Category Archives: recommend

Holiness, Grace, and Mission (Isaiah 6:1-8)

A two part series I recently preached on Isaiah’s encounter with God and how it informs our understanding of grace and the Christian mission:


Gospel Fluency

This promo video is of Jeff Vanderstelt, a pastor at Soma Communities, is very challenging. I would hope that I would personally view all things through the lens of the gospel. In addition, I hope I am teaching and equipping my church to think this way.

For more thorough and involved teaching on this subject, see this post by Justin Taylor.

Relevant Magazine has done it again…

With the release of the Relevant Magazine tablet edition, the good folks in Orlando have proved they are on the forefront of emerging media. In my humble opinion, this is what a tablet magazine should be. It incorporates all of the features of the print magazine (e.g., creative interviews, beautiful artistry, etc.) with the possibilities of the internet (e.g., photo galleries, short movies, audio interviews, interactive advertising, social media sharing features, etc.).

It is fun to read an article and then toggle off the text to enjoy the photos. In another case you can read interview questions and listen to the interviewees response via embedded audio. The possibilities are endless! Kudos Relevant Mag team.

Tuesday Tunes: Neulore

I came across this band and album via the Relevant Magazine podcast. I was immediately drawn to the indie folk blend. However, the creative use of story and narrative captured my attention fully.

Neulore’s latest release, Apples and Eve, is a creativity retelling of the Genesis 3. It is Adam’s fictional discussion with Eve.

Something happened when Eve accepted the fruit from the serpent. Something more than the proverbial fall, something more than the rift between God & man. The bliss of the garden spiraled into accusation, desire, and heartbreak. Written to Eve from Adam’s perspective, the seven songs that make up Neulore’s “Apples & Eve” explore that fractured space between the original man and woman.

Tunes for Tuesday: James Tealy

I’ve been a fan of James Tealy since the first time I met him in Denver, CO in the summer of 2004 (back when he was James Thiele!). I spent a summer learning from him as he taught about the mission of God to students at an M-Fuge camp. We hiked around Rocky Mountain National park and talked about life and faith. He is a talented communicator and a more talented musician.

Over the years I’ve followed his music career with great joy. His newest album, “Only Love” (featuring The Citizens Oath) is of particular interest to me. It is no secret that CCM lost its appeal to me back in college. However, there are a growing number of musicians and bands that write quality music that embraces all aspects of life. As such, the songs touch on themes of love, faith, adventure, and more. I place a much higher value on creativity and authenticity than polish contents that fit in a pre-packaged genre.

Only Love is definitely the kind of album that you’ll put on repeat. You’ll feel the tug toward adventure in songs such as “Before This Moment Dies.” A track like “In Jesus” provides a somber moment to reflect on your faith and “The Language of Our Heart” has the overtones of eternity woven throughout. The entire album has the tone of honesty and sincerity that I’ve come to love about James’ music. The folksy pop sound makes it easy to listen to and you’ll be surprised by the musical twists and turns.

Tunes for Tuesday: Sons and Daughters

I first heard about “All Sons and Daughters” in a Relevant Magazine spotlight. I see this band as falling into an emerging category of Christian worship that emphasizes creativity, artistry, authenticity, and honesty. In the vain of John Mark McMillan, Gungor, and others, their songs lend themselves toward careful reflection rather than a peppy sing-a-long.

The style and tone of their music is simple without being simplistic. It is lyrically rich without unnecessary ambiguity. Because of the lyrical content and the careful musical craftsmanship the songs have a sense of movement that bring the listener along. There is a feeling of life when the snare drum, guitars, and vocals mix on the track “Alive”:

We are soaked in all the grace that we’ve been given

Unchained from all that we have done

Your mercy’s rising like the sun on the horizon

We’re coming home

Below is a music video for another great track: “All the Poor and Powerless”