Oh Lord

O Lord, our Lord…
Within each moment
we are blessed with faith,
we have hope in what is to come,
yet we continue to look for love.

O Lord, our Lord…
Give us each our own breath
to speak for those who cannot speak,
to listen to those who are not heard,
to stand for those who cannot,
and to see our own sin when we fail to do so.

O Lord, our Lord…
We give thanks
for the day,
for the night,
for the thirst,
for the hunger,
for keeping us always in need.

 

©2018 John Griese

Getting a quote quotable

"Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." So says Immanuel Kant. And it is found in Idea for a General History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784), Proposition 6.

References for quotes are some of my favorite things to see. It helps me think someone is doing their little bit of work to bring order to the internet. Quote by quote.

"Pro tip: even if you don't use the reference in your poster or post, at least verify the accuracy in your research. It'll make the world just a little bit better." —Thomas Jefferson

Reality Worship Songs

We sing a song at church with this line

Jesus, I believe in You
And I would go to the ends of the earth

It's a popular song and it's by a popular church band — Hillsong United.

What I don't know is how often should Christians sing things that aren't true. How do I know it's not true, because we often sing the song amongst a big group of people singing the song. 

There are lots of opportunities to go to the end of the earth. All the time. Forever.

So, I'm not criticizing the song, I'm simply questioning for me (and for other Christians) about how optimistic we should be when we sing things. Do the things we sing need to be facts, or can they be used as motivation to dig in and aspire to something. 

Another lyric, I'll print it here in the cadence of how it was written

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Each of us have our own struggles. And I want to encourage everyone to be honest and open with themselves as they sing songs at church. What I also want is for the worship service at church not to be another way of making a Christian feel like they don't measure up.

"Gee, I struggle with big fears. I must not be a child of God." And hop back aboard the shame shuttle. Ready for takeoff.

Like it or not, there are many people who get their theology from the music at church more than they do from the preacher at church.

So, should some worship music be optimistic and some be more "real?"

Jesus, I believe in You
And can I plug in somewhere nearby?
Somewhere nearby

 or

I'm definitely still a slave to fear
But I'm also a child of God
Trying to overcome it in baby steps

Maybe there's a place for Reality Worship Songs.  

What do you think? 

  

Birdtalker's One Album

With a new album out this week, Birdtalker starts vying for domination of my Spotify playlist for another year. Four releases from their EP last year, and an additional a single from their then-upcoming full album — One —  made it into the the top fifteen most-listened-to tracks from 2017. 

 

Birdtalker's released half of the songs on the album as singles — so I've heard a lot of it already. One brand new song is Be Where You Are.  

Don't be afraid of how you feel
Don't look for life in past or future
Look it straight in the eye
After this moment, there's a new one
Be here you are ...

The song reminded me of a story.

“One day the Buddha was speaking to a prince. The prince asked him, “What do you and your monks do in your monastery?” The Buddha said, “We sit and we walk and we eat.” The prince replied, “How are you different, then, from my people, for we do those things as well?” The Buddha responded, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.”

2017 was a great year for music. And 2018 is shaping up to be a knockout, too.  

I saw Birdtalker in concert three times last year, and I'm trying to get to as many this year. Their tour starts the end of July. Catch them when they're in your neck of the woods. Or, go to someone else's neck of the woods to catch them.