Stop Spiritualizing Jesus Thoughts on Poverty

Adapted from a Sermon Preached Feb. 2nd at St. John’s Anglican Church Peterborough

1557I hate it whenever I hear a leader of country proclaim God’s blessing on there nation.  It drives me crazy when Obama says “God bless America” or Harper says “God Bless Canada”.  It bothers me because I know what they are saying is that God is on their side.

You don’t have to look too far back in history to see the destruction that has taken place when the powerful justify there power by claiming God is on there side.  Slavery, Colonialism, Apartheid, the Crusades, the list goes on and on.  This is why it bothers me so much.  But this week I began to ask myself, is my issue with how they understand blessing, or who they say is being blessed?  To say it another way, is it that they equate blessing with taking sides, or whose side they think God is on? Continue reading

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The Most Super Songs of 2013

music-vynilsI am a music addict, and as a music addict I love this time of year because you get to read everyones top 10 albums, or songs or whatever of the year.  A couple of years ago I thought it would be fun to do one myself. 2013 was a good year to continue the tradition because there was so much great music released this year.  Check out my picks and let me know what you think.

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On Being a False Teacher

 

The other day a friend of mine tweeted “false teachers are usually nice guys. Don’t be fooled.”

Probably a true statement, but it got me thinking about the label false teacher.

Now I don’t ever use the phrase “false teacher”, I don’t think I have ever even thought it about someone, but we all have language that basically gets across the same point.  Our words might be different, but when I label someone a “fundamentalist” or a “conservative”, or any other words I use to dismiss someones point of view I am pretty much labelling them a false teacher.  So basically, those I consider to be false teachers are those who’s ideas I don’t agree with and therefore keep at a distance.  I label them as false teachers (or fundamentalists, or conservatives) so I don’t have to engage with them or listen to them.  I don’t have to view them as a person but rather just a label.  Image Continue reading

My 25 Favourite Songs of 2012: Part 4

We are finally into the Top 10 songs of 2012 from my humble (but right) perspective.  If you haven’t yet, check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

10. Robotic- Hannah Georgas from the album Hannah Georgas

Hannah Georgas’ last album was decent, but this one I think is fantastic.  She upped the electronic element to her songs which for me made all the difference.  Robotic, the first single, I think is definitely the high point.  Here she is performing it with members of Holy F@$k, Mother Mother and Teagan and Sara.

9. Lost In the Light- Bahamas from the album Barchords

I once saw Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) perform at the Moho in Peterborough opening for Amy Millan of Stars.  He stole the show.  It was just him and a drummer, but they sounded like a full band.  His guitar skills were amazing (he used to be Feist’s guitarist) his voice was awesome and he was stinking hilarious.  This song is the stand out from his new album, and proves my theory that the key to a great song is awesome background vocals.

8. Emmylou- First Aid Kit from the album The Lion’s Roar

Have you ever thought to yourself “You know, I really would like to listen to more swedish folk music”?  Well, my friends, here is your chance.  A great pair of sisters from just outside of Stolkholm, this song has had me all year.  It could be that this song is named after the great Emmylou Harris, and I have also really been into her song The Pearl this year, but who knows.  A great folk/country song that you will be singing along too.

7. Ho Hey- The Lumineers from the album The Lumineers

Any song that has a recurring hey that you can yell along to grabs me, and this one is even named after it.  A super catchy song that is starting to get more and more airplay.  These guys are sort of riding on the Mumford and Sons pseudo folk bandwagon, but they do it really well so I don’t mind.  Also, a really fun video.

6. Take A Walk- Passion Pit from the album Gossamer

If I were to book a band for a dance party, Passion Pit would be in the running.  A great band, and this particular song tells a great story.

My Favourite Songs of 2012: Part 3

I know, you were up all night in anticipation for the next five songs!  Well, here they are:

15. Big Bad Wolf– The Heavy from the album The Glorious Dead

These guys are a super funky group from the UK.  They are also the only group that I have ever seen get an encore on Letterman.  Dave actually liked their song “How You Like Me Now” so much that he told them to play the song again.  You can check it out here.  This song is just as great, the funky drums and horns make it great for driving.

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My 25 Favourite Songs of 2012: Part 2

A continuation of my count down of my favourite songs of 2012:

20. Free– Graffiti6 from the album Colours

This year, as you can see from part 1, I have been all about the old school R&B sound. Graffiti6 does this sound well. This track is catchy and involves lots of falsetto which is the best stuff to sing along too (no matter what my wife says.)

19. It Ain’t Over by Shad from the EP Melancholy and the Infinite Shadness

Ok, so in the 90’s I really badly wanted to be Lenny Kravitz. I mean that guy was unhumanly attractive, wore whatever he wanted and made some sweet funk inspired rock. I grew my hair long just so I could have dreads like him, but never actually did it because I figured I would look more like one of the guys from Korn then Lenny. It seems that Shad had that same love of Lenny. This is the highlight of an EP that reminisces about the 90’s, a decade I really, really loved.

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My 25 Favourite Songs of 2012: Part 1

Piano-Wallpaper-music-24173621-1280-800Honestly, who doesn’t love the “Best of ” lists that come out at this time every year?  I can’t enough of them, so I decided this year I am getting into the action and creating one of my own.  Then I felt a little cocky for thinking I could come up with what was the best music of 2012, there were probably amazing songs released that I didn’t even hear.  So I decided all I could do was make a list of my favourite songs of this year at this moment!  In order to build anticipation I am going to do five posts (I know the waiting will be unbearable).  Feel free to let me know your thoughts, if you love a song, hate a song, would add a song, etc.  Just know that if you disagree with me you will be wrong!  So here we go, starting at number 25! Continue reading

Experiencing God Through Bon Iver

Last night my wife and I attended a mind blowing concert by the Wisconsin band Bon Iver.  Bon Iver’s self titled second album was released earlier this year, and in my opinion is by far the best album of the year.   What makes Bon Iver so incredible is the way that they take a bunch of random, and odd sounds and bring them together to make something beautiful.  At any one moment the nine person band could all be singing in harmony, one of their two drummers could be soloing, there could be a clarinet solo, a trombone creating just a layer of noise, a massive saxophone (is there such thing as a bass sax) making bizarre noises, trumpet valves being used as percussion, with Justin Vernon’s falsetto rising above it all.  If you were to hear any of these parts on their own you could not envision that when layered together they would create a breathe taking soundscape, but that is exactly what happens. Continue reading

Locking Up the Poor

I know most of us don’t have a lot of time for politics.  We vote once every four years, if we are available that day, and just generally accept that stuff is messed up.  But something is happening right now that is huge, and I really think that we can’t be quiet.  It is the new ‘Tough on Crime’ bill that is presently being talked about in the House of Commons.  This bill concerns me in a bucket load of ways: Continue reading