do with his music degree?

Actually the idea for this kind of blog came about after talking with a few of my friends about music. I frequently get asked if I will write down/email them what I've been listening to. Well (Brad), now you have it in the immortal annals of Al Gore's precious gift to us.

Ok, where were we. Ah yes, music. How about something free for Volume 1? Thought that might catch your interest.

Listening to the KCRW Top Tune podcast has quickly become one of my favorite daily rituals--right up there with coffee and fantasy baseball. Through this free (did I mention it was free?) podcast I've discovered some great new (to me) artists including: Cibelle, Lisa Germano and Devics. KCRW also does a great job of following well known artists with new stuff on the horizon such as: Pete Yorn, Ani Difranco, Sigur Ros and My Morning Jacket. The track by Ani Difranco alone is worth the two seconds it will take you to subscribe to this podcast. Try it. You'll like it.

Happy Thursday, Speckled Mind readers. And remember--life is too short to listen to bad music.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

To Do List: 1. Pray More

There was a night of prayer at Hope last night, and about 25 people attended to pray for the coming year--for Hope, Hiawatha and our missionaries here and abroad.

Now, I've never been good at prayer. In its simplicity, it still remains one of the most mysterious aspects of the Christian faith to me. I know the pat answers--we pray to further our relationship with the Father. Simple communication with the Creator.

I get that.

How/if our prayers move God to action, however, is a topic for which I have no pat answers. The interplay of sovereign foreknowledge and divinely motivated intervention is something that I don't pretend to understand. One thing I know for sure, though, is the importance of praying for Hiawatha Church as they begin doing ministry in South Minneapolis.

As I sit in the Riverview Cafe this morning, I can't help but be nervous/excited/awed by the task facing the leadership of Hiawatha church. Even now, two women are having a discussion behind me about the benefits of universalism and that it is nearly identical to Christianity. One of them has a book entitled Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions laying open on the table. A man across the room is reading a bit of Marx with his morning coffee. Hiawatha Church--welcome to your Athens.

Please join me in continual prayer for Hiawatha Church as they proclaim the love and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to a community that is 'very religious in every way'.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Burning Up on Re-entry?

After one has been away for so long, is there really a wrong direction to go?

Maybe so.

I guess this post will be the determining factor.

For those who had the patience to wait out the month I've been away, thank you for still checking in occasionally. This place has more cobwebs than John Kerry's campaign headquarters--a situation I hope to rectify soon. Not Kerry's campaign...I think that's officially dead. I hope to revive this blog by bringing it back to the height of its former greatness..

er...I mean tolerableness


Perhaps I'll just shoot for a pleasant way to waste five of your minutes. You didn't have anything better to do anyway, right? Would you be reading this if you did?

OK. That was all very silly. I will try to be more serious. Here goes: I vow to blog at least twice a week this semester starting now. And by 'vow', of course I mean 'do my best'. And by 'do my best', of course, I mean 'will likely fail at accomplishing but please continue to frequent this corner of the blogosphere anyway'. I hope that is sufficiently clear. If not, clear, at least translucent. If it was opaque, I suggest a hacksaw.

This is what happens when I view a Monty Python clip before 10:00 a.m. At least I'm back, right?