Random Notes From What I’m Reading

The story of my life is the story of my faith…

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Romans 12:9-21

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Love from the center of who you are, don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil, hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply, practice playing second fiddle.

Don’t burn out, keep yourself fueled and aflame. be alert servents of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our scripture tells us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you, get the best of evil by doing good.

Romans 12:9-21 in The Message

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Written by Ryan

August 24, 2008 at 7:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

I Try To Listen…

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“I try to listen for God’s voice inside me, but my sense of discernment tends to be ever so slightly muddled. When God wants to get my attention, She clears Her throat a number of times, trying to get me to look up, or inward – and then if I don’t pay attention, She rolls Her eyes, makes a low growling sound, and starts kicking me under the table with Her foot.”

Anne Lamott in “Plan B: Further Thoughts On Faith”

Written by Ryan

August 3, 2008 at 3:23 am

Praise

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“Sometimes praise is impossible to contain. It is a violently full river for which there is no dam high enough or wide enough to contain it. He will be on the tip of our tongue. He will spill out. We will be standing in rooms waiting for others eyes so we can run with a smile that floods and drowns.”

David Crowder in “Praise Habit: Finding God In Sunsets and Sushi”

Written by Ryan

July 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Josh Hamilton Story

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I don’t know how many non-sports fans know the story about Josh Hamilton, but after his amazing display in the Home Run Derby on Monday I figured this was a fitting time to post a clip of his mazing testimony.

Written by Ryan

July 16, 2008 at 12:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Seven Church Cliches That Need To Go

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The first few years I was a teacher I used to get bored during my summer break because the days were long as I was stuck home waiting for my friends to get off work. Last summer I found out a great way to spend my afternoons it is to sit outside and read. During the school year things are hectic between teaching responsabilities, coaching, writing responsibilities and keeping a social life so I now look forward to summer break and the opportunity it presents to kick back and enjoy a good book.

This spring I logged onto Relevent Media and purchased a dozen books and the first one I cracked open this summer was Mathew Paul Turner’s book “The Christian Culture Survival Guide.” Between the great insight combined with an amazing sense of humour that had me laughing out loud I’ve been able to read through this book in less than a week.

One of my favourite chapters was “The Worship Service” and here’s a quick excerpt where Turner talked about Seven Church Cliches That Need To Go:

1. Announcements in the middle of praise and worship – There is nothing more annoying than to be worshipping God in song one second and hearing about Tuesday night’s senior potluck dinner the next. Either put all the announcements in the church bulletin or don’t mention them until after the service is over. I can’t imagine Jesus stopping in the middle of His beatitudes and letting everyone know that Peter and John would be hosting a Saturday afternoon fish fry.

2. Praise and worship flags – Note to pastor or praise and worship leader We don’t like the pink, purple and blue “Hosanna” flags – especially when they’re carried and waved around during singing time. Let us do the praising: we don’t need any loud-coloured flag to do that for us.

3. “Visitor” time – Attention all churches: When you’re visiting a church, the last thing you want to do is raise your hand and let the entire church know that you’re visiting for the first time. We don’t want to wear a name tag. And we don’t want the pastor to come by and visit us. If you happen to visiting a church and you’ve been “spotted” by an usher as a “first timer,” try putting the little name tag they give you on the end of your nose and see what they say.

4. Praise and worship guitar solos – Praise and worship is a time of one-on-one intimacy with God. We don’t ever need to have an early-90’s-styled, power-guitar solo in the middle of “Lord, I live your name on high” – ever.

5. Interpretive dancing – I know David danced before the Lord – and I’m sure he was great – but fourteen-year-old wannabe ballerinas displaying their dance-recital moves to MercyMe’s “I can only imagine” during a church service is always awkward.

6. Five-minute sermon prayers – Usually it’s the head deacon who stands beneath the pulpit and delivers the very long, drawn-out, prayerful pre-sermonette. No matter who it is, people who pray church prayers that last longer than two minutes in length are probably bringing glory to themselves and not to god.

7. Any mention of sports by the pastor – Okay, I’ll let pastors slide on the retelling of the story about the guy in Chariots of Fire, but that’s it. All other sporting events and stories should be declared off limits. I knot it makes you feel cool and relevant to talk about your love for a particular team, but no one cares that your team won or lost the day before. We don’t want you to wear your team’s jersey on Sunday mornings, and to be honest, we’ve never thought you were really masculine enough to even like sports.

If you’re heading away to a cottage for a weekend or if you want a book to read this summer, make sure you check out The Christian Culture Survival Guide.

Written by Ryan

July 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NoiseTrade.com

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I stumbled upon a great website this weekend called NoiseTrade.com which allows you to download an entire album from an artist by posting a widget on your website or by emailing the URL of the site to three people. I’ve recently gotten hooked on a new Christian artist called Alli Rogers through a couple MP3’s The Blah Blah posted earlier this month. When I saw Noise Trade allows me to download her album for free I jumped at the chance and her album has been on repeat all weekend.

If you want to try out some new Christian artists I would highly recommend you click on this link and give Noise Trade a chance. I know I’m going to try out some other artists on the site like Derek Webb, Micah Dalton and CJ Bergman later this week.

Written by Ryan

July 7, 2008 at 7:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Life or Death?

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“To live how you were intended, to interact witht God’s creation in ways that were His breathings, brings life. Real life. Not just tedious existence, but life that breathes like a tree by a cool river with the grass of Eden stretching broad and embowering under limb. It is beauty. It is bending in the breeze, arms wide, leaves dancing. And to live in ways that twist and distort His creation brings death. Real death. Not just redunant (none of us are getting out of here alive) burying of corpses, but the walking around kind that tastes of dust rather than the Maker’s exhale of love. It is repulsive. It doesn’t hold together. It is not the genesis-shape imagined for a human.”

David Crowder in Praise Habit

Written by Ryan

July 7, 2008 at 6:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized