A Father’s Voice

Yesterday, Nike unveiled a new ad featuring Tiger Woods – the first such ad since his numerous infidelities became public. It features the voice of his late father, Earl Woods, speaking in a very fatherly tone to his son. The original context of the elder Woods’ words to Tiger are unrelated to his recent troubles, but the implications are unmistakable. As a father this ad really stirs a lot of emotions in me. I love how stern, yet gentle, Earl’s voice is as he’s speaking to his son. He is aware of the multitude of sins his son has committed, … Continue reading A Father’s Voice

We’re entering a film contest!

Some of you may remember that, back in July, Don Miller sent me an advanced copy of his latest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It was a book that I really enjoyed reading and have since passed on to others. Don’s book really challenged me to consider the type of story I was telling with my life, and to make changes that would help me tell an even better one. It also helped me realize that, as a parent, it should be my passion to help my children tell the best story possible with their own lives. … Continue reading We’re entering a film contest!

Will Jesus fulfill us here on Earth?

As Christians, most of us were taught that there is a “God shaped hole” in our hearts and only by accepting Jesus can we fill that void and find fulfillment in our lives. I’ve often struggled with this thought. Mostly because many of the Christians that I know, who love Jesus more than anything else in the world, are also among some of the most miserable people I know. It never quite added up for me. In this clip – taken from his A Million Miles in a Thousand Years speaking tour – Don Miller explores the idea of finding … Continue reading Will Jesus fulfill us here on Earth?

Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad stirs abortion debate

Tim Tebow’s accomplishments on the football field are well documented. During his tenure at the University of Florida he led his team to two National Championships, won the Heisman trophy and will be remembered as arguably the greatest player in Gators history. And while the jury is still out on whether Tebow has what it takes to play quarterback at the NFL level, it’s something he’s done off the field that is creating buzz as we head into Super Bowl weekend. The Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family has produced a commercial that is set to air during the … Continue reading Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad stirs abortion debate

In Haiti: “Young girls are ripe for the worst you can imagine.”

In Port-au-Prince, amidst the rubble and human heartache, the darkest manifestation of human depravity is rearing its ugly head. Sex-traffickers, finding easy prey among Haiti’s homeless youth, are seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the hopelessness so many of that nation’s young people now face. Mark Driscoll witnessed such an incident first hand during his recent trip to the devastated capital. He talked about his experience in an interview with USA Today. We were downtown loading up our film crew. There were no police, no medics, to be seen by a huge park with hundreds of people camping out with … Continue reading In Haiti: “Young girls are ripe for the worst you can imagine.”

Mark Driscoll Tweets from Hell

Over the past couple of days I have been following pastor Mark Driscoll’s Tweets from Haiti. He is on the ground in Port-au-Prince with a team of pastors and other church leaders he helped form called Churches Helping Churches. They are there ministering to churches, pastors and the people of Haiti during this time of immense crisis. These Tweets have been chilling to say the least. Here are some examples. Landed in hell but doing well. The soldiers first words off the plane were u will now see a crisis of biblical proportions. about 23 hours ago Just bought ice … Continue reading Mark Driscoll Tweets from Hell

In response to Pat Robertson

Like most people, when I first heard Pat Robertson’s comments regarding the tragic loss of life in Haiti I was furious. It seemed so callous to me that, in the midst of tremendous human suffering, he would have the audacity to blame the people of that nation for the devastation that has taken place. My initial reaction was to chastise Robertson for his irresponsible claims. Banging out a few hundred words of angry diatribe would certainly have been a release. But I’m not sure what that would have accomplished in the long run. Had I followed my first instinct I … Continue reading In response to Pat Robertson

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 11

Ex Nihilo is the worship band at Mars Hill Church in Seattle – where Mark Driscoll is the pastor. This year they re-recorded seven classic Christmas songs for a release titled Silent Night: Seven Old Songs Made New Again. This dramatic version of “What Child is This?” is available as a free download. You can purchase the rest of the album through iTunes. Ex Nihilo – What Child is This? Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 11

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 3

A few months ago I introduced you to the songwriting and recording style of a duo called Pomplamoose.  Their style is unique in that they record video along with the audio and mix both to produce their “Video Songs.” If you hear something in the mix, you see it at some point in the video as well. This song was part of a project titled “YouTube Christmas” where a number of musicians collaborated via YouTube to compose music for the holiday season. They joined up with another YouTube “Video Song” artist named Wade Johnston – who plays a mean ukulele. … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 3

Thanks for giving!

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to the 33 people who supported our effort to help feed Rochester’s homeless on Thankgiving. Open Door Mission served between 350 and 400 meals that day, so your contributions made a significant impact! Here’s a link to an article about the Open Door Misson’s efforts, as well as those of other homeless shelters around the Rochester community. Again, thannks for giving! Continue reading Thanks for giving!

Introducing “Josiah and Friends”!!

Several weeks ago I took Josiah to go hear former NBA star Manute Bol speak at the University of Rochester. He was giving a presentation on his current effort to build schools in the war-torn country of Sudan. At the end of the talk there was a Q&A session and Josiah asked me if he could ask Manute a question. Curious as to what he might ask – albeit a little nervous about what might come out of his mouth – I encouraged him to raise his hand. When they passed the microphone to Josiah he stood up and asked … Continue reading Introducing “Josiah and Friends”!!

FlannelGraph!

Artisan Church is bringing back the flannelgraph! Their current series explores the story of the Old Testament from Adam to the coming Messiah using the godfather of all visual aids … flannelgraph! They’ve constructed a giant 4-foot-tall flannelgraph board to help illustrate the stories as they go. You can see it in action here. I think it’s a fun and creative idea that other churches should feel free to steal. I’ve been looking for an excuse to throw a little love their way, so I’m going to post each installment in the series. Feel free to check back and follow … Continue reading FlannelGraph!

Robbie Seay Band – Miracle

Robbie Seay Band – Miracle I really enjoy the Robbie Seay Band and have been anxious to hear new music from them for quite some time now. Their new single “Miracle” was made available on iTunes today. Hopefully this means a new album is soon to follow. I’ve never had the chance to see them perform live, but have heard great things about their shows. They’re on the road now if you’d like to check them out in your area. Hopefully they’ll come around sooner or later. Continue reading Robbie Seay Band – Miracle

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

When two filmmakers approached Donald Miller about making a film adaptation of his best-selling memoir Blue Like Jazz he was given the opportunity to do something most of us never get to do; He edited his life. That experience caused the always introspective Miller to consider the story his life was telling. If his experiences needed to be edited to make for a more compelling film, why not simply apply those same story telling principles and live a story worth telling? Examining his life from the vantage point of a storyteller causes Miller to go on an inward journey. A … Continue reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

Meet Mike

This is Mike. If you’ve spent any time around downtown Rochester his face might look familiar. Here’s his story: For years Mike struggled with an addiction that offered nothing but despair, gloom and darkness. Eventually, he found himself at a local men’s shelter. After finally overcoming his addiction he started volunteering in the clothing distribution area at the Mission. Mike states, “Working at the Mission has given my life a sense of meaning and value. It’s opened my eyes and heart to the needs of others. The Mission has helped me see what real compassion for others is all about. … Continue reading Meet Mike

Free Derek Webb!

I have an unopened copy of Derek Webb’s newest album Stockholm Syndrome that I’m giving away for free to one lucky reader! To be eligible for the drawing simply leave a comment below expressing your thoughts about Derek’s “controversial” song from the album titled “What Matters More?” The winner will be selected at random on Monday, October 26th. What Matters More? – Derek Webb *Please note: This is not the “explicit” version of the album. This is the edited version which omits the song “What Matters More.” You can download that track for free at http://www.derekwebb.com. We have a winner! … Continue reading Free Derek Webb!

Close to home…

This was the scene yesterday afternoon about 75 yards from our front porch. A 19-year-old kid was shot in the upper thigh and collapsed on the sidewalk before police and paramedics arrived. He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. This is the second shooting that has taken place in broad daylight in our corner of the 19th Ward this year. Back in March a 22-year-old man was murdered outside his mother’s home on Rosalind Street – about six blocks from our house. That case was featured on the A&E show Crime 360. … Continue reading Close to home…

8 Ways to Help the Homeless

“Will work for food” “I just need change for the bus.” “Can you help a hungry old lady out?” “Can I bum a smoke?” We have all experienced this at least once. Do you remember the last time you encountered a homeless person? How did you react? Did you look away? Did you ignore them as if they were invisible? Or worse, did you say something hurtful like “…get a job.”? It’s difficult to come face-to-face with such profound suffering and not have a strong reaction. With every homeless person you encounter, understand that there is most likely a very … Continue reading 8 Ways to Help the Homeless

Islam on Capitol Hill

There are an estimated 6 to 7 million Muslims currently living in the United States. Nearly 50,000 of them are expected to gather on Capitol Hill today for a prayer rally in Washington DC. According to event organizers the purpose of the day of prayer is to “pray for peace and understanding between America and its Muslim community.” As one might imagine the reactions have been mixed and sometimes heated. Many emailers and bloggers have been furious, citing the 9/11 attacks and expressing other anti-Islamic sentiments. Others have embraced the Muslim community’s demonstration as a patriotic gesture, similar to the … Continue reading Islam on Capitol Hill

Jennifer Knapp is back!

Jennifer Knapp has emerged from her (very) long hiatus. This week she posted a note to fans announcing her return on her website. And just to prove she’s truly back she posted a new song to her MySpace page which you can hear below. According to her MySpace page more songs are expected to be posted in the coming months. I’ve seen Jennifer Knapp in concert a few times and she is – in my opinion – one of the best Christian performers I’ve seen. I was disappointed by her disappearance from the CCM scene but am really glad she’s … Continue reading Jennifer Knapp is back!

It only takes a spark …

A week ago I asked you all to join Cheryl and I as we help feed Rochester’s homeless this Thanksgiving. I wasn’t sure if anyone would respond but thought I’d at least give others the opportunity be a part of something good during the upcoming holiday season. I’m really excited to report that a few people have responded. Four other people have stepped up to the challenge and have donated money to Open Door Mission so far. If a handful of people have been so responsive already, what’s to stop us from doing more? Let’s set the bar a little … Continue reading It only takes a spark …

The House that Fire Built – An Update

Back in January I told you all about a project the band Mae was working on to help provide a home for Rhonda Floyd and her three children through Habitat for Humanity. The band released a song each month through their website and donated the proceeds to the project. Four months, four songs and over $65,000 in donations later Rhonda and her children have a new home. The band refers to this project as the (m)orning chapter of their 12 month effort to use their music to make a difference in people’s lives. Now that the project has been completed … Continue reading The House that Fire Built – An Update

Here’s Creation. Have at it.

While flipping channels with my family between football games one recent Sunday, I  stumbled across an amazing report on 60 Minutes. It was about the Pentagon’s efforts to develop a “bionic arm” that will enable amputees to regain use of their missing arms through hi-tech prosthetics. There has been little advancement in prosthetic arms since the Vietnam War era and most are little more than crude hooks. But scientists are now on the brink of developing technologies that will enable amputees to do everyday things that were once impossible; such as picking a single grape from a bunch without crushing … Continue reading Here’s Creation. Have at it.

Give. Thanks.

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. Every year Cheryl and I travel downstate to enjoy a (downright glorious) meal with family and close friends. After gorging myself on turkey, candied yams and pie, I look forward to claiming my spot on the couch and watching football until I slip into a mild coma. Greatest … holiday … ever. In addition to enjoying time with friends and family around the table, I am hoping you’ll join us in doing something to bless “the least of these” this Thanksgiving. The Open Door Mission is a ministry that provides food, clothing, emergency … Continue reading Give. Thanks.

Introducing the New and Improved Today’s New International Version (NITNIV)

Remember when the Committee on Bible Translation (CMT) introduced the Today’s New International Version (or TNIV) back in 2006? It was a new translation based on their previous work in creating the NIV that was supposed to present the biblical texts in more modern English. Their new translation took over ten years to complete and thirteen biblical scholars were a part of the team that ultimately produced the final draft. Now they’re scrapping it and starting over again. Apparently much of the motivation to make changes can be attributed to the controversy surrounding some of the gender neutral language of … Continue reading Introducing the New and Improved Today’s New International Version (NITNIV)

The Health Care Debate, Early Church Style

There’s an interesting article posted at Christianity Today which discusses the role the early church played in the development of modern health care. Contrary to common belief, early Christians didn’t shun the idea of administering medicine or believe that all physical illness came about because of demonic influence. In fact it was their belief in Imago Dei, that human beings were created in God’s image, that caused them to place a high importance on caring for widows, orphans, the sick and others in need. Such compassionate care was revolutionary in pagan cultures where the sick and burdensome were regularly left … Continue reading The Health Care Debate, Early Church Style

New Josh Garrels!

This was an unexpected surprise! Later this month Josh Garrels will be releasing an EP titled Lost Animals. The 10-song CD will feature a collection of b-sides, singles and “soundtrack work” and can be pre-ordered here. I’ve uploaded the tune “All Creatures” for you to check out. You can also hear several other songs from the album streaming on his website. Josh Garrels – All Creatures Continue reading New Josh Garrels!

Nyack’s Got Talent

There’s no shortage of talented musicians who have at one time or another called Nyack College home. But I’m not sure if any of them have ever had as bright a spotlight shined on them as Rashida Jolley’s (’03) recent performance on America’s Got Talent. Cheryl and I watched her performance on the show the other night, but I never put two and two together until a bunch of other Nyack alumni started Tweeting the heck out of this video. She was there after my time on “The Hillside”, but I do remember seeing her on campus and hearing her … Continue reading Nyack’s Got Talent

I just totally made Donald Miller LOL!

One of the things I love about Donald Miller’s writing is his off-center sense of humor. On more than one occasion I’ve been known to laugh out loud at something he has written in one of his books. (For example:, his comparison of the Christian faith to penguin sex.) Well, today I was able to return the favor. It’s a long story involving a silly little contest he held on his blog yesterday where readers were asked to look at a photo and try to come up with a funny explanation for it. Apparently I was the big winner. My … Continue reading I just totally made Donald Miller LOL!

Pastor Dad

I hope that all the dads that frequent this joint had a great Father’s Day on Sunday. As a gift to fathers everywhere, Mark Driscoll has made his book Pastor Dad available as a free download. It’s a short 48-page book that has been adapted from a sermon he preached back in 2001 and offers “scriptural insights on fatherhood.” I downloaded my copy yesterday and have enjoyed what little bit I’ve read thus far. You can also order a printed copy for $8. I’m thinking it might be a nice little gift for any expectant fathers, or for the men … Continue reading Pastor Dad