E-iron Sharpening E-iron | We Cannot Help Tweeting About

[Have you heard God speak through a tweet?]

I have.

If you live in the southeast U.S., and are on facebook and/or twitter, I’m sure you have a friend that is always posting scripture or something that includes the name Jesus or the infamous book:verse 1:23 in their status

I am that friend.

I’m always tweeting & often including scripture, encouragements, or being simply open with my faith. In fact, most of my friends do this, as well. It’s a new way of keeping each other accountable, sharing burdens, moving mountains & prayer.

It’s e-iron sharpening e-iron

It’s certainly a blessing to be a part of a community of believers that are plugged into their

Twitter Layout 01/2009

Twitter Layout 01/2009 (Photo credit: Andy Ciordia)

social networks. I receive tweets from people I’m subscribed to and am perpetually encouraged and kept accountable throughout the day and I would certainly encourage you to find a community or a brother/sister of faith & tweet/facebook encouragements/scripture or even share something revealed to you during your time with the Almighty.

And for those on the opposite end of the spectrum – whether you find it annoying or not as a believer or non – seeing tweets & statuses in the name of the Father… from those on fire….

…”We cannot help speaking about what we’ve seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)

Man on Fire | Ars Nova of Recorded Worship

As a composer, performer, & recording artist – the goal is simple: Write, Record, Sell

Jesus Culture

Jesus Culture (Photo credit: AdamRozanas)

And even after you put the word ‘Christian into the mix, ‘Christian, composer, performer, recording artist‘ – I feel the goal is still percieved the same – ‘Write, Record, Sell‘ only with a different target market. This is due largely to

  1. the enormity of the Christian music market & its vast sub markets & genres
  2. the oft luke-warm & negative connotations of the word Christian.

When one is on fire for Jesus – or
when one’s only concern is furthering His kingdom – or
when one’s upmost desire is attaining the presence of God – or
whatever word or phrase that represents this choice in life combined with ‘composer, performer, & recording artist‘ do you get a different goal.

Yes, you still write, record, and sell your music, BUT, the goal is the above list. The goal is in

  • Jesus & sharing Him, and
  • longing for His presence & advancing His kingdom. It’s in
  • capturing the Holy Spirit in the recording.

This goal is the pinnacle of the Ars Nova (new art, if you will) of Worship. And it is this pinnacle that’s behind why I enjoy & connect with live worship albums so much.

Just the other day, it was blazing hot – in the upper 90’s if not 100’s – I was driving with the windows down listening to one of Jesus Culture’s live recordings of ‘You Are My Passion,’ getting cold chills all over my body (mind you how hot it was) hearing the words ‘I belong to Jesus’ being sang with so many in His presence.

The Holy Spirit is not something so much captured in the studio, the old art, but in real live worship captured, recorded, in front of the King; shared with oh so many more.

There’s something so much more right and much more biblical in including those worshiping, and not just the ones leading, in recorded ‘praise & worship’ music.

Minimalism Saves | Accessibility in Worship

For the longest time – I was the biggest advocate for virtuosity in Christian music

Fire-Call

Fire-Call (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

arguably most in worship music. In fact – I still am an advocate for this. If you check out my post back in March – I’m all for finding ways to make our worship music beautiful and ornate & I’m all against being complacent and not challenging ourselves to compose more smartly for the Kingdom.

But, when I was writing papers in college on ‘how‘ and ‘why‘ we should change the way praise & worship music is composed – I was missing one obvious characteristic

Accessibility

As much as I would love the congregations of the protestant church to dance a polyrhythm or sing modulations through a circle of mediants (uhh… what?) – The fact remains that they would have to learn the music before they could worship – and that whole act of learning these compositions would take time AND glory away from the Creator.

We must remember  – Christianity isn’t North Korea. We don’t have to put on a show to please a dictator.

We don’t have to do more.                                                                                                            Jesus already loves us.

In fact, our worship music is often best when it is reflective of His very yoke – Easy 

Line art drawing of a yoke

Photo credit: Wikipedia

 I can only imagine how many have been won & saved by simple 4 (or less) chords 4/4 time signature worship songs.

  • How He Loves – John Mark McMillan 
  • Break Every Chain – Will Reagan
  • Name Above Every Other Name – Justin Rizzo
  • Where You Go I Go – Brian Johnson
  • You Won’t Relent – Misty Edwards
  • Sweetest Name – Will Reagan
  • Revelation Song – Jennie Lee Riddle
  • Our God is Greater – Chris Tomlin

the list goes on…

The more accessible we compose our worship music, the easier God can be felt coming through the mix speaking to us.

In light of this, I’m nearly convicted to write a 2 chord worship song and make it extravagant!

Free Coffee | July 4th Awakening

In celebration of July 4th – Starbucks is giving away One Free Tall Cup of Hot coffee to EVERYONE 

You do not need

English: Starbucks in the Financial District n...

English: Starbucks in the Financial District near South Station in Boston, United States. October 2007 photo by John Stephen Dwyer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • A Starbucks card
  • An ID
  • A sense of humor
  • Good hygiene

In fact, you really don’t need anything. It’s free. From: Starbucks, To: The United States

But inevitably, someone will complain.

“But I don’t like coffee, can I get tea instead?”

“It’s really hot outside, how about iced coffee?”

“Can’t you just give me a Grande instead; that’s what I usually get.”

There’s just something not right about complaining over what’s being given free as a gift to us.

On Christmas morning, you don’t say “Oh, I don’t want this mp3 player; I really wanted an iPod”

or

“Thanks Mom for making dinner, but I’d rather you do my homework instead.”

or

“Thank You Jesus for dying for my sins, but I’d rather have…

  • a lot of money
  • carefree casual sex
  • an easy life
  • nothing to do with You

 WHAT?!  Did I just compare free coffee to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins? Yes; however, Jesus loves us more than Starbucks does.

If something isn’t our ‘cup of tea,’ we’re hesitant to change our ways for it whether it’s better for us or not. At least, that’s how it is in western culture. But the real question is – What is it really going to cost you to not accept what is being given to you for free.

Just as you have to come to Starbucks to receive that free hot tall cup of coffee…

…You have to come to Jesus for salvation.

if you want it.

Chillin’ With My Creator | Coffee, Jesus, & Journaling

For each of us – our Jesus time looks a bit different. Ya know… that time we take to really connect with the Almighty.

I would so love to claim that time for me being in front of a piano or guitar during worship services – but the truth is.. during that time, I’m at work, albeit very wonderful, pleasing, & uplifting work…but still workI’m totally focusing on chords, improvising, listening to the rest of the band, & occasionally transposing on the spot. I can’t even really listen to music during my time with the Lord – I end up analyzing too much of the compositions – BAH!

My real time chillin’ with Jesus looks something like this – I’ll usually have one of my several journals out at a table, with one of my favorite pens, next to my pocket Bible. And if I’m fortunate enough – I do get to enjoy a tasty beverage (usually a Black Tea Lemonade or a dark roast coffee) during an already sweet time journaling. Emotionally & spiritually, this continually strengthens my walk & I can definitely tell a difference between the days I take time for this and the days I don’t.

… but that’s just me – I know a lot of people who go out running, or listen to praise music, or even just find a quiet place.  Everyone’s relationship with the Almighty looks a bit different.

What’s this time look like for you?

A Leap Second | On Cursed Ground

Well, we’ve gained an entire second this year and what a second it has been! Of course, I

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

just think they should have added the extra second to the New Year’s countdown in Time’s Square. At least we would’ve noticed it…perhaps.

Scientists say that the earth is spinning just a bit slow & the second is to make up for the time that can accumulate over time to avoid having nighttime during the day and summer in the winter and so forth.

For me, I’m just fascinated by man’s attempts to make tools to fit the creations of God. Even though this may not seem like a”painful toil” (Genesis 3:17), it is still of the cursed (slowly spinning) ground of the Earth AND man is still trying to fit the square peg to the inevitable round hole by having to adjust our tool of time to fit the earthly creation.

If only I could feel that extra second come 5am. Phew…