The Greatest Contribution to Happiness

The pursuit of happiness has become a multi-billion dollar endeavor with everyone from Oprah to Joel Osteen doing specials and writing books to help increase your happiness. Turns out it much simpler than that. Check out this video from the awesome people at SoulPancake to see what I mean. It’s pretty incredible.
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Who would you call if you were in this video? What would you say?

Think about it as you enjoy the rest of your Friday! Have a great weekend.

Cheers,
Eric

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Spoken Word on Jesus & Religion

My friend Adam showed me this video the other day (and has a great post about it here). The spirit of this video is one that I can get behind. The idea of expressing faith in new ways is something that the church needs desperately. That being said, there are certainly things that I’m not sure about in this video.

The problem with something like this is that the term “religion” is so broad. For a lot of people, religion gives some sort of structure to understanding how we can join the ministry of God in the world. Religion provides an avenue to understand God’s action throughout history to help us interpret how God is acting and moving in our lives and in the lives of our communities. Religious traditions express the deep doubts of our communities but stands united against the emptiness that threatens to overtake us.

That being said, religion can also be incredibly damaging, which is what I think this guy focuses on and hits right on the head. When “religious” people are much more concerned with what candle is lit at what certain time throughout the service than with helping people in the community, we have a problem.

I think of great speaker Tony Campolo’s opening line when speaking at a church one night. He said,

I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.

False religion is the religion that cares more about the small misbehaviors of one rather than the great amount of suffering endured by entire nations. This is the religion that he is speaking against. And I think that’s the type of religion we should all speak against.

That being said, I enjoyed the video. I think the line “it’s not a museum for good people, but a hospital for the broken” is a great line.

And if the church is going to have anything to say to the generations coming after us, we better adopt that attitude and quickly.

What did you think of the video? What stuck out as positive? What wasn’t so positive?

Cheers,
Eric

Music Monday: The Fray Edition

The Fray have a new single out and a new album due a little bit later this year. The first single is called “Heartbeat”. And I think it’s worth taking a look at the lyrics in a little bit more depth. First off — check out the song right here (with the lyrics posted below).

We’re on an open bed truck on the highway
The rain is coming down and we’re on the run
Think I can feel the breath in your body
We gotta keep on running ’til we see the sun

Oh you got a fire and it’s burning in the rain
Thought that it went out, but it’s burning just the same
And you don’t look back, not for anything
‘Cause if you love someone, you love them all the same
If you love someone, you love them all the same

Oh, I feel your heartbeat
And you’re coming around, coming around, coming around
If you can love somebody, love them all the same
You gotta love somebody, love them all the same
Singing, oh, I feel your heartbeat

I’m trying to put it all back together.
I’ve got a story and I’m trying to tell it right.
I got the kerosene and a desire.
I’m trying to start a flame in the heart of the night

Oh you got a fire and it’s burning in the rain
Thought that it went out, but it’s burning just the same
And you don’t look back, not for anything
‘Cause if you love someone, you love them all the same
If you love someone, you love them all the same

Oh, I feel your heartbeat
And you’re coming around, coming around, coming around
If you can love somebody, love them all the same
You gotta love somebody, love them all the same
Singing, oh, I feel your heartbeat

Ooh, ooh
I know the memories are rushing into mind
I wanna kiss your scars tonight, baby
‘Cause you gotta try
You gotta let me in
Let me in

When Isaac, the lead singer, was given the chance to tell the story behind the song, he talked about his experiences on a trip to Rwanda. When he was there, he met a woman who was an eyewitness to so much of the genocide and tragedy that happened there.  During their conversation, at a particularly intense part of the conversation, she grabbed his hands and in that time, he couldn’t tell whose heartbeat he was feeling in his hands.

Yes, it’s a little cheesy. But it also speaks loudly to the power of relationships and storytelling. These are some of the things that are most important in life. Enjoy this song and story. It’s a great one.

Cheers,
Eric

Bonus: Also, I’ve been listening to a ton of John Mayer in the last week. Particularly this song. Enjoy.

Best Song of the Year

This song has haunted me the past view days. But I absolutely love it. The video is incredible. Check it out!

What’s your song of 2011?

Cheers,
Eric

Music Monday: Avett Brothers Edition

Last Friday, my wife, Megan and I go to see The Avett Brothers live down here in Mesa. And they killed it. I mean absolutely killed it. They have so much energy and are so great live. I’d highly recommend seeing them if you get the chance. To whet your appetite, I decided they needed to be the focus of Music Monday.

Here are some of my favorites of theirs. I put a couple of their better known ones on here so you had a frame of reference.

  • “I and Love and You” is the first single of their latest disc. No matter how many times I listen to this song, it still hits hard.
  • “The Ballad of Love and Hate” was actually the first song I ever heard from them. Such great imagery. I almost used this song in my sermon on love this past weekend.
  • “January Wedding” is Megan’s favorite song. I think partly because of the line “True love is not the kind of thing you should turn down”… But that’s just me. It’s very sweet and showcases some of their incredible harmonies. Enjoy.
  • “Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise” is a phenomenal song. You almost can’t help but sway with the rhythm of the beat. It also has the awesome, awesome line “Decide what to be, then go be it”.
  • When I was going around youtube looking for some different live versions I came across this sweet little version of Scott doing “Just a Closer Walk”. His daughter kind of steals it, but it’s still a very sweet video.
  • BONUS: I figured since I saw them, I should post a video from the concert. Here’s them at the Mesa Amphitheater doing a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Slip Slidin’ Away”. Actually has pretty good sound quality too.
Which one struck you as your favorite? If you are familiar with them, what are some of your favorites that I didn’t post here? They’re a great band and, like I said earlier, I would definitely recommend getting their music & finding a show close by because they are wonderful live.
Cheers,
Eric
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