Friday, May 8, 2009


A couple years ago, Jake, the former youth worker at Riverview had been at a video store that happened to be selling a bunch of used CD and DVD cases. The cases were just typical slimline CD cases. They were selling a box of 200 for $10.00. Knowing how often we pass out CD's of music, files, and sermons, he immediately scooped them up. They eventually were stored in some closet at the church and forgotten about...until last week.

Last Saturday was our "all-church work day" where people from the church essentially do spring cleaning: the pews get polished, lights bulbs get changed, and paint gets touched up. In the process of the work day, someone unearthed the box of CD cases that Jake had purchased probably three years ago. The box was still unopened. I was glad they were found, because it seems like I'm always rooting around for a CD case. I put the box on the chair in my office.

Last night, I was in an informal meeting in my office with a couple other people. One of them opened the box and took out some of the CD cases and looked at them. On each of the CD cases was a little sticker label with the title of the movie that the case once held. As we looked at the titles on each case, there were nothing but porno movies! Each title we looked at was more filthy than the next. A whole box of CD cases that, at one time, contained porn.

Why bring it up? Well, I'm in the process of putting together the music for our worship team for the summer. In the process, I give the band a CD with the upcoming music on it. Think of it: what once contained perverted filth now contains music that brings praise and honor to God. Kind of neat.

P.S. I took off all the labels!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Martin Luther Is Funny

I'm in the midst of a research project for my Christian Heritage class. My subject is worship music of the reformation era. It turns out that some of the Reformers didn't think it was right to use music in formal worship, while others, like Luther, said things like this:

"A person who...does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs."

Wow! "...doesn't deserve to be called a human being." (!) That dude was serious about his appreciation of music!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lamb-Style Evangelism

A couple weeks ago I delivered this message that argued that as Christians go about in ministry and evangelism, they are to do so as lambs. In other words, with courtesy, meekness, humility, gentleness, respect, and love.

I was emailed this video today, of Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller fame). Penn was recently ministered to by a Christian who gave him a Bible and encouraged him to read it. Considering that Penn is a raving, staunch, God-hating atheist, he had some very positive things to say about the experience, and about the guy who witnessed to him. It just goes to show how important it is to be a lamb amongst wolves, and not a wolf amongst wolves.