Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Top 10 favorite last tracks on an album

I thought I'd list my favorite ten ending songs on albums I own. These tracks are chosen for musicianship, how well they fit with the overall album, and overall awesomeness. On some of these albums there are hidden tracks or short little outros after the closing song, but you get the idea...last real song. Enjoy the list:

10. "Always" - Newsboys (Step Up to the Microphone)
Yeah I know, Newsboys. It's an old song of theirs and it holds a lot of meaning in my heart.

9. "The Sun and Moon" - Mae (Everglow)
This concept album is like a storybook start to finish. The closing song on Everglow fits well with the story and leaves the listener a sense of finality to the album.

8. "Twenty-Four" - Switchfoot (the Beautiful Letdown)
I was so happy when I turned 24 yrs old and could sing this song. I like the honesty of the song and it wraps up my favorite Switchfoot album well.

7. "World Without An End" - Five Iron Frenzy (All the Hype Money Can Buy)
The acapella ending of this song wraps up one of may favorite Five Iron ablums. The song is very worshipful and wonderful.

6. "The Lark Ascending" - David Crowder Band (A Collision)
Ok...this isn't a legitimate "whole" song, but it is amazing none the less. As David says "it swells." In the B-Collision CD, you can hear an extended version of Lark Ascending - beautiful violin work.

5. "Deathbed" - Relient K (Five Score and Seven Years Ago)
This is my favorite 11 minute song ever (it's my only favorite 11 minute song too)! This song tells a remarkable (fictitious) story of a man and his up and down life. The lyrics are cleverly written and there are horns in the end part (my personal fave).

4. "Daylight" - Brave Saint Saturn (The Light Of Things Hoped For)
I pretty much scream the ending of this song every time I sing it. The song wraps up an album that tells the story of lost astronauts trying to make it back home. The album (and the one before it) is full of metaphor and great spiritual parallels. Jesus is our daylight.

3. "Constellation" - Juliana Theory (Understand This is a Dream)
There was a time in college when I played this song every morning before I went off to school. This song has such a great musical build and is a great ending to a solid album.

2. "Worlds Apart" - Jars of Clay (Self Titled)
This song makes me want to cry every time I sing it. It's simple, it's honest, and it's brilliant.

1. "Every New Day" - Five Iron Frenzy (Our Newest Album Ever)
this is my number one for many reasons, mostly because of what the song means to me. I can include the last song on The End is Near: "On Distant Shores" with this one since it shares the same incredible ending. Another song I love to scream at the top of my lungs in :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gluttony, Homosexuality and the Church

My head is spinning lately at all the diverse amounts of theology and theological discussions I've been digesting. One the the hot button topics in Christian thinker circles today is the emerging church and the relevance of the church to culture.

Questions like: where should a church change it's ways to minister to the culture around it? What doctrines/theology is essential and what can we agree to disagree on a Christians? What is the Gospel and how is it lived out? Are we as concerned with serving the poor and the oppressed as getting others "saved?" Was the bible meant to be picked apart and be used for "proof-texting" or is there a larger narrative structure of truth to it?

Another hot-button issue as of late in the Church at large is that of homosexuality. Is it a sin? Is it something that one has from birth? Can someone be a homosexual and a Christian? Can someone who is homosexual serve in ministry?

Let's take that last question: "Can someone who is homosexual serve in ministry?"

Well, lets say that we answer "no" to that question.

"Why?" - well because someone who is caught in unrepented habitual sin should not serve in Christian leadership.

Seems like a good answer. The bible calls Christian leaders to live lives above reproach.

Now what about gluttony?

"Huh?"

You know...gluttony. It's a sin too, you know? What is gluttony? Overeating. Greedily consuming more of something we need than we need. Most people who are overweight struggle with the sin of gluttony.

Here's a question: "would you let your Christian leaders lead if they had a habitual sin that has not been dealt with in their life?" No?

How many overweight Christian leaders do we have? Many right?

So if a practicing homosexual has no right to serve in Christian leadership a practicing glutton has no right to serve in Christian leadership as well...right?

What do you think? Are we highlighting some sins and neglecting others? How "legalistic" should we get?

So I invite you the reader to pick some questions from this blog post and discuss them in the comments section. It could be fun :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Follower of Jesus? You're a Missionary!

"I think if you are a follower of Jesus, everything you do is a life of mission and ministry. I actually think the "call to ministry" language was invented by Christians to excuse the disobedience of everybody else. If you are thinking of going into full-time ministry—are you a Christian? Too late." - Rob Bell, The Wittenburg Door Interview

Tuesday, September 11, 2007