links of the week (2.26.10)

  1. Tullian Tchividjian, who is Billy Graham’s grandson, wrote this great article for preachers.  But also for anyone who wishes to live out the Gospel in their everyday lives.
  2. This video is by the group at Mars Hill (Driscoll).  This is for all the worship leaders out there who specifically have a rough time keeping music and God in the proper perspective.  But I believe that everyone can get something out of this video by Cam Huxford. 
  3. I am a big fan of the movement known as People of the Second Chance and this post about not being silent was great.  I wish that I had known this recently as a friend of mine was silently suffering with no one to turn to.  I might have failed this person but I am encouraged for the next opportunity where I can encourage and strengthen.
  4. Michael Hyatt has one of the best blogs out there.  I read it to be a better leader as well as to know a little bit more about writing books.  This post by him can be heeded by all thriving to lead in their organization. 
  5. I have not always been an American Idol fan but this year there are some people that I am astounded by.  I am just going to come out and say it – Andrew Garcia is the best singer to come through American Idol that I have ever seen.  Here are my favorite clips of him thus far:


quotes (2.15.10 edition)

I don’t know why but collecting quotes has always been something that I have done.  It is probably because of the simple truths that are contained in a short form.  Or maybe it is the fact that most of them are so simple and easy to remember.   

Regardless of why I love quotes, I am going to start sharing them with you every Thursday.  My goal will be around 10 or so each week.  These will come from either books that I am reading, something that I have heard, or just a precious jewel from long ago. 

Enjoy this first batch of 20: 

“Our lives are the sum total of our decisions.” – from my friend, Tim Degroot (however, I believe that he might have gotten this from Andy Stanley

“Earth is crammed full of heaven, and every common bush aglow with God.  Those who see take off their shoes.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson  

“My prayer is that I will never be bothered by who I offend as long as I do not offend the One who called me, blessed me, and will sustain me.” – Perry Noble

“Attack life, it’s going to kill you anyway.” – Stephen Colbert

“The man who loves his job never works a day in his life.” – Confucius

“Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

“The limitations you put on Him in your mind don’t keep Him from being all that He is, but they do keep you from seeing all that He is.” – my friend, Steve Rozema

“If there’s breath in your lungs, there’s another chance in your bones.” – People of the Second Chance blog

“Failure is the path to boundless confidence in God.  Always remember you have a billion chances.” – Thomas Keating, from Open Mind Open Heart

“More megaphones don’t equal a better dialogue.” – Howard Mann, from Seth Godin’s ebook, What Matters Now, 12

“If you are truly enriching someone’s life, they will typically miss you in their past.  They think their lives would have been even better if they had met you earlier.” – Rajesh Setty, from Seth Godin’s ebook, What Matters Now, 16

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.” – John Wood, from Seth Godin’s ebook, What Matters Now, 23

“Be nice to the people on the way up because you might see them again on the way down.” – Guy Kawaski, from Seth Godin’s ebook, What Matters Now, 32

“The happiest people I know are the ones who have learned how to hold everything loosely and have given the worrisome, stress-filled, fearful details of their lives into God’s keeping.” – Charles Swindoll

“Faith is living in advance what we will only understand in reverse.” – Wayne Cordeiro, Leading on Empty, 103

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – John Powell

“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.” – A.W. Tozer

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

links of the week (2.19.10 edition)

What do these three things have in common?


They are all featured in my favorite links of the week.  Here you go:

  1. Rob Bell on the art of preaching.
  2. Scott Hodge shares the two things he believes are worship leader essentials.  This is something that anyone in ministry should read, but especially worship leaders.  Short and concise. 
  3. I have always loved palindromes.  I saw this one a long time ago from Weird Al in the style of Bob Dylan.  But I wish to show you this one because it has truth that people in our generation need to know.  Thanks to Todd Williams for throwing it in my direction.  
  4. Since I am starting a phase of finding new instrumental music, I wanted to show you two songs and videos that I have replayed a lot recently.  Here is the first with the song “Your hand in mine” by Explosions in the Sky and here is the second with the song, “Autumn” by Ganga.  What is your favorite instrumental music pieces?
  5. I love little videos that communicate a lot of trust in a short amount of time.  John Saddington has little ‘caption please’ videos all the time. But The one from today is quite amazing.  It really makes you think about all the things that you are constantly running to. 
  6. I am concluding this week with my favorite commercial of the year and possibly of my whole life.  You will truly enjoy this

valentine’s day thoughts

Well Valentine’s Day is on the way.  As most of you aware, guys are hurrying to get their last minute gifts while women are anxiously anticipating whether or not their guy who is more than likely trying his hardest is the dream guy.  Is he the guy they want to be with?     

You see – I am not the most romantic person in the world.  I am not sure why but I simply fail at it.  Some things that I think are romantic are actually quite pathetic to my wife.  I get flowers.  Chocolate.  Candy.  The niceties.  But I always seem to come up short.  At least in my mind.  And I am so thankful that my wife has never pointed out my flaws to me.  (Well at least the flaws in this area).

However, I am beginning to realize that Valentine’s Day can be more of a curse than a blessing.  Below I am going to show you 10 reasons why I think it can be a curse.  But don’t get me wrong, Valentine’s Day is a day that I get to show my wife how much I love her.  But besides that, I believe it is a curse and here’s why:

  1. Because it is expected.
  2. Because Hallmark owns the rights to it.
  3. Because everyone else is doing it.
  4. Because you can’t keep topping yourself.
  5. Because there is simply no one to compete when sharing stories with others. 
  6. Because women have seen more movies than we can count about how to do Valentine’s Day right. 
  7. Because men don’t like waiting in lines at restaurants.
  8. Because reservations don’t really mean reservations.  They simply mean call ahead and then go ahead and wait. 
  9. Because chocolate, flowers, dinner, and movie don’t just cut it.
  10. Because I hate seeing PDA from others. 

Call this a Valentine’s Day ramble.  All in all, my advice is make every day the day you wish to show those you love that you love them.  Don’t wait till 2.14 every year.  Show love in March, April and for goodness sake, July. 

Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.

links of the week (2.12.10 edition)

New feature on the Bunch Blog –
Links of the Week.

Here is the first batch:

  1. The story of Lost as told/experienced by writers at Newsweek.  Thanks to Mike for pointing this out to me.
  2. 36 songs that use the same chords.  This is something that I have always seen in pop music and especially among the Christian music scene.  Very funny take on Don’t Stop Believing. 
  3. Live Remixes of worship from Elevation Church in Charlotte.  This church is doing some of the best things that I have seen in a worship music so I strongly suggest that you should check out their blogs if you are interested.  Click “To know your name” at about 1:24 and hear one of the best key solos I have ever heard. 
  4. I love reading.  Check out these two blogs about reading more and better.  Great stuff. 

January, 2010 books

I love the breaks that I get from school.  I always have. 

Not just because of the extra sleep that I get but because I can catch up on some reading for fun, which is probably my favorite hobby. 

Each month I am going to try and recap in short terms what I have read.  Here is the first and I am sorry that it is so late. 

Here is what I read throughout January, 2010 and my twitter-like thoughts on each:

1.  The 5 temptations of a CEO – Patrick Lencioni  –  Lencioni is a great author but this one was too short and did not really convince me of anything. 

2.  Mudhouse Sabbath – Lauren Winner  – I picked this up from the library hoping for a new perspective on some spiritual disciplines, yet it lacked in content but the stories were great. 

3.  Religion Saves – Mark Driscoll  –  I must admit that I did not read this whole book.  Not because of the writing but simply because of time constraints.  I will pick it up again.  He tackled many questions that Christians have and showed how each one biblically can be defined.  My favorite chapters were the ones on dating and birth control. 

4.  Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer – My wife, Vickie, got me started in the Twilight series simply by talking about it ceaselessly.  I picked up the first one and loved it then read the remaining 3.  This one was good but I did not like the ending that much.  It felt rushed. 



5.  Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone – J.K. Rowling – One of my goals this year was to read the Harry Potter series from start to finish.  This first one is really good and I believe that the movie was pretty faithful to it.  The movie might be the most faithful to a book that I have seen. 



6.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling  – This second book is quite annoying at times.  The writing is great and the stories is good but Rowling makes a character that drives me up the wall and frustrates me more than any other character since Jar Jar Binks.  Can you guess who it is?



7.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling – This third book is my favorite book in the series thus far and from what I have read of the whole series (I read all but the last one).  Sirius is a great character and his appearance is great.  Rowling had the best twists in this book. 

What books are you reading these days?

love and war

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on a book that I am reading at this moment.  I sincerely believe that this book will help you because it is already opening some things in my eyes.  I wanted to have it done for review before VDay but other things kept creeping up.  So here is my reading-as-I-go-review.  

I am only a few chapters in but I am really enjoying it.  It reminds me of the good ol’ days of engagement and the fact that I was consuming many books on marriage and how to do it right. 

This book is more about not just surviving marriage in one piece but actually striving for wholeness.  Yes, marriage is hard.  Whoever tells you it’s not is a liar or worse.  Marriage is hard and we need all that we can.  This book is a good resource from what I have read so far. 

John Eldredge wrote some other books that you might have heard of (Wild at Heart, Waking the dead – my favorite, and the Sacred Romance).  If you liked those other books, I am sure you will like this one. 

Here is a link if you wish to purchase this book.

Disclaimer:  This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.  However, I only review books on this blog that I am interested in and believe wholeheartedly that my readers would as well.