Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tunes and such - Calvin Nowell

Just found the MySpace page for a new friend, Calvin Nowell. And by friend, I mean in the literal - we've met face to face and enjoyed some connections - kind of friendship. Not the MySpace "be my 8700th friend" sense. But I'm not hating... MySpace is cool, super cool for artists...


Calvin's got a great story (how he lost 215 pounds!), he's a gifted minister, and delivers a soothing worship sound full of heart and SOUL. I'm delighted with the songs he's posted on his page, from his well-titled release, start somewhere.

Others on my "Tunes and such" list are friends and/or artists with straight-arrow impact on my heart and head.

Swirl 23 - Detroit-based alternative rock with a vision (kinda grungey - rap/core-ish, y'know?), unsigned.

Mariachi Vasquez - what? With mohawks and dyed hair, Denver's coolest mariachi band, and all in the same family.

Shane Ladean - Denver area worship leader, passion pilot, steers his Fender Rhodes with total skill, writes cool songs, my daughter sings with him.

Ayinde - Denver-based singer/poet/performance artist with a deep, deep well of furious love for God and mankind. See him monthly at "The Speakout" in Aurora - national caliber poetics!

Tye Tribbett and Greater Anointing - another church boy breaks the mold with high praise, groovy hooks, prophetic lyrics, stage presence like Gnarls Barkley, and willing to leave the playlist and enter into the vertical praise realm. Don't miss in concert!

David Crowder Band - became famous through Passion concerts. I can't stop singing his songs.

Israel and New Breed - often seen leading worship at Joel Osteen's megaplex, I Houghton and band played in the Grammy show last Sunday (2008). Breaking the mold of soul-laced worship, racking up awards, staying real.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mattingly: "Thou shalt not say 'adultery'"

It's a strange Valentine's Day season. Just read a story on how to make your divorce happier, and this one from religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

In his interview with Pamela Druckerman, author of Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee, it became clear that the 7th Commandment isn't just that big a deal anymore.

"If I asked someone, 'Have you ever committed adultery?', it was like God entered the room at that moment," said Druckerman, reached at her home in Paris.

Mattingly's column should be posted today at:

Over on the "love front," both the Wall Street Journal and ABC News are tracking studies that show the connections between "new love" (passion, pleasure, elevated dopamine in the brain's ventral tegmental area), and enduring love (bonding, raised oxytocin levels and activity in the brain's ventral pallidum area).

Fellas, keep the playful passion set on "high." In addition to respecting her, and honoring her (good long term strategies), I think your lady likes being pursued.

I'm taking Valentine's Day off. Our anniversary is one week later, and that's the big show for us.

Look for Sam Schechner's article, "Keeping Love Alive," Feb. 8, 2008, Wall Street Journal. (You can get access to lots of Wall St. Journal content by entering through a Google search.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kanye brushes up against the truth

Hip hop fans are feeling for Kanye, as he mourns publicly the loss of his mother Donda, who died earlier this year after plastic surgery. From the Yahoo/AP story on tonight's 50th anniversary Grammy awards show:

"Last night I saw you in my dreams, and now I can't wait to go to sleep," sang West, dressed in black and with MAMA etched into his haircut, as he launched into "Hey Mama," a celebratory tune from his second album that has now turned into a somber ode.

Even closer to the mark, Kanye said, "I'll be more alive when I'm asleep, than I am today."

Missing our departed loved ones, there is a great reunion for all those who die in Christ. And forever is a long time...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dangerous Man '08: Career and Calling

Forty hours a week, 50 weeks a year, 40 years of work from age 25 to “retirement” = 80,000 hours, and for what? Yet, as American men. we are constantly measured by the success of our work. Are we any closer to what God had planned for our time on the planet?

I just finished a second year running at a small version of Promise Keepers in suburban Denver, called “Dangerous Man Day,” organized by Al Larson, author of a book The Making of a Dangerous Man. Good for me that I got to run a workshop called “Career and Calling.”

Notes for attendees and interested parties follow.

Os Guinness writes in his modern classic book The Call:
The modern world has scrambled things so badly that today we worship our work, we work at our play, and we play at our worship.
(Guinness, p. 160)


“The Work Week” over eight centuries
13th century - Adult male peasant, UK - 31 hrs/wk.
Middle Ages - English worker - 44.4 hrs/wk.
1400-1600 - Farmer-miner, adult male, UK - 38 hrs/wk.
1850 - Average worker, U.S. - 70 hrs/wk.
(Compiled by Juliet B. Schor author, Boston College sociology professor,

The six day week was pretty standard through the World War I years.

Henry Ford created the eight-hour-a-day, five-day work week in 1926, giving his workers time to enjoy their cars. There’s an obvious connection between incentive and production.
(Joshua Zeitz, professor of history, Univ. of Cambridge, England,

The notion finally went nationwide as a part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Congress passed The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 establishing a minimum wage and a 44-hour cap before overtime rules kicked in, then it was moved to a 40-hour cap in 1940.

· reports 63 percent of Americans work more than 40 hours a week. (THAT’S A LOT OF OVERTIME!)
· More than $21 billion dollars in vacation time goes unused annually (and back to employers!).
· We spend 2.5 more weeks—and three months more—at work than do our Japanese and western European counterparts, respectively.
Indiana Univ., IU Home Pages, Sept. 2004,

How many of us work 50 hours a week or more?
I found estimates between 20 and 40 percent, and a lot of those are highly educated, white collar workers.
Expedia/Indiana U., Peter Kuhn, Univ. of Cal. – Santa Barbara,

See link for poem, “ODE TO THE WORKING MAN”

In 1995, an 87 year old woman made national headlines when she drew from her savings to donate a 150,000 dollar scholarship to Southern Mississippi. Her chosen profession – washerwoman, taking in the clothes of others, washing and ironing for half a century or more. Oseola McCarty received an honorary doctorate from Harvard and the Presidential Citizen’s Medal. Did she fulfill her calling?

Guys, fulfilling our calling is so much more than the stuff we do. There is a deeper spiritual component to our labors.

As American men. we are constantly measured by the outward success of our work. But we may be already be closer than we think to fulfilling our calling.

Guinness writes:
Calling is indispensable to the integrity and effectiveness of the church in this momentous hour. Calling … also touches cultural life potently. (p. 59)

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome (8:19) :
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

Eugene Peterson’s Message paraphrase puts it this way:
The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next.

As a young believer in the early 80s we sang it this way:
Rise up! Rise up!
You are the soldiers of the cross,
You are the ones who are to glorify the King!

Creation groans
for the sons of God to come
manifesting all the nature of their King!

• Adam – gardener, zoologist
• Hiram’s Bronze Works, Tyre
• Nehemiah – cupbearer, contractor, governor
• Simon Peter and Andrew - fishermen
• Matthew – tax collector
• Book of Acts: tanner, textiles, tailor

Using their talents for Kingdom purposes!
Fulfilling their calling!

My interpretation of the godly virtues and their outcome in II Peter 5:8 - Prayer > clarity > faith > provision and agreement!

Want biblical life coaching? Contact Pete Richardson,,

Check out the Christian job search ministry

Fight fear with God’s word! Download 40 verses against fear by Aslan’s Place (spiritual healing center in Hesperia, CA),

The Call – vocational and life purpose tool by Randy Austad

Marketplace Leaders, Os Hillman

Marketplace Chaplains USA

Life@Work resources and events

Ancient Paths seminar, Craig Hill, Family Foundations Intl., Littleton, CO

Discern your spiritual gifts (God-given aptitude for kingdom work), based on Wagner-Houts spiritual gifts test, free and on line at

Romans 12:3-8
motivational gifts (prophecy, serving, teaching, exhorting/encouragement, giving, leading, showing mercy)

1 Corinthians 12:1-31
spiritual gifts (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues)

1 Corinthians 14:1-40
Proper use and application of spiritual gifts (prophecy and tongues)

Ephesians 4:7-16
“Five – fold,” vocational ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers)

1 Peter 4:7-11
gifts for sharing (prayers, fervent love, hospitality, speaking, serving)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
(Eph. 2:10 NIV)

Men, you are:
Built by God / DESTINED – Jer. 1 (“before I formed you in the womb, I knew you”)
Loved by the Father / A SON – (you are sons, not slaves – John 8:35, friends, not servants, John 15:15)
Gifted by the Creator / TALENTED – stir up the gifts - II Tim1:6 , provoke love and good deeds - Heb. 10:24
Anointed for service / APPOINTED – Luke 4:19 “the acceptable year of the Lord”, Great Commission in Matt. 28:18-20, “power to witness” Acts 1:8

A few thoughts on “waiting”
· Not standing there watching airplanes in the outfield, wandering, twiddling thumbs
· It’s READINESS – like the waiter in a 5-star restaurant, poised, waiting for your next move.

from Switchfoot song "Dare you to move:"
"The tension is here, between how it is and how it should be, between who you are and who you could be."

From Rick Warren’s best seller Purpose Driven Life:
“Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence.”
(p. 67)

19th century Dutch leader Abraham Kuyper:
“There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine! This belongs to me!’”
(Guinness, p. 165)

Os Guinness, from The Call:
God is on the move. Faith therefore means restlessness. The Caller may be unseen and the destination unknown, but those who follow his call have a voice above and a vision ahead that subverts every status quo and unsettles every resting place.

Guinness says that for a Christian, the call of God is…
an act of imaginative seeing that combines:
· the insight of faith, which goes to the heart of things below the surface, and
· the foresight of faith, which soars beyond the present with the power of a possible future.

Thomas Edward Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) speaks to you, called out ones…
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanit; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

From Paul’s letter to the believers in Philippi (3:10-14, The Message)
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Dust. Rob Bell. Mars Hill Church: Nooma video series, Grand Rapids.

Foxe, John. Foxe’s Christian Book of Martyrs. Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour and Company, 1985.

Guinness, Os. The Call. Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998.

The Family Man. Dir. Brett Ratner. Beacon Communications, 2000.

Mandel, Michael, et. al. The real reasons you’re working so hard… and what you can do about it/ Sept. 26, 2005. <>

Peterson, Eugene. The Message. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.

Sandweiss, Lee Ann. The 40-hour work week—dead or alive?/IU Home Pages. Sept. 2004, Indiana Univ. <>

That The World May Know, Ray Vanderlaan. Focus on the Family video series.

University of Southern Mississippi, The Gift, <>

Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.

Zeitz, Joshua, American Heritage History Blog. 2006. Univ. of Cambridge, England. <>

Ode to the Working Man

(performed at Dangerous Man Day 2008, Centennial, Colorado)

Flex time, comp time, overtime, short time
pension’s running dry and my pen’s running out of ink,
wild swings on Wall St., … I wonder would happen if you actually saw a real live bull and real live bear in a cage match on TNT?

early retirement, forced retirement, and golden parachutes,
telecommuting, laptops, smart phones, crack-berries, …
Euros against the pound against the yen against the dollar,
petro-dollars, narco-dollars, just not enough dollars at the end of the month…

Nikkei, Hong Kong Hang Seng, E-trade, Scott trade,
Schwab’s trading up for the next largest plasma screen…
2nd mortgage HELOC, foreclosure’s changing the door lock

Job security? I no longer believe.

Enter the global economy, and suddenly
we’re competing with people all over the world who just want to work.
Isn’t competition wonderful? Or is it just a fact of life?

and what do you know, Toy-yota is building pick up trucks at a factory in San Antonio, Texas!

“The social contract is shifting,”
says the Society for Human Resource Management.
No kidding!