Mixtape Vol. 2

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I’m not sure what this Mixtape series will actually be. I struggled thinking of themes or just songs that felt right. If you remember what I wrote for the last Mixtape, I was (wrongly) convinced that Spring had arrived. It hasn’t. These songs to me are some sort of in between of resigning to the cold and hoping for warmer temperatures. Either way there’s always room to see the beauty in the world no matter the weather.

One track to highlight is ‘Sonsick’ by San Fermin. It’s been particularly heavy in my rotation and in my heart. You can listen to it and stare at this picture of rural central France by train.

Enjoy.

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Common Sentiments – Typhoon

Typhoon has been the soundtrack to my days lately. Orchestral, energetic, emotive. This band of 11 permanent band member make inspiring, beautiful, and incredibly thoughtful music. I plan to write more about the theology behind the lyrics of their latest album, “White Lighter.” For now, listen to a live performance of one of my favorite tracks, Common Sentiments.

“When am I gonna feel better?
I said when am I gonna feel better?
I said when am I gonna feel better?
I have been patient for a long time now.

I’ve been the patient for a long time now
I’ve been the patient for a long time now
I’ve been the patient for a long time now
And I will never be a younger man now.

I will be good though my body be broken. 

I will be good, may I want for nothing at all.

Chills. There is some spiritual depth to these words.

Advice to a Young Pastor from Karl Barth

There’s been a lot of love and appreciation for Karl Barth among colleagues this year. And for good reason. He was a masterful theologian and his contributions to modern theology can hardly be overstated.

My boss recently shared this fantastic little piece of advice from Karl Barth to young pastors, though it can be easily read by any pastor or anyone interested in ministering to others in any way.


Continue reading

Prehistoric – Now, Now

Okay, so Paris hasn’t decided if it’s ready for Spring or wants to squeeze every bit out of Winter it can. It’s a little chilly and a little gloomy, but no worries, this song by Now, Now is hitting the spot. A lot of grit and an incredible live mix is giving me the motivation to make it through this Monday.

The Third Place

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It’s a Wednesday afternoon and I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Paris called Craft (www.cafecraft.com). It’s a nice little space with minimalist design and plenty of outlets for all our gadgets. Around me are about a dozen or so people who are doing the same thing. They’re on their laptops, mostly MacBooks because duh, and they’re sipping on some single origin coffee which they have received in a repurposed scientific beaker, now more known for pour over coffee containers than actual scientific experimentation.

Some have headphones in their ears listening to whichever streaming service they fancy. I prefer Spotify, but in France it’s mostly Deezer. Others, like the group of six people next to me are using this place as a coworking space. They are working. And still others are here with a friend, a partner, a colleague, to share some caffeine and conversation.

Later this evening I will make my way over to one of my favorite breweries in Paris, Paname Brewing Company (www.panamebrewingcompany.com/en). Truth be told there are not many. Paris is still working on it’s craft beer scene, but it’s coming! I’m going to meet a friend of mine for a different type of libation, but surely good conversation. And all around me, just like every evening in pubs all around the world people will gather together to unwind.

Welcome to the “third place.” Continue reading

Mixtape Vol. 1

13047984_10100975523380640_2280334291436053600_oSpring has arrived in Paris and it’s a reminder just how stunning this city is. When the evening sun hits the Pont Alexandre III (see above) it’s a thing of beauty. I’ve put together a playlist that has been the backdrop as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I have been.

Cheers.

Facebook: Voyeurism or Exhibitionism?

I’m endlessly fascinated by the ways that our devices shape us in ways that we often do not notice. I do not claim to be immune to this phenomenon. I say this as someone who feels the lure of technology. I have an iPhone. I’m typing on a MacBook Pro. I use a myriad of social media platforms. Most of us can agree that technology is a gift and I suspect most of us are now slowly realizing the shadow side of our technologies as well.

293217Shane Hipps writes in his book Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith,

“Every day we are entranced by a mosaic of flickering pixels. These little dots of light are practically invisible so minuscule that we often ignore them.

Never the less they change us.

These pixels compose the screens of life, from televisions to smart phones to computers. These screens regardless of their content, change our brains, alter our lives, and shape our faith, all without our permission or knowledge.” Continue reading