Quote of the week – ‘we shall not be moved’ – great song “Stand Up” by the flobots!

A great song…powerful lyrics, that we all need to listen to… couldn’t have written it better myself!
here are some of the lyrics:

“stand up-we shall not be moved
except by a child with no socks and shoes
if you’ve got more to give, then you’ve got to prove,
put your hands up and i’ll copy you”

“…under god, but we kill like the son of Sam,
but if you feel like i feel about the Son of Man,
we will overcome!”

“… we shall not be moved,
except by a child with no socks and shoes,
except by a woman dying from a loss of food
except by a freedom fighter dying on a cross for you
We shall not be moved
Except by a system thats rotten through
Neglecting the victims and ordering the cops to shoot
High treason now we need to prosecute”

And whoever made the video to the song, did a great job! check out the video!

Beau, Nickelsville’s resident poet

This is a video of my friend Beau, who is a resident at the homeless community called Nickelsville, where i spend every Monday night.  I have gotten to know Beau over the last two months and know a bit about his life and his story and also have read his amazing poetry.  I have taken two of his poems and written songs with them… in this video, he recites one of the poems that i wrote a song with… which i will post a video of me performing soon.  So here is a bit about Beau and one of his poems, “Nothing is Meaningless”.

the freeze project

check out this video of some people from an organization called ‘one voice to end slavery’.  they started this thing called ‘the freeze project’, where a couple hundred people will simultaneously stand completely still in place for 5 minutes… all to raise awareness of the staggering numbers of humans trapped in the sex slave trade and human trafficking industry.  this saturday, Sept 6th, they will be doing one in seattle, in which i plan to participate.  it should be an incredible experience.  it is amazing to see how people respond to seeing this, they have no idea what is going on or what to do about it.  what a great way to get peoples attention about an issue that definitely needs peoples attention.  check out the video and then check them out at:

http://www.thefreezeproject.com

Rob Bell Interview…

I love to hear Rob Bell speak… he has a prophetic gift… a gift of wisdom! Saw this on my friend Matt’s blog and had to repost it here! this is from an interview with ‘the Wittenburg Door

DOOR: You talk a lot about storytelling—reclaiming the art of preaching away from the engineers and back to the artists.

BELL: Preaching is one of the original art forms, kind of the original guerrilla theatre. A sermon was an electric event; Martin Luther King Jr. changed the whole shape of American culture with a sermon. John Wesley out in a field in England, the Hebrew Prophets, (and) great movements like women’s rights were often birthed through preaching. In our unbelievably wired culture, nothing is more foolish than somebody in a room standing alone insisting that God has spoken. So it’s either brilliant or absolute foolishness. And I am open to both.
Originally, the word “sermon” meant you’d have no idea what was coming next. It was theological but also political and economical and obviously highly creative because if it didn’t engage, then you wouldn’t listen and you wouldn’t be provoked or challenged or comforted. So in some ways for me my life’s passion is to pursue this art form. Pump some electricity into it.

Continue reading

worship naked (part one)

(below is the first part of hopefully many more of my thoughs on the subject of worship. these are all thoughts that I have randomly dwelt on, pondered or even jotted down over a period of time and actually still am pondering and jotting down. this would be one of those times. I hope to bring more of these types of writings as I have thought putting them all together in the form of a book of sorts entitled ‘worship naked’. this is the beginning of that effort. these writings are not necessarily in any order, per se, but more of how they naturally come out. this just happens to be one that I have been pondering most recently.)

(part one) – the struggle.

true worship comes from a place that is real. the reality of life is hard to deal with. when life hits you hard, you feel it’s blow and suffer the pain. life throws us some pretty hard punches, and quite often. there are different stages in our lives and struggle and suffering…to whatever extent…is a big part of it. It is in the midst of these times of struggle, where life is at it’s most real, that true worship can come. A lot of worship music is all about joy and happy times and celebration, which is all good…but often times, it is not reality. Reality is how do i really feel when things suck. It has to come from an honest place. I think that we cannot truly worship God in fullness until we have worshiped him in our pain and our struggle…it is then that the sacrifice of worship is truly a sacrifice. It is only then that we enter a place where our hearts are not directed by our circumstances or what is going on around us, but where our hearts are truly postured towards our Creator, despite what we see around us, what circumstance we find ourselves in or even what we desire. It is in the times we desire to go to God the least, that, when we do go to him, we enter true worship; worship that says…”life sucks for me right now, and yet, I will still praise You Lord!” David knew this worship. Just read the psalms that he wrote. He started many off speaking the truth of his situation… speaking of the intense hardships that he was going through. Take Psalm 69.

“Save me oh God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink to the miry depths where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”

This is an intense time of crying out from an incredibly honest place. He literally says ‘where are you God…are you even there’ , yet even then he cries out for God to save him. Later on in verse ‘30’ he turns it around quite a bit saying

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox… the poor will see and be glad…you who seek God may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and all that move in them.”

This is quite a turn around from how David started out. I love how he eludes to the fact that an ox is no longer a pleasing sacrifice to God… this totally references that David’s sacrifice was turning to God in the midst of this incredible hardship…even though he felt he couldn’t even find God anymore…that God wasn’t even there!

This is the core of true, authentic worship. A place of honesty; a place of nakedness; a place that doesn’t hide or cover reality, but openly faces it and yet still turns to God, despite the doubt, despite the pain, despite the hardship. I guess this is how we can consider our struggles ‘pure joy’ as James speaks of in the new testament (James 1:2-4), because it takes us to a different level; a level of no longer letting our circumstance affect who we are and what we do, nor the posture of our heart!

Redemption

johnny

check out Johnny Cash!

Happy Chinese New Year!

pig year
Today is officially the start of the Chinese New Year! It is the year of the Pig (or Boar), and based on the year I was born (1971), according to the Chinese zodiac, I am a Pig as well. My wife is a Rooster and my daughter is a Monkey, just in case you wanted to know. Speaking of my daughter, she is from China and so we try to keep up with some of the cultural traditions of China. I love the Chinese culture (actually all Asian culture). Asian food is my favorite ethnic food…whether it’s Chinese food (and I don’t mean the crappy Americanized Chinese food, but since I live in Seattle and the Chinese population is high, you can find some really excellent and authentic Chinese food here), or Thai (Pud Thai), or Vietnamese (Phó Noodle soup), or Korean (Kim Chee), or Indian (all of it!), or especially Japanese! (Sushi, Udon and Yakisoba rock!!) I like to eat with chopsticks often (I have quite a collection), even with non-Asian food. I drink 3-4 cups of Chinese Jasmine and Ginseng tea almost everyday. I love Kung Fu, even though I don’t know it or take it…I love it, and someday I will be a Kung Fu master (I have the long fu-manchu and the old school, Shaolin Monk’s ‘QUE’ on the back of my shaved head to prove it!!); I love Bruce Lee! Dragons are cool, regardless of their supposedly ‘evil’ nature… ; you get the idea! Anyways, Chinese culture is very artistic and creative and one of the most amazing things in the culture is the Chinese acrobats. If you have ever seen Cirque de Soliel, then you most likely have seen them in action. If you’ve never seen this kind of acrobat feats, you won’t believe some of the stuff these boys and girls do (usually they are pretty young). So in honor of Chinese New Year, I am providing a link to an amazing video of two acrobats at a Chinese New Year celebration! The video is a bit long (5:23), but it is well worth it! I hope you enjoy the video as you get a glimpse of the beauty of this ancient culture! Here is the link!new year celebrate