14 September 2009

Cold, Hard Cash?

There are lots of ways for you to receive "cold, hard cash": selling your unwanted gold, winning contests, selling stuff on craigslist (my preferred method of selling, by the way).

I have a question: Why is cash always cold and hard? Is there some advantage to freezing money? Does freezing money really even make it hard? You never hear about a car dealer offering you "warm, limp cash" for your trade-in. "Just send in your broken our unwanted gold in our secure envelope and turn it into room-temperature, flimsy cash!" It just doesn't roll off the tongue as well.

[Interestingly, I found this site, which explains the origin of the phrase. If the explanation given is true (it certainly sounds plausible), then I understand why cash is always cold and hard. But given its modern usage (referring to physical money and not an intangible line of credit), it no longer carries much meaning.]

10 September 2009

Steven Curtis Chapman "Heaven Is The Face"

For those of you who may not know about Steven Curtis Chapman (yes, he always goes by three names), he is a five-time Grammy award winning Christian musician who puts a lot of thought into his music. This song was written about his five-year-old daughter, Maria, who was accidentally killed in the driveway of Chapman's home when her older brother was pulling into the driveway in the family's Land Cruiser. Maria, along with two other Chapman children, were adopted from China.

One thing that sets Christianity apart from other worldviews is the hope of Heaven. This life is not the entirety of our existence; Heaven awaits those who belong to Christ. Because of the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross for our sins, Jesus now "holds the keys to Death and Hades" (Rev. 1:18). He has gone ahead "to prepare a place" for his people, and he will return to take us there personally and live there with us forever.

That is why, for the Christian, death is not a wall that marks the end of one's existence. It is a door, on the other side of which is eternal life with Jesus and loved ones who have gone before.

04 September 2009

Christian Songs That Annoy Me: "Holy Spirit Come"

Today I want to whine about a song I occasionally hear during worship at church, "Holy Spirit Come," written by Kate Miner:

Holy Spirit come, Holy Spirit dwell
Fill Your church with joy over flowing
And peace over flowing
And love over flowing
In all of Your glory

What bothers me most about this song is not the fact that it doesn't rhyme (it's the same word repeated three times; though "glory" sort of rhymes with "overflowing" but rhymes better with "overflowy"); what bothers me most is its contradiction of Scripture. I present another song, much older, perhaps, but much more correct:

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in-- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

(Ps. 139:1-12, emphasis mine)

It cannot be stressed enough: Christian musicians are responsible for the lyrics to their songs. In a way, Christian songwriters are teachers, and music is a powerful tool for teaching Christian doctrine (remember hymns?). Worship leaders and songwriters ought to be very careful in deciding not only how a song sounds (is it worshipful?) but also careful in deciding what the song says (is it true?).

01 September 2009

Countdown to the Big Move

Come Saturday, it will be three weeks until we move. That is crazy!

In other news, Michael turns one this Sunday. And it's a three-day weekend. We're having a party at a friend's house after church.

So many changes. . . .