Thursday, November 27, 2008

Music DNA

Many posts ago, I shared that I was convinced that each person has a unique "Top 10" list of songs. I think that we can all agree that every person responds to a song differently based on their music preference. The next level of connection to a song comes from the memories and/or season of life associated with the song.

There are some songs that resonate with me today that would not have resonated with me 1 year ago, 5 years ago or 20 years ago. The opposite is true as well - songs that resonated with me 1 year ago, 5 years ago or 20 years ago do not always connect with me now.

With that said, a friend's status update on Facebook said, "I'm thankful for the person who told me about Pandora." I looked it up and now I am hooked.

Pandora is based on the music genome project and it attempts to bring together songs based on a complex algorithm that assesses aspects of the songs. The theory is that each song has its own DNA.

In turn, I would say that sets of songs (like a top ten list) have the complexity of combined DNA that must be unique for each person.

Is there anything out there that lets you put in your personal top ten list of songs and have it match up with others?

Would your top ten list ever be the same at any instant in time?

Let's start small, if you have a top 3 songs, then what are they?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Disconnected analysis

I am learning a basic lesson right now. The lesson is that church ministry decisions should be based on actual conversations with real individuals as opposed to theories from books or other ministry models. Yes, this should be a basic observation.

The pull toward stepping away to "figure things out" is a strong pull for me. In many ways, I have attempted to apply a logic-driven approach to analyzing a small group ministry. The outcome has often been disconnected from the reality that I have (re)discovered from talking with real individuals who are participating in the small group ministry.

The phrase "incarnational ministry" has been tossed around in more ways than I can count. I will, however, venture to say that I have experienced a facet of that elusive term in recent days as I have "dwelled among" friends who want to connect with God and other people through small groups.


My Dad has always said, "People before process" but I apparently missed the memo...

It is time to listen.

It is time to act...

How have you seen systems receive the primary focus as opposed to people in your area of responsibility (work, family, etc)?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Stirring up apathetic spirits

I was battling some apathy the other morning so I asked God to wake me up through meditating on a section of Scripture. The Old Testament book of Haggai immediately came to mind.

I read through the first chapter. After reading a vivid description of apathy, I read this in vv 13-14 - “Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of the LORD to his people, “I am with you,” declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God.”

The people of God drifted toward apathy regarding God’s honor and purposes in the world. At that point in time, God’s honor was seen and experienced in the temple. Instead, the people drifted toward only focusing on themselves. In 1:4, Haggai shares, “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in the paneled houses while this house (the temple) remains a ruin?”

In other words, he was asking "do you only care about yourselves?"

God then addressed these people through his messenger Haggai and God stirred up their apathetic spirits toward his purposes in the world.

What are some ways that the church needs to hear this word today?

In what ways, do we merely care for our own private worlds as opposed to responding to God’s invitation to participate in what he is doing in our community and the world?

Does this reminder stir you? It stirs me up.