If you like the book of Judges (you know, that Old Testament book replete with swords, sexual assault, gore and God) then you'll love the Book of Eli. Denzel Washington's latest is a journey into the future to a time […]
Bible verses on gunsights used by U.S. military in Iraq… "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God […]
(Here's another installment from my current writing project) Frances Xavier Cabrini founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the simple goal of spreading devotion to the heart of Christ through acts of mercy. During her time […]
Of all the books that I read this past year, The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity by Skye Jethani, is the one that has proven to be most memorable. Simply put, this is an elegant book. Jethani […]
I can't stop listening to Allen Toussaint's, "The Bright Mississippi." If you only buy one jazz album from 2009 this is it. Toussaint, who is mostly known as an R & B pianist, is joined by Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone), […]
A Jazz Theologian is someone who knows that jazz is more than music. Therefore,… We are practicing Christians. We have spent time in the woodshed learning the old standards. Now we syncopate, improvise and respond to the call of a Love […]
At the end of, "It's a Wonderful Life," Harry Bailey proposes a toast George saying, "To my big brother George, the richest man in town." When I look at this picture I feel the same way… My cup overflows…
Can you guess who said this? Abortion is "the most barbaric method" of family planning, equal to "infanticide." She also said, "abortion was the wrong way–no matter how early it was performed it was taking a life." If you guessed […]
Four years old, wandering the streets, drinking a beer…longing for his Daddy.
Innocent after spending 35 years in prison…Lord, have mercy on us!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic children's story. Written by Dr. Seuss in 1957 it was released as a cartoon in 1966. But is it a story for children or a message for their parents? How the Grinch […]
Wow, I just finished listening to President Obama's acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize. I have to admit, I'm familiar with "Just War Theory" but I was not aware of "Just Peace theory." It takes into account that […]
34th Street is a place of business & belief (or rather, the struggle to believe). In the midst of marketing and parades is a little girl who wants to believe and yet is not sure if she can. The reason […]
I am… …in need of God's amazing grace. …in need of God's mercy to show up daily in my life. …in need of accountability from others. Not from those who condemn but those who will tell me the truth and […]
Remember Tiger's first Nike commercial? As hard as it may be to admit, it is imperative that we realize that this is still true: We are ALL Tiger Woods! (to be continued)
When Scrooge was told of the plight of the poor and then asked how much he wanted to give he said, "Nothing." His reason? There were already institutions caring for the poor so why did he need to get involved? […]
Christianity Today has a good article on the background of "A Christmas Carol": The Darker Side of A Christmas Carol.
The little child, "stooped down at Scrooge's keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol." Have you ever wondered what the Christmas carol of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was? What was the song sung to Ebenezer that caused him […]
I'm back from vacation and looking forward to my Advent sermon series: The Reel Meaning of Christmas. We'll be watching A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street and How the Grinch Stole Christmas together as a congregation on Friday evenings and […]
Five years ago we started Project 127 with the goal of finding a Christian home for every child in Colorado's foster system. Here's how we're doing: 24 Orientations with 2070 people in attendance. 398 Families from 163 churches. 125 Families […]
I'm grateful to Jerry Starks over at Christian Performing Artists who just posted a review of my book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith. Check it out!
Zondervan notified me today that my book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, is in it's 3rd printing! Thanks to all of you for your support. Stay in the groove, robert
Who will cry for the little boy??Lost and all alone.? Who will cry for the little boy??Abandoned without his own? Who will cry for the little boy??He cried himself to sleep.? Who will cry for the little boy??He never had […]
"So What," is the first track on Miles Davis' ground breaking album "Kind of blue."
"The parallels between the lives of African-Americans battling for their freedom as citizens and that of jazz musicians for their freedom from European harmony are too close to be mere happenstance." Jazz icon, Miles Davis, used to play with his […]
Wow, it's hard to believe that once a month for the last eight months we have gathered at The Soiled Dove Underground for Finding the Groove Live. Each night we packed the room to experience great music and to think […]
Pre-Kind Of Blue, that is 1959, Conformity was a way of seeking acceptance in America. Jazz musicians needed to make clear the fierce intelligence that was necessary to play [jazz]. The greater society thought of jazz as merely an offshoot […]
America in the 1950's–All a matter of perspective. The war was over, suburbia was being invented and the American dream was being pursued…by some For black America, the 1950's were a decade of emergence. After 90 years of not being […]
It has been said that jazz history can be divided into two segments: “Before Kind Of Blue and after Kind Of Blue.” In 1959 Miles Davis recorded Kind Of Blue and “More than forty years after its release, it is […]
I'm currently in Nashville at the MOPS Convention. Nothing like four thousand mother's of preschoolers worshipping God…plus they're just giddy that they are away from their kids for a few days! We are at Opryland, which is an amazing, indoor […]
Big milestone for my book…just received news from the publisher that, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, is now in it's second printing.
As a Colorado native I've always wanted a horse…one that's black and blue…
I believe that John Perkins will go down in church history as an icon. His books are a must for anyone who desires to take Biblical justice and Jesus' call to the marginalized seriously. Urbanfaith.com recently ran a piece that […]
Thanks to all of you who voted for this blog over the last few months in the Black Weblog Awards. It was chosen as the judges choice for best faith-based blog. (Click here to see all of the winners in […]
So what color does the Jazz Theologian think that Jesus is today? Blue, I think that Jesus is Kind of Blue!
(Todays post is a bit long but I wanted to keep the continuity of thought) "Jesus Is Black," said James Cone in 1975 as he interpreted Matthew 25. "Christ's blackness is the American expression of the truth of his parable […]
Let's let one of my favorte jazz theologians take a solo for the next two posts. James Cone is a bit controversial but he'll had some creative tension to the conversation In 1975, Cone, wrote, "If twentieth-century Christians are to […]
Nice to see we had a few brave souls chime in… So that we can do theology in concert together, lwe need to make sure we are all playing the same song. Listen to the words of our composer: "For […]
I feel like doing a little jazz theology. Here's the question: What color is Jesus?How would you go about answering that question? Do you even like the question? Is there anything to be gained by knowing the answer? This is […]
Tomorrow night is the next installment of Finding the Groove Live! If you're in the Denver area, you don't want to miss this. I'll be talking about an essential element to composing a jazz-shaped faith: Pain (Singing the Blues). The […]
Thanks to you this blog is a finalist in the Black Weblog Awards: "Best Faith-Based Blog" Category: Click here to Vote
I believe that listening is part of the essence of jazz. "The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen." Duke Ellington "Jazz is primarily a heard reality…" Kirk Byron Jones Listening […]
With the release of the movie Orphan, Warner Bros. is portraying these beautiful, though often wounded, children as horrors. There is a campaign to counteract this called: Orphans Deserve Better. As an adoptive father of five (and for much of the […]
The audio version of my book will be available next month. In addition to me reading, we added some nice jazz music to the track as well. Go to this link and listen to the sample all the way through… […]
While I've been on vacation I've thought a lot about my calling and legacy. What is it that God has specifically designed for me and when my time comes, what do I want God and others to be able to […]
(Here's another installment from my current writing project) The Loveliest Lynchee Was Our Lord That’s a difficult question, isn't it? How do you follow strange fruit? Perhaps you’ve never thought of it this way before, but—as followers of Christ—we have […]
(I'm currently working on my second book. It's a jazz-shaped take on the cross…I'll share a few excerpts this week…here's installment #1.) He stands stripped bare, arms restrained at the wrists. His legs are lacerated on all sides; long deep […]
A jazz theologian is someone who balances classical faith with a jazz-shaped faith. As we take the stage our ensemble can know that: -We are practicing Christians. Having spent sufficient time in the woodshed learning the standards we now […]
I praise my God this day: I give myself to God this day: I ask God to help me this day. Feel free to join in and pray improvisationally…what are your requests to God this day?
What is the Bible? All too often we treat it like a science project: Study it…develop propositions about it…defend it. Now I'm all for serious Bible study. We can only benefit from understanding the original languages and context. However, we […]
Tonight is our next installment of Finding the Groove Live! @ The Soiled Dove Underground. We'll be looking at Finding Your Voice: What if there is another way to know the Scriptures? What if we experienced the word of […]
Here are two thoughtful articles in light of Michael Jackson's passing… The Pop Reconciler by Ed Gilbreath and Michael Jackson: Soloman Sans Wisdom–The king of pop had it all, yet the most important things seemed to ellude him by Chanel […]
We were looking for a Starbucks as the one-handed man passed by and over heard our conversation. "The closest one is a quarter mile away in the hotel," he said. He offered to take us there and added, "I […]
The Discerning Reader posted a nice review about Finding the Groove…
Hey, I'm in the running for the 2009 Black Weblog Awards! Click on the icon and vote for me…Please!
I'm here in San Antonio for the RENOVARE' International Conference. It's hot and humid…but oh so worth it to hear from Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, John Ortberg, Max Lucado and Eugene Peterson. Today I had the privilege of speaking about the […]
What would you ask Adam? Here are my questions. Why didn't you say anything? Too often we blame your wife for partaking of the forbidden fruit. But you were there…RIGHT THERE! The scriptures say that, "she took some and ate it. She […]
Barry C. Black is the current chaplain to the U.S. Senate. Appointed in 2003 he is the 62nd person to hold this position and the first African-American. He spent thirty-nine years as a Navy chaplain earning the rank of Admiral […]
Skye Jethani (author of The Divine Commodity, which is a must read) has a post on his blog about what he calls Cosmo-Christians. What about you…are you a Cosmo-Christian? Find out at his blog Skyebox.
I just read Mark Osler's Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment. It's worth your time for two reasons. One, anything that reminds us of what our Savior did for our salvation will only serve to […]
When President Obama announced the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and Neighborhood Partnerships many wondered if he was serious when he made abortion reduction one of the main goals. Today's news seems to indicate that he meant it…just read […]
I just started a new book called Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment. The author, Mark Osler, is a former prosecutor and current Professor of Law at Baylor University of School of Law. I'm […]
My book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped faith, is now available for all of you Kindle users as well…
What a night we just had at the Soiled Dove Underground for another session of Finding the Groove Live! We talked about how jazz offers an alternative to the models of the melting pot and the salad bowl when it […]
Thanks to the Englewood Review of Books for their review of Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith.
Feel free to join in the conversation below as we compose a jazz-shaped faith.And as always, stay in the groove,Robert
The President and Mrs. Obama's remarks comprise the first four minutes fifteen seconds and then ELEW and Esperanza Spalding perform.
President Obama picked 26 year old pentecostal minister, Joshua DuBois, to head the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The key priorities of the office are as follows: Reduce Poverty Reduce Abortion Promote Responsible Fatherhood DuBois is man to […]
Just finished recording the audio version of Finding the Groove. It's complete with some cool jazz grooves from Dave Lemieux & House of Soul and recording artist Chris Lang. It's really good…you're going to want to hear this! Stay in […]
John Coltrane was not a Christian. Though he was reared in his grandfather’s church and was familiar with the ways of Christ, he pursued God outside of Christianity. Why he did not he come back to the church we don’t […]
Acknowledgment, Resolution, Pursuance and Psalm….Those were Coltrane’s stations. We could take them on as our own and seek to move through each stage ourselves; however, a jazz-shaped spirituality is not about merely copying other people’s walk with God but being […]
Theologian, author and Jesus Creed blogger extraordinaire, Scot McKnight was very kind to review my book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith… There are very few books like this one — in fact, there is none. I really liked this book, […]
"A Love Supreme" the original Liner notes "Dear Listener: All Praise Be To God To Whom All Praise Is Due. Let us pursue Him in the righteous path. Yes it is true; “seek and ye shall find.” Only through Him […]
The key to Coltrane is found not in how or what he played but why he played the way, he did. Musically he was a genius and a trendsetter. Practicing for hours a day, he developed unprecedented speed that awed […]
See you tonight! Handful of tickets still available: Soileddove.com (For those of you following along in the book we'll be covering chapter four, Creative Tension.)
(I interviewed Mr. Stearns on behalf of UrbanFaith.com. Also appearing at Sojourners online) As the pastor of a church with a deep desire to love others as Christ would, I’ve recently been telling folks, “If you only read one book this year, […]
Get your tickets now! The next chapter of Finding the Groove Live! is just around the corner: Â April 28, 7pm @ the Soiled Dove Underground. This session will focus on Creative Tension and how it opens up new ways of […]
Tickets available online at SoiledDove.com Take a journey with Jazz Theologian, Robert Gelinas and Dave LeMieux & House of Soul.Â In a beautiful marriage of the spoken word with jazz, soul, and gospel music, Robert and HOS walk us through […]
Click on the link below to watch the FINDING THE GROOVE LIVE trailer. http://www.jazztheologian.com/findingthegroove/video.html
If the church is going to serve its community as Christ would, it means that we need to be as good at reading our cities as we are reading our Bibles. This means that we are aware of what is […]
Call & Response are a part of jazz because jazz was conceived, birthed and incubated in the church before the church abandoned IT, rejected IT and forgot IT. If improvisation highlights the fact that every person has a unique contribution […]
Dr. Gregory Laughery is the L'abri Fellowship in Switzerland was kind enough to read and review Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith. I am grateful for his kind words (a a five star review on Amazon.com) Robert Gelinas has […]
Improvisation is the risk of composing in the moment. When you read God's iteraction with Abraham as he pleads for Sodom (Gen. 18), Moses as he negotiates with God after the golden calf (Ex. 32) or the story of Jonah–God […]
I'll be discussing Finding the Groove on a variety radio shows beginning today… Friday April 3–For those of you in the Midwest tune into Along the Way 12pm (MST) Monday April 6–In Cleveland, Ohio be sure to set your dial […]
Syncopation is accenting the offbeat. It is not discovering what is hidden but rather what is already there but not heard. Syncopation is what brings life to jazz causing you to want to take on the cool head nod in […]
Here's a review of Finding the Groove Live! by Christian Philosopher and Denver Seminary professor, Dr. Doug Groothuis…
Grammy award winner, Wynton Marsalis tells the following story about discovering IT. Now, my younger brother Ellis couldn’t understand all this fuss about jazz. He wasn’t a musician, and jazz just didn’t speak to him. But he figured it might […]
We just finished another great night of the kickoff to Finding the Groove Live! at the Soiled Dove underground. Here's a picture of the multi-talented, Chris Lang, playing Coltrane's A Love Supreme. Remember, this is just the beginning and […]
Thanks for all of you who came out as we began our journey towards Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith. What a blast
Ralph Ellison said that all of American life is "jazz-shaped." I think that this raises a number of questions for what a jazz-shaped faith might entail. What if… …Christians embraced the tension and mystery of our faith? …Experienced church like […]
Update: Sold Out for March 30 & 31 Monday and Tuesday are opening nights for Finding the Groove Live! I'm really excited as we are basically sold out (wow, that's 600 people!). Each of you will receive a complimentary copy […]
I went to jail today. A friend of mine works there and invited me to take a tour. It's sad to see beloved creations of God sitting around, wasting away, bored to death. The Arapahoe County Jail is over […]
…can't wait to tell you about it.
Over 500 tickets have been sold to Finding the Groove Live @ the Soiled Dove Underground. (March 30th or 31st) For those of you in the Denver area you can purchase tickets online at soileddove.com. If we sell out (which we […]
My new book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, is now readily available at your local bookstore or Amazon.com. Zondervan has made the first chapter available on line (click here).
This week I'll be discussing by book Finding the Groove: Composintg A Jazz-Shaped Faith on ABQ Connect KNKT FM Tuesday Wednesday at 1:15pm MST. Peter Benson is the host of this engaging talk show in Albuquerque, NM and I'm really looking forward […]
Hip-Hop is here to stay. Efrem Smith not only understands this, he embraces it. And he believes other leaders in his position also must learn to embrace it, if the church is going to do its job in urban communities. […]
What is jazz theology? It is what happens to our faith when we discover that jazz is more than music. Once this is realized we begin to see jazz everywhere. It was the great novelist, Ralph Ellison, who said that […]
Tickets are on sale now for this years Jazz and Soul Nights: Finding the Groove Live @ the Soiled Dove Underground. The dates are Monday, March 30th, or Tuesday, March 31st. Joining me will be Dave LeMieux & House of […]
We as Christians need to be comfortable being marginal. This will require two things: Surrender and Choice. Surrender: We are being marginalized in this country and we can be OK with that. We live in a pluralistic society that is […]
Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda will be sharing with us in all of our services at Colorado Community Church this weekend. He is author of the deeply movng book, Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones. If you're […]
Marginal: Extremely small, limited; minimal; having to do with edges; lower and outer limits; almost insufficient. I think we Christians need to be comfortable with and embrace being Marginal. What do you think?
I'm here in rainy (and kind of cold) San Diego for the National Pastors Convention. My book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, is being released here (and will available everywhere beginning in March). I'm teaching two workshops. […]
As parents we are always looking for little ways to teach big lessons. Julie Federico has provided such a tool. Some Parts are Not for Sharing, is a simple little book to teach children about boundaries with their bodies. I […]
The U.S. Mint is issues the Ellington quarter for the District of Columbia.
Barbara took these pictures a couple of years ago when we were in Washington, DC. This is the exact spot where Martin Luther King uttered his words of hope.
Finding the Groove Live! with Dave Lemieux and the House of Soul will be at The Soiled Dove Underground–March 30 & 31st. More information will be forthcoming as far as tickets and additional dates, but for now, mark your calendars…
My new book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith will be available at the National Pastors Convention in February and should start arriving at your local bookstore sometime in late March. To wet your appetite, Zondervan has made the first chapter available online. (Click […]
It's Sunday evening and I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop hard at work on my next book. A group of twenty or so people have just arrived and started a meeting right next to me. It sounds like they […]
For Christmas, Barbara and I got the kids puppies. Labradoodles to be exact. They are great dogs and are fitting right into the chaos of our home. The only question has been, "What to name them?" I've been lobbying hard […]
This blog is only going to get better in 2009. It will continue to be a place for discussing the implications of a jazz-shaped faith with the release of my book. Additionally, as a contributing editor for UrbanFaith.com I'll be […]
Freddie Hubbard died today…
I couldn't take it anymore! "She touched me!…He's not playing the game right!…They came in my room! So I grabbed the first box in sight, cut a hole in the top and inscribed: Tattle Box. I then proceeded to sit the tribe […]
Santa's going to be busy!
Book Review of Stephen Mansfield's The Faith Of Barack Obama–written for UrbanFaith.com I started reading Stephen Mansfield’s The Faith of Barack Obama mostly out of curiosity. I knew Mansfield had previously written The Faith of George W. Bush, a sympathetic religious […]
Heres a little Monk playing 'Round Midnight while trying to manage a cigarette and handkerchief…
I'm really enjoying listening to Thelonious Monk's Live at the "IT" Club. Recorded in 1964 at the once famous LA club it features Monk on piano, Charlie Rouse on Tenor Sax, Larry Gales plays bass and Ben Riley on drums. […]
Coach Dungy's has just released a children's book called You Can Do It. It's about trusting God and dreaming big. I've been reading it to my children and they're lovin' it.
Hmmm…at first I didn't like the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. After all, where were all the gadgets. But then I thought about the title. Quantum: the smallest amount. Solace: Peace Isn't that what the world is searching […]
I'm at The World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs. Barbara just returned from a retreat with God and now it's my turn to listen for his still small voice…
Check Clint interviewing Ray charles…
In Bird, Clint Eastwood brought to the screen the life of jazz legend, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. The first half-hour of the film felt like a Parker riff as it switched back and forth between different time periods in his life. […]
Most people don't know that Clint Eastwood is an avid jazz fan. Some have even asked if he can help keep jazz alive. He taught himself to play piano listening to jazz records and his son Kyle is an accomplished jazz […]
I've been trying to throw these trash cans away for a while now. I've tried signs before. You know, "This is trash" "Take this," or "Trash can is trash," but to no avail. Normally, I'm not home when the trash […]
I finished book a few months ago and passed it on to Zondervan. While it won't be available until January it's now listed on Amazon.! Check it out…
Major League Mom, is what I call my wife because it takes nine players to field a baseball team and, as of a couple of months ago, that's how many children we have. Life in the majors has been a […]
The Esbjorn Svensson Trio, E.S.T., recently released their latest and last album. Sadly, pianist Esbjorn Svensson, died earlier this year in a diving accident. E.S.T. has been on the cutting edge of jazz since their breakthrough in the late 90's. […]
www.urbanfaith.com is up and running!
Well, I've set the table and I'm looking forward to dining with John McCain–the sailor turned senator. My questions for the evening would be… Tell me about your first fight? McCain is a fighter. Last November his campaign was all but […]
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis recently released Two Men with the Blues. Recorded live at the Lincoln center, this bluesy recording is worth the listen. As you can see on the behind the scenes video, it's just fun.
Well, now that I've had dinner with the VP candidates it's time to break bread with the top of the tickets. If I were able to dine with Obama I'd jazz things up a bit. My questions for him would […]
For those of you at CCC this weekend the ministry website that I mentioned is www.neighborhope.com.
Mark your calendars the long awaited launch of UrbanFaith.com has finally arrived. Ed Gilbreath, Director of Editorial at Urban Ministries Inc has been working tirelessly at this new endeavor. UrbanFaith.com is a "place on the Web for urban and multiethnic […]
What would you ask Sara Palin if she came to your house for dinner (politics aside)? I'd spend a lot of time on faith and family. When do you feel most used by God? Governor Palin must feel stifled when […]
Take 6 has just released a fresh take on old standards such as Sweet Georgia Brown, A Tisket A Tasket and What's Going On. They are joined by the likes of George Bensen, Al Jarreau, Shelea Frazier, Roy Hargrove, Aaron […]
What would I ask if I had dinner with Joe Biden? Given that he has a reputation for long answers and the fact that my wife and nine children would have their own set of questions, I would have four […]
Hmmm…y'all this is gettin' out of hand! Perhaps you didn't notice but I said "politics aside." My question was pretty simple, if you had dinner with these people what would you ask? Remember, we are talking about another human being […]
It's dawning on me that (politics aside) I like these people. Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin… When I look at each one as an individual I would love to have dinner with them. I find their stories intriguing…I'd have so much to […]
We had a service of confession here in South Africa–both private and corporate. Emmanuel Chijindus is the Africa Area Director for YFC. He is a powerful presence both on the platform and up close. He confessed the sins of Africa and […]
It’s night as I’m sitting outside, staring at the stars and listening to Miles Davis on my Ipod… I’m thinking about two conversations that I had this week: Two men—one black the other white—who were young men during apartheid and […]
Speaking Requests I am an itinerate speaker with Kingdom Building Ministries. Please, schedule online with KBM by clicking HERE Or call Loren Hayes at 1-800-873-8957 General Contact Info. The best way to reach me is through my wonderful assistant Rebecca […]
Jimi is a follower of Christ living in the United Arab Emirates. He lives daily with restrictions upon freely living for Christ. Stops by the police checking if he has permission to be in certain areas doing "church work." As […]
I've finally recovered from the trip and am adjusted to the eight hour time difference. Both the people and the topography of this land are beautiful. I have had so many wonderful conversations with those who have shared stories of […]
After 20 hours of plane rides with an eight hour lay-over in London we've finally arrived in South Africa. I'm speaking for YFC's General Assembly. I'm tired and in serious need of a nap but I can stop staring at […]
Which country is pro-life? In the Netherlands and Germany abortion is legal. In Brazil abortion is strictly prohibited. If we look at the laws of these countries the answer seems obvious. But when we look at the actual number […]
So what does it mean to live our faith on election day according to Korzen and Kelley? They argue that we are to vote for the common good: …Our primary responsibility is to the common good. The common good […]
I'm well into Kerzen and Kelley's book A Nation For All. And while it does feel a bit partisan the concepts are still intriguing. They identify key themes of the Catholic social tradition. Some of which are: The Dignity […]
The scriptures make it clear that the people of God are to be about the common good. "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, […]
Is this the promised land or are we still wandering in the desert? Those were the questions that went through my mind as I attended Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium. I wasn't planning on being there but […]
I'm pro-life and without a party. I'm a one issue voter and I can't find a party with a platform that fully addresses the sacredness of life in all of its complexity. So I'm pro-life and partyless! Usually the Democrats […]
Barbara and I had barely been married a year when we took a trip down to local Dumb Friends League in search of a dog. It was heart wrenching seeing the various signs announcing the "expiration date" of each animal. […]
Last November Barbara and I sensed the Lord was up to something in our lives. We currently have six children (5 adopted) but in separate times of prayer God gave us a vision (and desire) for more children. A sibling […]
Greg Boyd has a good philosophical review of The Dark Knight…
…and I just got home from seeing the 12:01 showing of The Dark Knight with about three hundred other people…wow…intense…I’m tired!
Well I’m back from my vacation just in time to catch opening day for The Dark Knight…It’s good to be back with th incredible servants of CCC…one of the great things about vacation was all the unhurried time that I […]
Watch the Trailer on Yahoo! Movies
The BBC podcast called "Documentary" is doing series on race and reconciliation with South Africa as its case study. I just listened to part one and my heart broke. The next generation of South African's don't seem to be owning […]
South Africa has always had a special place in my heart. In high school I lamented Apartheid (which means separateness). I rejoiced with Mandela's release and election. I hoped when Tutu's Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought perpetrator and victim together […]
I'm looking forward to leading two workshops at the next National Pastors Convention. Here are the workshop descriptions… Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith You don’t have to be a musician to experience the renaissance of a jazz-shaped faith. Jazz […]
"Call and response " is a halmark in jazz. Because it was birthed in the post-slavery church jazz took on the characteristics of it's parents. Musicians use their instruments use their to affirm and encourage each other just as congregation […]
Mother's anger turns to delight after her baby survives an abortion
Thumb through your Old Testament until you happen across Habakkuk. His oracle only takes about ten minutes to read through. Read it out loud. You'll be struck by how something so bad can sound so good…so ugly, yet so beautiful. What do […]
America–Baskets, baskets everywhere. There are 500,000 children waiting for homes in America's foster care system. We don't half to travel half-way around the world we live in a country with a half-million orphans. They are every age, ethnicity and background. […]
Parentless children is a global crisis with over 140 million orphans world wide. One day, I received an email from a woman in our church about a little girl available for adoption in Ethiopia. At that time my wife, Barbara, […]
I think that she was down by the riverside to see if there was anything she could do. Powerless to change her father's will and unable to stop the horror upstream she went down by the riverside and immersed herself […]
"Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile river to bathe…" (Ex. 2.5) She went down to the river to bath. Doesn't that seem odd to you? Pharaoh's daugther, raised in royalty, was bathing in the NILE river? Why would […]
Resolution follows Acknowledgement Resolution: Jesus in his death was showing us how to live. Once we hear the call we must resolve to respond. This part of the cross-examen is a prayerful consent to embrace the excruciating life. May have […]
Jesuit Christians daily practice the Prayer of Examen. It is a simple form of prayer that seeks to develop receptiveness to the call of God for the purpose of a response. We need to "examen" the cross not "examine" the […]
The English word "excruciating" comes from the Latin "excruciare" meaning "out of the cross." It is a wrod invented specifically to describe the pain of crucifixion. We must never minimize the cross. it is the center of our faith. In […]
The Apostle Peter understood that we are to become strange fruit. Legend says that he was crucified, literally, upside-down. He in turn calls us all to see the cross as a pattern for our lives. To this you were called, […]
How do you follow strange fruit? We must know the answer to that question. It was Robert Lewis who wrote that, "We could not make sense of the New Testament in particular, or Christianity in general, without its central figure–Jesus […]
Former slave Ida B. Wells launched a campaign against lynching. She and her five brothers and sisters were orphaned after the death of her parents. At the age of sixteen she stood for keeping her disintegrating family together and though […]
For those of you in Denver looking for something to do this weekend check out the Five Points Jazz Festival.
That is the question isn’t it? How do you follow strange fruit? We as followers of Christ wrestle with that everyday. How do we follow strange–unnatural–fruit. For the loveliest lynchee was our Lord! Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America is […]
Abe Meeropol was a school teacher in the Bronx. After seeing one of these pictures he put pen to paper and wrote the disturbing and undeniable poem Strange Fruit. He convinced jazz singer Billy Holiday to lend her distinct voice […]
My love…You are beyond description. As it was sung at our wedding, "If you find a love that’s tender, if you find a love that’s true, then thank the Lord, He’s been doubly good to you." Barbara, you are proof […]
Jazz: On the Cusp of a Golden Age?
Strange Fruit used to hang from trees in America. Col. Charles Lynch was a Justice of the Peace with his own kind of justice in the late 1700’s. He would hold illegal trials and upon convictions, would tie the suspect […]
There are three fundamentals to jazz and thus a jazz shaped faith. Syncopation: Accenting the offbeat. This is what allows jazz to swing and when applied to prayer or bible study it brings to light, not hidden meaning but meaning […]
When we realize that jazz is more than music than whole new way of living the Christian faith emerges. One that leads to creativity in our walk with God and relationships that resemble an ensemble so that we can find […]
Strange Fruit is a tough song to listen to. In clear and measured words it captures what was happening in our country most powerfully. Lynching was a form of terrorism that went unpunished in this country for too long. Of […]
At the moment I’m in Tacoma, WA with the wonderful people of Youth For Christ Tacoma/West Puget Sound and Adoption Ministry of YWAM.
My book is due to hit shelves Feb. 2009–Here’s a sneak peek at the cover… (Design by Kurt at Zondervan)
I collect every version of this haunting poem put to music. Here’s Billie Holiday’s rendition.
Christianity Today recently did a story on L’Abri, the Swiss shelter for spiritual seekers. (You can read the article here) The piece stirred up a bit of controversy. Dr. Greg Laughery is the current director (his blog) and I recently […]
April is Jazz Appreciation Month. The Smithsonian National Institution of American History has led this effort and the United States Government has commended April as the month to celebrate Jazz–born in America, enjoyed worldwide. Here are some of the facts […]
FYI–this blog is now a dotcom…you can still use the old address or you can use the new one…www.jazztheologian.com…