Monthly Archives: May 2007

Good Music, part 1

I’ve been listening to some good music lately, and thought I’d blog a bit about it. There are 3 CDs in particular that I’ve been appreciating lately…here’s the first one:

susanashton.jpeg
When I was in early high school, there was a little Christian cassette tape library in the youth room at my church. One of the first tapes I borrowed from it was Susan Ashton’s self-titled album…and I was mesmerized. I thought she had the most beautiful voice I’d ever heard – so clear, pure and expressive. The songs were both memorable and singable (though I never really liked singing along with it – I knew my voice was no match against hers!). It’s also very country-ish, which I secretly liked. I kept that tape for a long time before reluctantly returning it to the library. 🙂 Since then, I’ve managed to collect the rest of her CDs over the years, but that one always remained my favorite — since it’s not exactly easy to come by anymore, though, I never managed to get it. Well, recently I finally got ahold of the CD, and have had it playing in my car. Sure enough, I’m still mesmerized. 🙂 It’s a great album. It has a certain “timeless” quality to it, and her vocals combined with the lyrics (penned by Wayne Kirkpatrick…a veteran producer in the Christian industry and, in my opinion, a genius lyricist) make for some incredible songs. Kirkpatrick has a way of writing songs that are both poetic and didactic — full of good theology that is easy to interpret, but not in a cheesy “in your face” way.

One of my favorite songs is “Summer Solstice” – here’s a sample of the chorus lyrics:

“So can you throw your arms around me and walk me home?/
I’ve wandered off, way too far for way too long/
Standing broken in this wilderness of shame/ I have found my only strength is in your name/
Oh Father, please can you undo what I’ve done/
And get me back to square one?”

My other favorite song is called “There is a Line”. I like the second verse:

“Ask the ocean where the water meets the land/
He will tell you it depends on where you stand/
That you’re neither right or wrong/
But in the regions of the soul that won’t ring true/
‘Cause truth is more than an imposing point of view/
It rises above the changing tide/
As sure as the morning sky/

Within the scheme of things, well I know where I stand/
My convictions they define who I am/
Some move the boundaries at any cost/
But there is a line I will not cross”.

Good stuff!

Closing One Chapter, Opening Another…

Well, it’s official: after over 7.5 years, I am no longer an employee of the bookstore! My last day was on Wednesday…truly a bizarre day. The best way I can think of to describe it was “anti-climactic”. It’s funny how over the years you work for a company, you always sort of wonder (and have this vague picture) of how it will end…what your last day there will be like. The reality, however, was that it’s just another day. And then you’re done. Moving on. I admit, it was a bit of a harsh reality at first, but it’s already starting to soften as I realize that there is much from my time there that I will still carry with me (some good friendships and many lessons of all shapes & sizes), and also as I set my eyes on what’s next: summertime! Time to prepare for the baby! Time to better care for our home! Maybe even some time to actually work on music (while I can still hold a guitar, that is :)). A chapter closing is a weird thing – but a chapter opening is fresh and exciting.

A Dangerous Orthodoxy

For the past year or so, I have found myself growing increasingly fascinated (and, correspondingly, alarmed) by much of the post-modern, Emergent movement. It’s a fascination that I can’t quite explain…in other words, I’m not exactly sure what God wants me to do with it. I’m no expert in theology, nor am I anywhere close to being the most articulate writer or speaker. All I know is that I feel like God has placed this issue on my heart, with a burden to encourage us all to use greater discernment as we examine much of what it is proposing. It is because of this burden that I decided to read “A Generous Orthodoxy” by Brian McLaren – considered by many to be a (if not THE) founding father of the “emerging church” movement. I wanted to gain a better understanding of where he is coming from and what he believes…

…what I read shocked me.

Before I continue (even though I don’t have much left to say other than to link you to a well-written review of the book :))…if you are someone who is a fan of McLaren’s or of the post-modern movement (and I am pretty sure some who are reading this are), I am truly not trying to offend you by being so “harsh” about it all. I simply find myself with a growing concern that perhaps in the church we are not as discerning as we should be. We need to always, always, ALWAYS be asking ourselves “What does the Bible say?”, weighing anything that is taught by man against it. This book causes me great concern that maybe we, as the Church, are not emphasizing this need as we should be.

With that I continue…

Confusion. Disbelief. Anger. These are just 3 of the emotions that swirled together within me as I read “A Generous Orthodoxy”.
I could try to critique this book here, but the reality is that I wouldn’t even know where to start. Thankfully, Challies has posted a review that says it much better than I ever could — and perhaps will help you understand why this book (and the post-modern movement it represents, if only in part) alarms me so much. I encourage you to read it here: http://www.challies.com/archives/000712.php

Thoughts?

Long Time No Blog

Well, it has been awhile since I’ve posted anything here! Life has been good. The pregnancy has been going very well. We had our “post-ultrasound” appointment last week, and everything is looking good, which we are so grateful for! We are 23 weeks today! Beeper continues to make his presence known. What a miracle it is to have this baby growing inside of me! It is, in a sense, rather freakish and “alieny”, as some have put it 🙂 — but in a greater sense I am very aware and in awe of the miracle that it is. It can be uncomfortable and “inconvenient” at times, but I know that not too far down the road I will be longing for the days when my baby boy was growing inside of me. This is the closest we will ever be, so I’m trying to treasure it. 🙂

Life is good outside of that, as well. Mark is looking forward to finishing out another schoolyear. As for me, this coming week will mark a “life change”, as Wednesday will be my last day at the bookstore – after 7.5 years there! Truly a bittersweet thing. Over the past few months, several different factors (the pregnancy being the over-arching one) have caused working there to be increasingly challenging and somewhat stressful. While I have made many friends and adore so many of the people working there, it just seemed that it was “time” to move on. So it will be an interesting week.

Anyway, I’ve got a few other blog topics that are “perculating” right now, so this may not be my only post of the evening (or maybe it will be :)). We shall see…

Keep Your Eye on the Green Subtitles