According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power
is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. - anon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Carl Lentz - "This is What Church Should Look Like. It's Jesus First, Last, and Always."




Hillsong Church Pastors Won't Speak Out On Gays Because Jesus Didn't Either
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/hillsong-church-gays_n_6002762.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000051

The Huffington Post | By Antonia Blumberg
Posted: 10/17/2014 2:48 pm EDT Updated: 10/17/2014 2:59 pm EDT

Hillsong Church's New York location reportedly draws "a lot of gay men and women" among the thousands who flock there every weekend, according to head pastor Carl Lentz.

"Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent," Lentz told CNN in a June interview (above). "And I'm still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won't find it because he never did."

Lentz's wife, Laura, added: "It's not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That's their journey."

Lentz's sentiments appear to be indicative of an overarching stance on gay issues set forth by Hillsong head pastor Brian Houston. At a press conference for the Hillsong Conference held in New York City Thursday, New York Times' Michael Paulson asked Houston directly about his stance on same-sex marriage. In an unofficial transcriptprovided by Jonathan Merritt, Houston responded:

It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. Because many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. On the subject, I always feel like there’s three things. There’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the word we live by. The world, the weight, and the word.

Blogger Ben Gresham, who identifies as a "25-year-old gay Christian" from Sidney, Australia, grew up attending Hillsong Church and often uses his website to write about the church's stance on gay issues. In an August 2013 post Gresham wrote about a message Houston recorded at Hillsong London and broadcast to all the church campuses entitled "Scandal of Grace," which touched on the topic and echoed the pastor's comments on Thursday. The blogger transcribed a portion of the message, in which Houston said:

The one elephant in the room for churches around the world at the moment is the gay situation. What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do?

There's lots of hatred out there but in the middle of it all you know there are three things: the world of the times we live in; the weight we live with; and the word we live by.

Houston added that "the world has changed quickly" and said "the weight we live with" includes "the weight when a young person growing up in a church feels like they are confused in their sexuality." This disconnect, the pastor said, can lead to hate, rejection and, in worst cases, suicide.

There's the world we live in. There's the weight we live with, and there's the word we live by. And they don't all necessary align. With the word we live by, many people have various convictions. In the middle of it all know that Jesus when it comes to people would let nothing stop Him from breaking through a divide to help hurting, broken, everyday normal people like you and I.

In March 2014 Pastor Danny Cortez of New Heart Community Church, a small Southern Baptist congregation in Southern California, delivered a sermon explaining that he no longer believed homosexuality to be a sin. His church struggled with the decision of whether to dismiss him and ultimately decided not to but instead become a "Third Way church" -- based on Vineyard Church pastor Ken Wilson’s book, “A Letter to my Congregation” which puts forth the notion that churches could agree to disagree on the subject and refrain from judgement.

But as the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting approached in June, Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published an article denouncing the "third way":

There is no third way. A church will either believe and teach that same-sex behaviors and relationships are sinful, or it will affirm them. Eventually, every congregation in America will make a public declaration of its position on this issue. It is just a matter of time (and for most churches, not much time) before every congregation in the nation faces this test.

When faced with "this test," though, Religion News Service blogger Jonathan Merritt says that Hillsong's Lentz and Houston appear to adopt a similar "third way" by keeping definitive opinions to themselves and instead noting the complexity of the issue and the need for compassion. In the press conference Thursday, Houston said:

The real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet."

h/t Jonathan Merrit


Sara Groves - Songs, Videos, Lyrics


Sara Groves Official Website



Sara Groves - Fireflies and Songs



"Fireflies And Songs"

Thirty years ago I was a little girl
riding in the back seat of the car
a woman sang you don't bring me flowers anymore
I felt a sadness in my little heart

we're looking for the music 
in the music box
tearing it to pieces
trying to find a song

I was drawn to you in ways I can't explain
we fought like crazy but I couldn't stay away
piled on expectations and lots of blame 
like we couldn't do it any other way 

we're looking for a firefly 
moving through the night
staring at the one place
swear it never lights

were you surprised our hearts were not like ticking clocks
with faces and hands easy to read
we both wished if only in the land of oz
longed for things we'd never really need

now we're standing in the kitchen
all pretense is gone
you kiss me on the shoulder
fireflies and song




Sara Groves - "Breath of Heaven"




"Breath of Heaven"

I have travelled many moonless nights,
Cold and weary with a babe inside,
And I wonder what I've done.
Holy Father you have come,
And chosen me now to carry your Son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now X2

Breath of Heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,
Breath of Heaven.
Breath of Heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.
Breath of Heaven.

Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place,
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.



He's always been faithful by Sara Groves




"He's Always Been Faithful"

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God's hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He's always been faithful to me

I can't remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can't remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He's always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I've heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He's always been faithful, He's always been faithful
He's always been faithful to me



Hiding Place, by Sara Groves.wmv




"Hiding Place"

Early when the day is new
Before the stirring

I will come and talk to you
And confess the ways I am broken
To recall the words you've spoken
And to try to comprehend
The love you have for me

You are my hiding place
You fill my broken heart with songs
Songs of deliverance
You sing of how the weak are strong

You never meant for me to walk alone
You are always for me
As the truest lover of my soul
You hear my desperate calling
You have kept my feet from falling
And have set me on this rock on which I'm stand now

You are my hiding place
You fill my broken heart with songs
Songs of deliverance
You sing of how the weak are strong

And I believe you
For you've saved me from my darkness and my shame
And I believe you
For I hear your song of beauty (??-through the) pain






Sara Groves - Hello Lord



"Hello Lord"

Hello Lord, it's me your child
I have a few things on my mind
Right now I'm faced with big decisions
And I'm wondering if you have a minute, cuz
Right now I don't hear so well
And I was wondering if you could speak up

I know that you tore the veil
So I could sit with you in person
And hear what you're saying but
Right now, I just can't hear you.

I don't doubt your sovereignty
I doubt my own ability to
Hear what you're saying
And to do the right thing
And I desperately want to do the right thing
But right now I don't hear so well
And I was wondering if you could speak up

I know that you tore the veil
So I could sit with you in person
And hear what you're saying but
Right now, I just can't hear you.

And somewhere in the back of my mind
I think you are telling me to wait
And though patience has never been mine
Lord, I will wait to hear from you
Oh Lord, I'm waiting on you

Right now I don't hear so well
And I was wondering if you could speak up

I know that you tore the veil
So I could sit with you in person
And hear what you're saying but
Right now, I think you're whispering






Sara Groves - Miracle (Official Music Video) - Music Video




"Miracle"

Lay down your arms
Give up the fight
Quiet our hearts for a little while

Things have been spoken
Shouldn't be said
Rattles around in our hearts and our heads

Let's feel what we cannot feel
Know what we cannot know
Let’s heal where we couldn't heal
Oh, it's a miracle, it's a miracle

Things have been spoken
Shouldn't be said
Rattles around in our hearts and our heads

Let's feel what we cannot feel
Know what we cannot know
Let’s heal where we couldn't heal
Oh, it’s a miracle, love is a miracle

Let's feel what we cannot feel
Know what we cannot know
Let’s heal where we couldn't heal
Oh, it's a miracle

Let's say what we cannot say
Let’s see what we cannot not see
Let’s hear what we could not hear
Oh it’s a mystery, love is a mystery
Oh it's a miracle, it's a miracle
Let's be a miracle



Roll to the Middle




"Roll To The Middle"

We just had a World War III here in our kitchen
We both thought the meanest things
And then we both said them
We shot at each other till we lost amunition

This is how I know our love
This is when I feel it’s power
Here in the absence of it
This is my darkest hour
When both of us are hunkered down
And waiting for the truce

All the complicated wars
They end pretty simple
Here when the lights go down
We roll to the middle

No matter how my pride resists
No matter how this wall feels true
No matter how I can’t be sure
That you’re gonna roll in too
No matter what, no matter what
I’m going to reach for you



What I Thought I Wanted by Sara Groves




"What I Thought I Wanted"

Tuxedo in the closet, gold band in a box
Two days from the altar she went and called the whole thing off
What he thought he wanted, what he got instead
Leaves him broken and grateful

I passed understanding a long, long time ago
And the simple home of systems and answers we all know
What I thought I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and somehow peaceful

I keep wanting you to be fair
But that’s not what you said
I want certain answers to these prayers
But that’s not what you said

When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful

What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted

Staring in the water like Aesop's foolish dog
I can’t help but reflect on what it was I almost lost
What it was I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and grateful

I’m broken and grateful
I want to be broken and grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful




This Journey is My Own - Sara Groves
[may play together as stereo]






"This Journey Is My Own"

When I stand before the Lord, I'll be standing alone
This journey is my own 
Still I want man's advice, and I need man's approval
This journey is my own 

Why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
What does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

So much of what I do is to make a good impression
This journey is my own 
And so much of what I say is to make myself look better
But this journey is my own 

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

And I have never felt relief like I feel it right now
This journey is my own 
Cuz trying to please the world, it was breaking me down
It was breaking me down

And now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Cuz I know this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life
And you can live for someone else, and it will only bring you pain
I can't even judge myself, only the Lord can say, 'Well done.'

Oh, this journey is my own



Sara Groves - All Right Here



"All Right Here"

It's every loss and every love
It's every blessing from above
Here I am, all added up
Oh, it's all right here

It's what I know, and what I'm guessing
Half truths, and full confessions
It's why I choose to learn my lessons
Oh, it's all right here

[Chorus]


And I'm not God, I'm a girl - I confess
That I don't have a sea of forgetfulness
No, it's all right here
It makes me stronger, it makes me wince
Makes me think twice when I pick my friends
Oh, it's all right here
It's all right here

It's caution and curiousity 
And it's all the things I never see
Welling up inside of me
Oh, it's all right here

It's what is best, and what is worse
It's how I see the universe
It's in every line and every verse
Oh, it's all right here

[Chorus]

Every heart has so much history
It's my favorite place to start
Sit down a while and share your narative with me
I'm not afraid of who you are

I'm all here, and you're all there
Some of this is unique, and some of it we share
Add it up and start from there
Well, it's all right here

[Chorus]

It's caution and curiousity
It's all the things I never see
Oh it's all right
It's what is best, and what is worse
It's how I see the universe
Oh it's all right, it's all right here
I'm all right here




Sara Groves - It Might be Hope




"It Might Be Hope"

You do your work the best that you can
You put one foot in front of the other 
Life comes in waves and makes it's demands 
You hold on as well as your able

You've been here for a long long time

Hope has a way of turning it's face to you 
Just when you least expect it 
You walk in a room 
You look out a window 
And something there leaves you breathless 
You say to yourself 
It's been a while since I felt this 
But it feels like it might be hope 

It's hard to recall what blew out the flame 
It's been dark since you can remember 
You talk it all through to find it a name 
As days go on by without number 

You've been here for a long long time 

Hope has a way of turning it's face to you 
Just when you least expect it 
You walk in a room 
You look out a window 
And something there leaves you breathless 
You say to yourself 
It's been a while since I felt this 
But it feels like it might be hope



Add to the Beauty - Sara Groves



"Add To The Beauty"

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
This is grace, an invitation

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out our best

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside



Sara Groves Rain




"Rain"

Call it what you will I call it rain
When troubles come and pat against my soul
Go in if you like, I will remain
And let the washing waters make me whole

Just when I’m sure that I can't bear the rain
A tiny leaf starts pushing through the ground
In a place where the ground was too dry to sustain it
A new tiny flower can be found

Once I was stuck I thought things would never change
As I watched a cloud pass through the sky
Right before my eyes it took a different shape
And I knew, so were the clouds in my own life

I see Him in the rain
I feel Him wash away
What I do not understand
So new life can spring up once again

The flowers come to show
that all that rain was helping me to grow






You Are the Sun




"You Are The Sun"

You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you

You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you

Shine on me with your light
Without you I'm a cold dark stone
Shine on me I have no light of my own
You are the sun, you are the sun, you are the sun
And I am the moon



Something Changed by Sara Groves




"Something Changed"

Something changed inside me broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed

Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine

Something so amazing in a heart so dark and dim
When a wall falls down and the light comes in

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine



Sara Groves performs "Eyes On The Prize"




"Eyes On The Prize"

Paul and Silas bound in jail
Got no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Paul and Silas thought they were lost
The dungeon shook and the chains fell off
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Freedom's name is mighty sweet
And one day soon we are gonna meet
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

I got my hand on the gospel plow
Won't take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The wait is slow, and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The wait is slow, and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Only chain a man can stand
Is that chain of hand on hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Ain't no man on earth control
The weight of glory on a human soul.
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.

The wait is slow, and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The wait is slow, and we've so far to go
Keep your eyes on the prize [x3]

When you see a man walk free,
It makes you dream of jubilee.

When you see a child walk free,
It makes you dream of jubilee.

When you see a family free,
It makes you dream of jubilee.

Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on



Sara Groves - When the Saints




"When The Saints"

Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I can't let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
It all can overwhelm me
But when I think of all who've gone before and lived a faithful life
Their courage compels me

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharaoh's court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sisters standing by the dying man's side

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come kicking down that door

I see the man of sorrow and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them



Heart Wide Open Like a Lake



"Like A Lake"

So much hurt and preservation
like a tendril round my soul
so much painful information
no clear way on how to hold it

when everything in me is tightening
curling in around this ache
I will lay my heart wide open
like the surface of a lake
wide open like a lake

standing at this waters edge
looking in at God's own heart
I've no idea where to begin
to swallow up the way things are

everything in me is drawing in
closing in around this pain
I will lay my heart wide open
like the surface of a lake
wide open like a lake

bring the wind and bring the thunder
bring the rain till I am tried
when it's over bring me stillness
let my face reflect the sky
and all the grace and all the wonder
of a peace that I can't fake
wide open like a lake

everything in me is tightening 
curling in around this ache
I am fighting to stay open
I am fighting to stay open
open open oh wide open 
open like a lake



Sara Groves - It's Going To Be Alright




"It's Going To Be Alright"

It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

I can tell by your eyes that you're not getting any sleep
And you try to rise above it, but feel you're sinking in too deep
Oh, oh I believe, I believe that

It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

I believe you'll outlive this pain in you heart
And you'll gain such a strength from what is tearing you apart
Oh, oh I believe I believe that

It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

When some time has past us, and the story if retold
It will mirror the strength and the courage in your soul
Oh, oh, I believe I believe,

I believe
I believe

I did not come here to offer you cliche's
I will not pretend to know of all your pain
Just when you cannot, then I will hold out faith, for you

It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright





Wikipedia

Sara Groves (born Sara Lee Colbaugh, September 10, 1972) is an American contemporary Christian singer, record producer, and author.

Groves received her Bachelor of Science degree in history and English in 1994 from Evangel University, a private Christian university in Springfield, Missouri. Groves spent four years teaching high school in Rosemount, Minnesota before recording her first album, Past the Wishing, in 1998. Since then, she has released nine additional albums and appeared on several others. Groves has been nominated for three Dove Awards including New Artist of the Year in 2002 and Special Event Album of the Year 2003 by the Gospel Music Association. She was named one of the best Christian music artists of 2005 and the album, Add to the Beauty, was named Album of the Year for 2005 by CCM Magazine.


Sara Groves Official Website