“Outreach and the Artist” is an excellent primer on the important intersection of the arts (as a whole) and the Christian faith. Author Con Campbell, as both an accomplished jazz musician and minister of the gospel, speaks from the heart of both communities and allows us to catch a glimpse of the importance and necessity to recognize our place in outreach and the lives of the creatives in our churches and towns.
The book is not so much a “how to” as it is a “why to”, helping the reader to understand the differences between outreach through the arts, by the arts and to the arts. Con does not attempt to instruct on how to handle each method for each different type of art form, but provides a good overview of each perspective and how we might be able to recognize ministry opportunities in them. He does a good job of highlighting the pros and cons of each perspective, while maintaining a level of readability and story telling that keeps the reader engaged.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is a creative or artist, that seeks to find that proper balance between faith and the arts. This book will help you understand the struggle and provide you with the proper set of spectacles to see things clearly.
Check out more on the book at: http://zondervan.com/9780310494966
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com
In the book “Jesus Is __”, author and pastor Judah Smith sheds light on the person and character of Jesus Christ in a very personable and humorous manner, always treating the topics of each chapter with a level of wit and seriousness that one would not expect in a book so ubiquitously titled. The book could have gone in many different directions, but as a reader, I was very appreciative of his liberal use of scripture, personal illustrations, and story based approach in telling us in his own words who Jesus is.
The book is a quick read, but not because of its length. The stories and writing style of Judah draw you in very easily, and it makes it very difficult to put the book down from chapter to chapter. While the book is titled “Jesus Is __”, I found myself understanding and realizing more about myself and my relationship with Christ as much as I did learning about the person of Jesus Christ. The two cannot be separated very easily at all, and Judah reminds us that we find our true selves only as we draw closer in our relationship to Christ, and realize just how much He truly loves us.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
A few years ago, I came across a fascinating study indicating that we stop thinking about the lyrics of songs after singing them thirty times. I’m sure the numbers vary a bit from person to person, but the tendency is universal. And it has profound implications when it comes to worship. If we aren’t careful, we aren’t really worshiping God; we’re just lip-synching. In fact, the lyrics can get in the way of genuinely expressing to God our own thoughts, our own feelings.
(From Day 29 – A New Prayer, p.160-1, Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson)
- Just A Little Talk With Jesus (Traditional)
- Awake My Soul (Chris Tomlin)
- 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman)
- Sweet Hour of Prayer (Traditional)
See what other churches are doing at The Worship Community: http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/sunday-setlists-246
In “Draw The Circle”, Mark Batterson draws from his work on “The Circle Maker”, and weaves in stories and devotions in the form of a 40 day devotional. Each day contains enough meat to keep you coming back to the table, without being over filling. If you have read “The Circle Maker”, you will enjoy this devotional immensely. If you have not, this book stands up well on it’s own.
If you are looking for some new music to check out, and you enjoy great sing-songwriter acoustic stuff, give my pal Andy Roy a listen. He is one of those talented guys that writes his own stuff, sings other people’s songs better than they do, and still has time to given fashion tips to up and coming worship leaders (ok, at least the first two are true).
He recently released an EP with six original songs, and here is what he has to say about it: “The Demo Sessions is honest and really brings the songs from the stage to the studio. These six songs were recorded live in various locations with no click tracks, no overdubs, and no autotune! This is as real as it gets and I could not be more proud to share these songs with you.”
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down in the studio with Kurt Myers, radio DJ at one of our local Christian radio stations WBFJ. He asked me some questions about when I started playing and singing, and took some time to talk about an album I recorded a while back, titled “Solo“.
The link for the “show” is below, and is only a few minutes long. Give it a listen and leave any thoughts in the comments below. You can also check out the full length, unedited interview on the same page.
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I came across this song last night when I was planning for this upcoming Sunday’s worship set. I think this version really captures the true “worship-ability” of a song like this, and that presents a truth about God we can really hold on to. Watch it and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Today will mark the end of my fifth week in the Spring 2013 semester at Wesley Seminary. These last few weeks have flown by, and I have a couple of observations I would like to share as I reflect back on them.
1. Seminary is hard. The assignments taken individually may not be daunting, but when you have three courses (congregational leadership, Wesleyan history and spiritual formation), and each course has multiple assignments due at any given time, it can add up fast.
2. Seminary is practical. I have learned more in these few weeks that I can apply in my own ministry and share with my own church than any time in my life before. The courses at Wesley Seminary are certainly worth the time and effort for this reason alone, if no other.
3. Seminary is amazing. I have met some of the most amazing fellow students and professors through this program, and even struck up conversations with folks here at home when I wear an IWU or Wesley Seminary hoodie. You might be able to learn a lot from reading books, but you cannot put a price on relationships and networking.
I know there is much more to my seminary journey, in both time and education, but if this is any indication of how things will go, I look forward to seeing what God has in store!
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
In his new book “Who Do You Think You Are?” Mark Driscoll uses Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as a framework for developing a Christian view of who we are in Christ, and how we find our identity in Him. He uses the entire book of Ephesians and develops a total of fifteen “I am” statements that act as markers throughout the scripture passage.
I found the book to be very engaging, with a good mix of personal stories, stories from church members and scriptural insights. The book may not have paved any new ground in exploring Ephesians, but it is presented in an engaging way and in an easy to read format. There is plenty of deeper theological meat mixed in with some of the more low lying fruit, but that makes the book more accessible to a wider audience. My only complaint about the book is that it seems to be almost too comprehensive, and does not make any real breakthroughs in presentation. The material is good, but at times reads like a collection of sermons in book form, with some stories and illustrations thrown in to fill up the page count. The same material could have been presented in a similar fashion, but condensed down into a more manageable page count and still been just as effective.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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