Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Ten Virgins - Preparation by Intimacy

I'm reading through Matthew 25 - it and the surrounding chapters give us Jesus' teachings on his impending return. In this chapter I see three sections that teach us how to be prepared for Christ's parousia; the first is preparation by intimacy.

All ten virgins brought lamps to light the way for the coming of the bridegroom. However, five brought oil only for the expected amount of time that it would take for the procession to occur, while the other five realized that the bridegroom could be delayed (this could be a long process) and prepared by bringing extra oil. In the darkness of the delayed return, the foolish five ran out of oil and the wise five had enough.

When we choose to be disciples we do not really know how long, hard and lonely the road may be that Christ calls us to travel. Many followers fall away in the dark hours before they reach some intended destination. Why? Because they did not prepare for those hard times. I want to be like the five wise virgins who went about their duties in the wedding party with careful preparation. How can I be prepared to finish well? How can I be ready to weather the dark nights of this faith journey? I have to build within my life a habit of drawing near to God, learning to hear his voice and being filled by his Spirit. I cannot wait until my lamp runs out in the middle of the night to try and acquire oil; I must learn to stock up on a regular basis, knowing that I can easily run out. I cannot rely on my own strength to take me through the hard times; I must rely on the Holy Spirit, and learning to do so is quite a process!

I do not want to burn only when others are looking and run out when the journey becomes unexpectedly long - Jesus, teach me to gather the oil I need for the long haul!

Matthew 25:1-13

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Playlist: The Indie Rock Sing-Along

Nothing is as sweet as an indie rock tune sung at the top of your lungs at every red light between home and work... here are 30 of my favorites. They're not the most polished tunes, just the most singable!

1. Tournament of Hearts - The Weakerthans
2. Cruel - Farewell Flight
3. Elephant - Page France
4. And We All Return to Our Roots - The Forecast
5. Promise - Pedro the Lion
6. Cannon-Fire Orange - Poor Old Lu
7. Underwater - Switchfoot
8. When I Learn to Sing - Starflyer 59
9. Tow Truck/Vacancy/Chicane Cardigan Smile - Blenderhead
10. When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run - Pedro the Lion
11. Smooth Death - Danielson Famile
12. A Friend I Had - Aaron Sprinkle
13. Young Businessmens Psykick Makeout - Soul-Junk
14. Simple Green - The Merbabies
15. Taxidermy - Sappo
16. Joy I Had Was Joy I Sold - Poor Old Lu
17. Glorietta - Mourning September
18. Coin-Laundry Loser - Twothirtyeight
19. At This Particular Moment In Time - PlayRadioPlay!
20. Chem 6A - Switchfoot
21. Simple Economics - Pedro the Lion
22. Freak Show - Pep Squad
23. Plea from a Cat Named Virtue - The Weakerthans
24. Ring True - Poor Old Lu
25. Stars and Stripes Forever, Baby - Veterans Radio
26. Haunted Church - Rose Blossom Punch
27. Aside - The Weakerthans
28. Jesus - Page France
29. Twenty-Four - Switchfoot
30. Skin - Vigilantes of Love

OK... so some of the songs drifted out of purist indie rock territory. Their singability factor justifies such departure! Also, "Stars and Stripes Forever, Baby!" isn't the easiest to sing along with, but it's an INCREDIBLE indie rock song... one of my all-time favorites. I won't mention that I played guitar in Veterans Radio (oops... did I write that out loud?) I didn't play on that recording, though.