Friday, June 20, 2008

Joshua and Our March

Joshua 6:15-17

On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, "Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD.

Our house has been listed on the market for approximately four weeks without any bites. It's been a bit discouraging to tell you the truth, and we're finding it difficult to remain patient and to trust in God.

Earlier this week, a colleague had asked me if we've had any luck selling our house. I jokingly said, "Not yet although we may need to march and pray around the house 7 times."

On Wednesday night at band practice we talked about moving when God says move. You don’t wait. You don’t process it. You don’t ask your wife. You move. Simple as that. That really stuck with me because so many times I say I’ll pray about something…or I’ll need to think about it before I act on something God is clearly telling me to do.

So yesterday, Logan is out in the garage helping me put away my lawnmower and tools. He asked me about my day and I said it was “good.” “What made it a good day, Daddy?” he asks, which clearly catches me by surprise. Logan had a rough day and really needed some Daddy time so I took the time to tell him about my day.

“So Diane is your boss?” He asks. I confirm. “Mommy’s boss is Josh,” he responds. “Yeah, but I like to call him Joshy,” I say to him with a smile. “I like to call him Joshua,” Logan says without blinking. “Joshua, as in the guy who marched around the city 7 times, then they blew their horns and the walls came down.”

“Woah. Did he really just say that?” I think to myself.

“Logan, how would you feel about walking around our house 7 times and praying for it and our family?” I ask wondering how he’ll respond.

I could barely keep up. He was blazing a trail around the house and several times I had to tell him to slow down so I could keep up. He started throwing out some cool stuff while we prayed and marched around our home. “Evil and bad stuff is not welcome here! Go away devil! We wanna be free!”

Then the last lap we laid hands on the house and prayed for it and blessed it. When it was over, I held him and prayed over him. It was really a blessing. We went inside and told Erin about our 7-lap adventure around the house. Her eyes got big and she said, “Boys, we need to blow our trumpets outside! C’mon let’s go!” Logan led the charge and was outside before the rest of us. Before we knew, he was yelling at the top of his lungs, “In the name of Jesus, we bless this house!”

And for that moment in time, we stood indignant before the Lord and blew our trumpets. We all made trumpet noises and then put our hands in together for one more big cheer. I’m sure we frightened the neighbors but who cares. Who cares!

Later that evening when the boys were snuggled into their bed, our friend Joshua stopped over. I hadn't realized he was coming, and I probably haven't seen him for a couple of months. Was his timing coincidental? I don’t think so. It was God-ordained.

One thing's for sure...if we do move, you can bet we're gonna march around the house seven times praying for it before we move in.

Thanks for the affirmation and for speaking to us this week, God. We love you!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Next 10 Tunes

I am a lurker. I subscribe to a couple of my colleagues' blogs and read up on their lives. I'm not sure if they know I lurk behind the scenes and read what they are up to. Nor do I know if they know I have my own blog.

But their latest blog postings served as a catalyst for me to post. They both participated in the "Next 10 Tunes" exercise. Basically, this means that you put your iPod on shuffle, and list out the first 10 tunes you see, with commentary.

So here's mine:

10) Breath of God - Shane Barnard
Ironically, this happens to be one of my top 10 favorite tunes of all time. It's a prayer that God would breathe the breath of life (the Holy Spirit) into us all.

9) Breathe - Amy Lee (with David Hodges)
Weird. Two songs in a row about breathing. All I can think of when I hear this tune is the angelic voice of Heather Noble leading worship at Wells Fargo Arena at Easter. Again, this is another prayer about asking God to let His holy presence to live in us.

8) Passion - Kutless
Off their "Sea Of Faces" album, admittedly I don't know a ton about Kutless. I like their alt rock sound and crunchy Nickelback vocals, but I haven't spent a ton of time listening to this band as others.

7) Eggplant - Train
Off Train's self-titled album, this catchy tune (well, most of the songs on this album are catchy honestly) has a sweet groove and builds into an awesome tag. And let's be honest here, there aren't enough songs in the world about eggplants.

6) Swing On This - Alice In Chains
I miss Layne. Why did heroin have to take his life? I even bought a pair of wrap-around sunglasses back in the 90s when I was obsessed with the grunge movement. You gotta hand it to Layne, he had one of the most distinct voices in the business. And their harmonies were extremely tight and unique. What do I love about "Swing On This"? It mixes grunge with blues. Try putting those two combinations into a blender and drinking it.

5) Sixteen, Maybe Less - Calexico / Iron & Wine
Could this group any more polar than Alice In Chains? It's a beautiful, sweet-like-honey folk tune layered with gorgeous and breathy harmonies. It almost has a country sound, especially with the slide guitar.

4) Fallin' To Pieces - Rob Thomas
Miss Matchbox 20? Me too. But Rob's solo stuff is just as good. Fallin' To Pieces has a great guitar lick that drives this tune. It almost has a gospel feel to it especially with the multi-part harmony woven into this tunes. Definitely has a great groove that has me tapping my feet. And did I hear a banjo in this tune? And a violin? Yes, I believe I did.

3) A Long December - Counting Crows
Adam Duritz rules. I love his voice, his style, his songwriting skills. This is a beautiful tune that pulls on your heart strings. You could be in an amazing relationship and be completely steamrolled by the emotion of this song about relationships. Lyrically this song is genius...well, most of Counting Crows songs fall into that category. Love the end of this tune when they back everything down and just have Adam singing with the piano. And you'll have "Nah, nah, nah, nah..." stuck in your head the rest of the day.

2) Meet Virginia - Train
Hmm. I sense a conspiracy here with two Train songs from the same album on my 10 Tunes list. I LOVE this song so it's a definite welcome to my list. The chorus is raw and emotional. And if I were in a rock band, I would want to cover this tune.

1) Waterfalls - Dry Bones Dancing
Betcha you've NEVER heard of Dry Bones Dancing. My good friend from Minneapolis, David James Stewart, started this band with some of his friends from Bethel College. Stew and I were obsessed with Shane and Shane at the time and met over our mutual adoration of the group. And our friendship took off from there. I had agreed to serve as a band manager and booking agent for this band when we decided to move to Des Moines. I miss these guys terribly. Anway, Waterfalls is one of Stew's songs and it was always one of my favorite songs on their album "Not Afraid." I love the structure of the song, especially the melodic verses and harmonies.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Books. Books. Books.

I think I have a problem. I am reading four books right now.

On Tuesday mornings over coffee, I meet with the worship leader at Lutheran Church of Hope WDM. We decided it would be a good idea to read, "The Heart of an Artist" by Rory Noland. I am 75% through the book but got sidetracked and haven't finished yet. What makes it worse, I started reading some other books.

My wife and I have been reading "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson. It's turning into one of my favorite books. Every other sentence is profound and my wife keeps asking me to re-read sentences as a result. I have been reading it with a pen to underline stuff that speaks to me. I might as well underline every word. ;)

For fun, I picked up "On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness" by Andrew Peterson - an amazing singer/songwriter that I have followed for a few years. He is truly a creative genius so I was curious to read this book as it's kind of a Lord of Rings type of book. Very enchanting and captivating. I checked this out from the library so I have to read this against a time table. Better get cracking!

And then a few weeks ago, a friend of mine who lives in Atlanta told me about "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I ended up buying two copies of the book over the weekend and gave a copy to a friend. I started tearing into it and it started messing with me in a good way. I love being stirred up. I love it when God speaks through others. This is a good one, but I am afraid I need to finish my other books first before I become too engrossed. you have this problem too? Reading too many books at the same time?