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Showing posts from May, 2008

Favorite Music, pt. 3

I never thought I would use an iPod until I received one as a gift a couple of years ago. I have a 30 GB video iPod. I am able to start the music with the first song on a playlist and then have the music going as I drive, work in the yard, go for a walk, or whatever.

The iPod keeps a count of how many times each song is played. If you skip to another song, then it doesn't count. So, you have to play a song through completely in order for it to be counted.

So, here is the list of the 25 most played songs on my iPod. The number in parentheses is the number of times it has been played. Again, this list does not include classical music or hymns, which would dominate the list, except for a couple of hymns by Jars of Clay. Nor does it include Christmas music. I won't comment on the songs that were on my favorites list in the previous posting.

25. "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" by Johnny Cash (14). This is the story of young Billy Joe who thought he was due more excitement…

Favorite Music, pt. 2

Okay...here's the list of my Top 25 Favorite Songs that are on my iPod.

25."San Antonio Rose" by Bob Wills. As with most of these bands or artists, it was hard to pick just one song to be my favorite. This one's a classic.

24. "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel. The lyric captures that feeling I think all men have when it comes to the woman they love: I don't know what it is, but there's just something about her I can't live without.

23. "Consider the Cost" by Steve Camp. Steve used to be popular in Christian music, and he spoke with the voice of a prophet. I think this is one of his most important songs.

22. "When God Ran" by Benny Hester. This one goes way back, and is the first of two songs on my list about the parable of the prodigal son, which speaks to me in very personal ways. The lyrics are still startling to me, as he describes the greatness and glory and power and strength of God, and then says, "the only time I e…

Favorite Music, pt. 1

If you are not a fan of music, or if music talk is boring to you, then my next few posts will not be of interest to you, so be forewarned.

I recently read an article by Stephen King on music that he likes. He published a list of his "Top 20" songs and got a lot of feedback about it. Much of the feedback was negative. He rebuked his readers by reminding them that any amateur musicologist could publish a list of "Top 20" songs. It is an extremely personal matter. He was not saying that his list was definitive for anybody other than himself. Then he commented on how iPods maintain a count on how often you listen to songs, revealing what your real "Top 20" is. His real top 20 list, based on the count on his iPod, revealed that the songs he listened to the most were not necessarily his favorite songs. Both lists revealed something about his personality and his current state of mind. But, far from being serious, the exercise was mainly all in fun.

So...I decided …

Certainty

It is not unusual for people to ask me how they can know for certain that God is speaking to them or leading them in a particular direction. Those of you who have studied Experiencing God will remember that God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, other Christians, circumstances to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways. What we find in scripture is that people simply knew that God was speaking, they knew what He was saying, and they knew what God wanted them to do as a result of their encounter with Him.

I wonder if you were to go back and interview someone like Abraham, or Paul, could they explain their encounters with God in such a way that would take the mystery out of it? What if your spouse comes to you and says that God spoke to him or her in a dream and commanded your family to sell everything, pick up stakes, and move to the Navajo Indian reservation, get jobs and help start churches among the Navajo. You might say, "You're crazy. How do you know th…

Isolation

For a variety of reasons, this was an emotionally draining week for me. By Thursday afternoon I was empty. I don't know about you, but when I feel this way my instinct is to withdraw. Sometimes solitude is the best thing for you, and it serves a purpose. Many of us need to be wise about our pursuit of solitude because it can led to isolation, which is not helpful but is actually harmful to our emotional health. Thursday night we went to dinner with some friends from church, and though I went feeling drained, I came home feeling more refreshed. We all need to cultivate friendships with those feed us, who are givers and not just takers.

Our modern culture tends to move us naturally toward isolation. It can take deliberate, persistent effort to remain connected with the people in our lives. It is not unusual to find a group of Christian friends, a Sunday School class, even an entire church that is physically present together but are emotionally and spiritually isolated from one anothe…