Shelf Fridge Ipod

These posts are pretty fun to write, except for the times you discover that you have not listened to any new music and that your beer tastes have stayed pretty much the same for as long as you can remember.  Anyway, here is my list.

Shelf

Spiritual Direction by Henri Nouwen.  Here is a quote from the book; “Once pain or confusion is framed or articulated by a question, it must be lived rather than solved.”  Or try this one on for size, “Our lives are not problems to be solved but journeys to be taken with Jesus as our friend and finest guide.”  Hey Brian McLaren Nouwen called and he wants he material back!  I’m kidding but this has been an excellent book for me to read, it is books like this (from a dead Catholic priest) that round out my Christian life, they allow me to be challenged and understand God from different avenues and streams than I am used to and particularly comfortable with.  Everyone should read this book, especially if you are reformed.

It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg. This is typical Ortberg, good writing, incredible illustrations and simply profound at times.  Guy is just a born communicator.  He does have a high “cheese” factor and can be quite “boomerific” at times but the book is quite enjoyable to read and is excellent for all.

PNTC Gospel of John by D.A. Carson.  Considering that I a huge fan of both D.A. Carson and the Pillar New Testament Commentary Series I knew that I would love this book.  This is the second beefy commentary I have read on John this year and I have to say Carson’s is second to none.  What I find remarkable about it is that whether you are a Greek guru or just a Christian wanting to dig deeper into the Gospel of John, there is something for you in this commentary.  Now that to me is the definition of great writing.  One who can write to all levels, even at the same time.

Fridge

I have cut back on the beer drinking this summer, and lost over ten pounds this summer, maybe the two are related.  But a few good beers I have had are the Breckenridge Seasonal brew a few weekends ago, and anything by New Belgium they are the Patriots of the beer making world.

I have cooked a lot of steak this summer as I continue my secret mission to become the next Bobby Flay.  Yes I have gone to great lengths to learn how to cook the perfect steak, even watching hours and hours of the Food Network.  And I think I am getting close.  Won’t share all my insights right now because maybe a cookbook is my best shot at getting published in the future.

Ipod

Kayne West Graduation. Honestly I was stunned when I saw that Matt had not included this new CD on his list.  If you are into hip-hop, which I am, then you will love this CD.  Kayne West has an ego the size of Barry Bond’s head but he also is incredibly talented.  Even if you do not like rap download the track “stronger” could be the best song of the year, it is easily the best workout song of the year.

ESPN Radio.  I have become and addict.  Crystal got me a subscription to ESPN the magazine and with it comes a membership to be an ESPN insider.  I would not give something like this a second thought usually but as an insider you get to download all their sports talk shows without the commercials, for free!  So everyday now I download it onto my Ipod and listen to it on the way to work.  Colin Cowherd is my favorite, the guy says some crazy stuff, but is hugely entertaining.  Plus with football season being back in full effect, sports talk radio is at its finest.

ryan

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Bill Belichick and the Patriots update

Whoa!

Read this ESPN story. Roger Goodell put the UFC smack down on one smarmy Bill Belichick.  This punishment is severe and harsh.

Yes I might have a small man crush on Roger Goodell

A first round pick is like a first born in  the NFL world.  Plus by personally fining Bill Belichick 500,000 dollars sends a big message to him and the rest of the NFL.  Overall I would say justice served, but we are all still left with lingering doubts about big moments over the last few years and how legit they really were.  We all know that you reap what you sow and I hope the Patriots get a big bounce in the first round of the playoffs this year.  And yes I am bitter.

Shelf/Ipod/Fridge

For those of you who don’t know, Shelf/Ipod/Fridge is a chance to share what you are reading, listening to, and drinking. I would encourage all loyal readers (and even marginal for that matter) to write a shelf/ipod/fridge post as well and link to it in the comment section of this post (Jake, since you have a iphone you have no excuse not to participate). If enough people participate we could make this a monthly endeavor, sharing our different tastes, and turning our voyeuristic online endeavors to somewhat of an actual community.

Shelf

The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper

– Just finished this phenomenal mini-biography of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin. Simply to hear the stories of conversion, the struggles (Luther’s bad mouth), and love for God that these great reformers was such a great encourage to continue to “contend for the faith.”

Getting Things Done by David Allen

– I am rereading this wonderful book on organizational principles. It has revolutionized how I view organizing my life. I am rereading it becuase I am having a hard time sticking to the implementation of these principles. This is a book I will probably read two or three times a year until I am able to master these great tools for productivity.

JPS Commentary on Ecclesiastes
by Michael Fox

– Other than having to read this book backwards (with the JPS you literally read from the right to left, except for the page itself) I love this commentary. I have relied primarily on the WBC series, but was pleased with what I read about this in the two reference surveys I have (Commentary and Reference survey are basically entire books that serve as annotated bibliographies for Bible commentaries). It is great to be as honest with hermeneutics as Solomon was in addressing life under the sun. What a splendid battle it is to study Ecclesiastes.

Ipod

Black Holes and Revelations by MUSE

– Progressive rock at its best. I always say that I like my emo with a lot of rock, but I’m not even sure MUSE is emo. Just check out the link, they’re wonderful.

Under the Iron Sea by Keane

– Keane lands somewhere between MUSE and Coldplay. Note: I cannot stand Coldplay, so Keane is my limit for piano led whiny Brittish pop/alternative rock. That being said, Under the Iron Sea, is one of 3 albums I have gotten in the past few years that I can listen from beginning to end. Listening to them simply makes me happy, and in a good move. Plus, its one of 5 cd’s I own that I can listen to with my wife.

Greatest Hitz by Limp Bizkit

– Yes I am serious, and yes this is proof positive that I graduated high school in 1999. But, after picking this up recently I was amazed at how many songs were still really good. I mean, if you had asked me in 2000 whether I thought Korn or Limp Bizkit would still be on my player in 10 years, I would have not hesitated to say Korn. Yet Counterfeit, Nookie, Re-Arranged, N 2 Gether Now, and Rollin’ all blared out of my window yesterday. Note: yes I did turn it down when at stop lights, I don’t want people to know how much of a loser I really am.

Fridge

Only had one beer in my fridge over the last month, so I’ll modify this one a bit.

Fat Tire by New Belgium

– Sometimes you just have to go back to old trusted beers. Fat Tire never disapoints as a amber, slightly bitter Ale. And, I am eagerly anticipating their fall seasonal to be consumed shortly.

Cabernet Sauvignon  by Chateau Ste. Michelle

– Probably the best deep red you’re getting for around 10 bucks. And for my money, this dry-red is great with a juicy red steak, or kicking back on your porch smoking a…

Tobacco Pipe by Romeo and Juliet

– Yup, I have taken up pipe smoking. While it is working and making me feel smarter, I have not quite gotten used to how to correctly keep the tobacco lit. It is quite fun learning though. If anyone has any suggestions on what kind of tobacco to smoke please comment. I am most interested in a very aromatic blend

Cowboy Matt

As part of my job I get to visit ranches my company owns a few times a quarter. A few months back, after helping coordinate a rodeo cow “sorting” event, some co-workers and I decided to participate.

 

And oh yeah, this was my first time on a horse, EVER! After participating in the rodeo event, I was asked to help herd cattle for the rest of the afternoon. The only scary part was realizing that I had a horse at full gallop with only a half-hour of riding experience.

good times.

matt

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Now playing: Nine Black Alps – Unsatisfied
via FoxyTunes

Bill Belichick and the Patriots are Cheaters!

This guy is a cheater. I do not want to hear any excuses. I know my view of this story is colored by blue and orange glasses but in this case It is pretty clear Belichick is a cheater. In case you are not familiar with the situation check out all the raging stories over at espn.com to catch up. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been video taping defensive signals of their opponents. If you do not understand why this is a big deal here is why. The defensive signals relay such information such as if there is a blitz coming or not, if a blitz will be disguised or not, if the coverage is man or zone, if the linebackers will blitz or drop into coverage or come after the QB, or if they will be playing the run or the pass. Basically it will tell you everything you need to know for your QB and offense to look like geniuses. Personally, I feel cheated, to watch the NFL over the last few years and see Brady look so poised and confident in the pocket and seem to constantly know the right thing to to with the ball and where to throw it, and now understand there is a strong likelihood that he had inside information as to exactly the defensive would be doing! This is incredible! It feels like finding out the Mormon Jeopardy guy who won some 6o straight times had and ear piece with someone giving him the answers.

Now I understand that an offense still has to execute and Tom Brady still has to make the throws, and Brady is wickedly accurate, but lets be honest the things that makes a QB great, truly great, is his decision making ability. As a Bronco fan I have been tortured the last few years by the suspect decision making ability of one Jake Plummer. With every game I would sit on the couch terrified that at any moment he would do something incredibly dumb. Truth is the one thing that kept Jake Plummer from ever being a great player was his decision making ability. He had the talent and ability but always would make a dumb choice at critical times. Now just imagine if this most critical component of poise and decision making is somehow manipulated so that the task is made easier for the Quarterback? I don’t care what anyone says, this is a huge advantage and changes the game completely, especially in game wining drive situations or crucial times of big games. You can argue I am over reacting but by cheating the Patriots have opened themselves up to this type of criticism and judgments.

Rant over.

Mark Driscoll is a busy boy

Well the boys at The Resurgence have quite a bit going on in the next year. Looks like they are launching their own publishing wing out of Crossway. Mark Driscoll Pastor of Mars Hill Church is planning the release of “Vintage Jesus” coming early in 2008 just for starters, which looks an expansion of his preaching series last year with the same title.

And this will just be the tip of the ice berg as it looks like at least 6 more books will be following, along with an awesome conference with John Piper and Matt Chandler as speakers. Read this post of his as he lays out all that he is planning on publishing in the next year or so, should be quite exciting. If Mark Driscoll’s coming books are as good as his first two then everyone should anxiously await reading them.

Tim Keller and sharing the gospel

Good buddy Tom Schmidt asked I think a rather good question of Matt in the comments section last week.

“You brought up some interesting points about the ineffectiveness of doing evangelism explosion-type evangelism because of the current post-Christian culture we live in; my question to you would be: What works now? If those questions don’t reach the younger generation which ones do?”

This is a question that many pastors, seminaries, ministries, and Christians in general are deeply struggling with right now.  Part of the struggle comes from our Enlightenment mentality of looking for the most pragmatic functional solution, in the quickest amount of time.  But we seem to be entering into a quasi post-Christian society.  Answers are often elusive and the questions really begin to stack up.  In no way am I an expert, I have more questions than answers on most days.  Yet I do know that our first step must be out of what I call the “elastic band” mentality.  Elastic is great for many things, sweat pants, and pregnant women, because it seems to fit just about everybody. Sharing the Gospel is not a one size fits all anymore (I seriously doubt it ever was).  Ministries and churches that continue to search for the magic bullet that will be effective to all people in all places are naive and I think kind of lazy.  Just like Paul we might have to be more like a clothing tailor; taking the time to measure and examine to city or people group that we serve, and then do what fits best for that time and place.  This does not mean the message changes, but the method does.

As far as what this practically looks like I would point to the Yoda of missiology, Tim Keller.  I was at the Desiring God 2006 conference in which he gave this amazing talk on this very topic, listen to it over and over and over.

If anyone else has any ideas feel free to leave a comment.  I am always looking to learn more about how we can reach those around us.

ryan