Yesterday I was privileged enough to celebrate the birth of the new nation of South Sudan with several Sudanese members of our community. One of the highlights of the celebration was when we joined them in singing the new South … Continue reading South Sudan, Oyee!
It’s been a long time coming, but fans of Donald Miller’s best selling book Blue Like Jazz are finally getting their first glimpse of the movie adaptation of the book. Fans of the book may also notice that the trailer doesn’t … Continue reading Blue Like Jazz – Official Trailer
It’s that time of year again. When for nine great nights the city of Rochester becomes home to some of the best live artists in the world. The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival attracts record crowds every year, and club … Continue reading The Poor Man’s Guide to the XRIJF
A beautifully filmed orchestral rendition of “Words Remain” by Josh Garrels. Continue reading Josh Garrels – Words Remain
What is Heaven? Or better yet, where is Heaven? Growing up in the Church I was really only exposed to one idea of Heaven. It was a place where we go after we die. Future tense. Somewhere else. In this … Continue reading Love Wins: Chapter 2 – Here is the New There
Today is World Water Day, and as such I thought it would be a great opportunity to tell you all about something I’m doing along with others in our church to raise money to build wells in Africa. Many Christians … Continue reading 40 Days of Water
Wow. That was a lot of questions. And if you’re anything like me, each one of those questions opened up a series of other questions. More to think about, more to ponder. By the time I was finished I didn’t know … Continue reading Love Wins: Chapter 1 – What About the Flat Tire?
“God loves us. God offers us everlasting life by grace, freely given through no merit on our part. Unless you do not respond the right way. Then God will torture you forever in hell.” Huh? Welcome to our community dialogue … Continue reading Love Wins: Introduction
In honor of today being International Women’s Day here’s a great motion graphic presentation that highlights the economic opportunities of women around the world. It’s a tribute to how far women have come in society, as well as a sobering reminder of how far they have yet to go. Continue reading You’ve come a long way baby. (And we still have a long way to go!)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks you have no doubt caught wind of the firestorm of controversy that surrounds Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. In his latest release, Bell addresses traditional ideas about Heaven and Hell and asks his readers: “Will only a few select people make it to Heaven? And will billions and billions of people burn forever in Hell?” Even though the book has yet to be released, the questions Rob Bell has raised have set off a firestorm of criticism around the internet. Justin Taylor labeled Bell a “Universalist” … Continue reading Love Wins: A Community Dialog
For the past several weeks the series of teaching at our church has focused on the subject of marriage and relationships. Prior to the beginning of yesterday’s message on divorce – the conclusion of the series – this song was performed by two young women with angelic voices; one on keys, the other on guitar. I had heard stuff by The Civil Wars before, but not this tune. It’s beautiful. Enjoy! Continue reading The Civil Wars – Poison & Wine
According to a reports, Said Musa – who was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity – has been freed from prison and has been safely transported out of Afghanistan! Sources indicate that he was actually released on February 21st, but due to the sensitivity of the situation, officials acted in secrecy until he was secure. Little is known about the events, but it has been reported that both the U.S. and Italian Embassies offered him asylum. Continue reading Said Musa has been released!
If you find yourself short on heroes these days, please allow me to introduce you to Said Musa. In a few short days he is scheduled to be executed in Afghanistan. His crime? Converting to Christianity. Said Musa (also; Sayd Musa, Sayed Mossa) is an amputee; having lost his leg in a land mine explosion in the 1990s. For the past 15 years he has worked with the Red Cross, bringing relief to other amputees as a physiotherapist. For the past eight months he has been held prisoner in Kabul after a television station showed Westerners baptizing new Afghani Christians during secret … Continue reading “My body is theirs to do what they want with.”
You have to give the kid credit for following instructions. And never questioning authority. (ht: failblog.org) Continue reading Connect the dots.
An article in this morning’s New York Times outlines how social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have caused many people to turn away from blogging as a way of expressing themselves to a global internet audience. Many former … Continue reading Is blogging dead?
I think about this place a lot. I got to bed quite often wondering if I should have posted something – anything – before I called it a day. But I’m not sure who even comes by this way anymore. Is it worth the effort? Continue reading I might blog more.
We’ve had plenty of beautiful white snow this December. This song is more about those feelings than it is about Christmas. Here’s Fleet Foxes with White Winter Hymnal. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 8
There are an estimated 250,000 women incarcerated in the United States. In this tune Sara Groves sings a gorgeous rendition of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear to a beautiful handful of them. You can download this entire live album … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 7
The boys have really enjoyed the Christmas album by The Chipmunks this year. Though, I can’t bring myself to post it on the countdown. So here’s the best song from that album, from one of my favorite Christmas albums instead. … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 6
This gentle number by Sandra McCracken, backed by her husband Derek Webb, can be found on the Music City Unsigned Family Christmas sampler. This is the Christ – Sandra McCracken (w/ Derek Webb) Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 5
Typically I don’t post videos in the “12 Tunes” countdown. I like to let the music stand on its own. This case is unique because the band invited fans to submit video footage to be part of their “communally made” … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 4
This past year we elected a new governor here in NY. Much to my dismay it was not Jimmy McMillan. I have no idea how this guy got on the ballot, but he was so completely crazy I couldn’t help … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 3
It wouldn’t be a “12 Tunes” countdown without one from Over the Rhine. This one can be found on their second Christmas album Snow Angels. The snow has been falling fast and furious around here this December. It makes you … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 2
It’s that time of year again! The time when we count down the days until Christmas with a bunch of great tunes. Some well-known, some a little more obscure. Some serious, some silly. All guaranteed to bring a smile to … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 1
All My Favorite People – Over the Rhine Continue reading All My Favorite People
Tomorrow, the African nation of Guinea will hold Presidential elections. But cautious observers fear that the country could see violence depending on the results. There were clashes in the run-ups to the election and accusations of voter intimidation have some … Continue reading Praying for peaceful elections in Guinea
In recent years Derek Webb has carved out a nice niche for himself as Christian music’s provocative and controversial “voice in the wilderness.” Never one to mince words, he has taken on such issues with his music as Christian consumerism, … Continue reading Derek Webb – Feedback
The Genesee Brewing Company has been making beer at the same High Falls location since 1878. It withstood Prohibition, numerous ownership changes and the more recent consumer trend toward “craft” brews. Through it all it has dutifully rolled out barrel after … Continue reading Genesee Beer
It was announced today that Google, in partnership with Israel’s Antiquities Authority, will be publishing the complete Dead Sea Scrolls in a digital format beginning in a few months. For the first time in history the general public will have … Continue reading Dead Sea Scrolls go digital
At a recent town hall hosted by MTV, President Obama was asked what he would to do to ensure that war did not break out in Sudan as a result of the upcoming referendum. In his response he mentioned how … Continue reading President Obama calls Sudan a “high priority”
The next 104 days have the potential to be a very volatile time in Sudan. On January 9th a referendum will be held to determine whether the people of Southern Sudan will remain a part of Sudan or become an independent nation. Tensions are mounting and the international community is keeping a watchful eye on the region. Continue reading Pray for Peace in Sudan
It seems like every summer brings with it a myriad of activities, weekend plans and time spent away from home. This summer has been no different for us. We’ve covered thousands of miles this summer; from Chicago to the Atlantic … Continue reading For the Summer
Here’s a high-quality video of a live performance by Josh Garrels. Josh Garrels – Zion & Babylon Continue reading Zion & Babylon
Happy birthday Boogie. Daddy’s so proud of you! Continue reading Look who’s two!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do … Continue reading Where moth and rust destroy
“Hey, you! Can I have your autograph?” A cluster of children had gathered down by the visiting team’s bullpen. Everyone who came through the turnstiles at Colburn Park that day was given a souveneir baseball with our home team’s logo printed on … Continue reading The one that never faded
Over the Rhine did an interview with WUKY on Saturday, during which they performed two new songs that will appear on their upcoming album. Here they are for your listening pleasure. What do you think? Oh Yeah, By the Way … Continue reading Two new tunes from Over the Rhine!
We recently entered a short-film contest where we were asked to tell our story in 90-seconds or less. If we win the contest, our school building project will receive $1,000! Please take a moment to give Josiah’s Story – Hope … Continue reading Vote for “Josiah’s Story”
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
Every year I find myself getting really into the NCAA tournament in the early rounds, only to be completely disinterested by the time the Final Four rolls around. I took at look at the numbers today, and I think I … Continue reading The Final Snore?
The Deer’s Cry – And adaptation of St. Patrick’s Breastplate performed by Angelina. Continue reading I arise today …
It was announced earlier today that Tiger Woods will make his return to the PGA Tour at the Masters Tournament in April. This marks the first time Tiger has entered a tournament since his numerous extra-marital affairs became public following a bizarre traffic accident in November. The Masters is by far my favorite golf event of the year. It’s scheduled viewing in our home and has been ever since Tiger pulled on his first green jacket at age 21. The Masters is a great tournament that always showcases the world’s best golfers on one of the sport’s premiere stages. But … Continue reading Tiger’s Back!
Dear Genesee Brewing Company: Congratulations on the recent news that you’ve created a few production jobs and are adding a third shift. Had your Buffalo-based marketing team not been asleep at the wheel, there could have been a few of these billboards along the 490 corridor to coincide with the announcement. It might have provided a boost to local morale, as well as local interest in your product. Regards, Shane Continue reading Manufacturing Jobs.
Don’t tell my dad this, but when I was a kid I would occasionally go without food at school so I could spend my lunch money on baseball cards. With the money my mother gave me for lunch each day, I could buy three packs of 1987 Topps cards. At the time it seemed like a pretty sweet trade in exchange for some lousy cafeteria food. I was obsessed. I just loved holding those cards in my hands and reading all the stats. I would spend hours learning all the players names, what teams they played for and what town they grew … Continue reading Countdown to “Opening Day”
Dear Ford Motor Company: Please feel free to use this as your next billboard campaign. Free of charge. Please remember me the next time you have an opening in marketing. Sincerely, Shane Continue reading No Bailouts. No Recalls.
The 2010 Winter Olympics kick of with tonight’s opening ceremonies and I couldn’t be more excited! I really enjoy the winter games. I think much of it comes from the fact that you get to see so many sports that don’t get much attention during other times of the year; Bobsledding, Speed Skating, etc. But this year I have a few other reasons to be excited about the games. For one, the host city is Vancouver. It’s a city that’s pretty high on my list of “favorite-cities-I-have-yet-to-visit.” Partially because of my fondness for Canada, but also because of the breathtaking … Continue reading With Glowing Hearts – Vancouver 2010
I’m not sure why. But when I hear Johnny Cash singing “Ain’t No Grave” toward the end of his days … I believe him. This track is taken from the upcoming release American VI: Ain’t No Grave – the sixth and final installment of Johnny’s “American Recordings” series. Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave Continue reading Johnny Cash – “Ain’t No Grave”