I used to wonder where did he go throughout all those years after Hills. Only to find out that he chose a life away from the crowd and as he mentioned in the video, “learning to be loved”.
He wrote something about going beyond self-centred worship. Which I believe it’s appropriate for whenever I feel I’m looking for the next exciting thing to fulfill my narcissistic appetites.
It’s really more than a song. It is a response of a heart that knows God.
My old friend and pastor used to say something that has forever been etched into my consciousness.
You are who you worship.
Glenn says it in another way – We become what we behold. If we think about it, what we become then is limited by what we imagine. And when I think about how the Christian worshipping community preaches the idea of how big God is, the state of humanity reveals painfully of how small we perceive God to be.
It’s not about putting a cocktail mixture of hit songs, cool slides or nifty performances. It’s about re-arranging our services in a way that it re-enact a Story we could truly believe and live into.
People flock to U2 and Sigur Ros concerts because the artists themselves gets it. They understand that elements in fragments, strung together in no particular order doesn’t cut it.
We need a narrative. With a prevailing theme that points to the life and resurrection of our Master. And realised just how big He really is.
There is a tension to the Kingdom of Heaven that is here but not yet here. That tension ought to give way to poetry. To lament. To art. Sure, there is room for some celebration, but if our faith has nothing else to it than positive messages and encouraging clichés, perhaps it has become a Band-Aid rather than a surgery.
Worship music doesn’t need to be medication. Our worship music ought to put us in touch with the deepest places of our humanity, not simply distract us from our pain and put is in a good mood for the preacher’s talk. It ought to stir things deep in us. Hope. Joy. Anger. Mourning. Doubt. Love.
– Michael Gungor
I used to be addicted to worship services. For sure, they were like rock concerts that I enjoyed nowadays. Not much different in terms of providing the experiential joy of loving God. But for the most part, it had a reality-adverse and narcissistic posture to it. I had no room for any expression for grief and lament that I might be experiencing in my life. There simply was no space in the worship music being played in church for that.
Gungor is right. We are living in lamentless faith from the way we worship in church and those energized youth meetings. The expression is superficial and served just as a band-aid on our wounds. There has to be room and space to allow us to acknowledge the groanings of our hearts and the pains of going through the brokenness of our lives.
Which is why our worship has to be risky. To reach out in faith for what is truly real and authentic. Not some pitiful clappy version to make us feel good about ourselves on Sundays. As we give voice to grief, perhaps hope can arise.
Learn how to make dessert.
IRISH CREAM TIRAMISU
according to Nigella Lawson.
- 350ml espresso coffee, made with 350ml water and 9 teaspoons instant espresso powder, cooled
- 250ml Baileys cream liqueur
- 2 x 200g packets Savoiardi (Italian lady finger) biscuits
- 2 eggs
- 75g caster sugar
- 500g mascarpone
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- Mix the coffee with 175ml of the Baileys in a shallow bowl. Dip the biscuits into this liquid; let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy. Line the bottom of a 22cm square glass dish with a layer of biscuits.
- Separate the eggs, but keep only one of the whites. Whisk the two yolks and the sugar together until thick and a paler yellow, then fold in the remaining 75ml of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a moussy mixture.
- Whisk the single egg white until thick and frothy; you can do this by hand with such a little amount. Fold the egg white into the yolky mascarpone, and then spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of biscuits.
- Repeat with another layer of soaked Savoiardi, and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
- Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to serve, push the cocoa powder through a small tea strainer to dust the top of the tiramisu.
Definitely needs double the amount of mascarpone. But not a bad first try!
Ill be honest…
it worried me when worship music began to run to the top of the Christian music charts. It seemed that worship started to become a part of the industry with the center of attention on the artist. But worship has nothing to do with a person. Worship is anything that brings pleasure to the heart of God, and if we really want to please the heart of God, it probably has very little to do with the songs that we sing. Worship is more about ministering to the lost, the least, the downtrodden, the broken, the marginalized people of society; the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the imprisoned, the sick. It was a revelation to me that I could be close to the heart of God if I ministered to the poor.
I’ve been following his music since Full Attention. Incredibly passionate guy and you can tell by how emotionally-charged his music is. It’s a centred mature kinda energy that soars through his uplifting anthems. I like that he embraces tension in how he views the world; between grace and the law; mercy and judgment; love and discipline. The idea of a people of unclean lips lifting praise to a holy God. A beautiful mess, so to speak. Not to mention the tension where we may experience blessings on earth, but none of them are in its fullness. That time will come, as we longed for His return. In the meantime, we have the Promise (and Jeremy’s songs?) to help us to deal with the reality of our existence on the earth.
His wife has a kickass blog on how to nourish life at home; through endless recipes and frugal solutions. And I can’t believe they spent a year on a trailer. One of my childhood dreams. 🙂
Filed under Art, Vocation
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
It seemed like a perfect prayer now. Then again, our cries to our Father never seemed “perfect”. Broken mutterings. Directionless for the most part. As haphazard my navigation goes in this world, so are my attempts to grab His attention.
What the heck. Plug it into the speakers. Let my incomprehensible utterances crack open the heavens. Let the yearnings of my heart funnel into the ears of my Lord. For I’m lost… only to be found. By You.. the anchor of my soul.
I’ve found a fave new blog on spirituality and culture. It’s called the Default Life by this dude who studies in Regent College Vancouver. His name is Sam McLoughlin. Here he gives a talk on how he always wanted to live like a rockstar. I mean, who wouldn’t want to touch the hearts of ordinary folks by hitting four melodic notes running on obstinately at the background of an epic anthem. Sam calls it “opening up heaven for people like you and me”. It wasn’t just the lights and stage that enthralled him; it’s the idea that he could provide a door to the Divine.
I know exactly how he feels and how great that desire could be.
Well, not all of us turn out to be rockstars in the end. Mainly because we treat it as if it’s only a distraction, not a discipline.
But for people who haven’t been practising their piano since they were born, Sam provides a different way to bring down heaven on earth.