Posts Tagged ‘Video’

Dr. Tony Campolo speaks about faith, political partisanship, and the kingdom of God.


Advertisements

>Every now and then I’m amazed at the sermons I hear in the middle of every day life. I caught one last night watching Criminal Minds on CBS. I sat down to watch some TV in an attempt to mentally escape from what seemed like a mounting pile of too much to do. Instead of escape, I found something more valuable. I was engaged by what was very much the voice of God for me at the moment.

In the video clip below, one of the main characters, FBI agent Hotchner is upset because a criminal had tried to play a mind game with him by offering a “deal” to stop killing if the FBI would stop hunting for him (it worked with previous agent mentioned in the video). When Hotchner refused to give in, the criminal went on a horrendous killing spree and several people died. The clip is of Hotchner trying to deal with the outcome of the situation:

Technical Difficulties (sorry!) watch the video clip here.

Agent Hotchner did something that I think many people do. I know I do it all the time. He does not differentiate himself from his work and wants to carry the responsibility for the actions of others while losing sight of the bigger picture that he a part of. I suspect we do this all too often…in our personal relationships, in our attempts to create change in the world. Like agent Hotchner, we do it in our professional work, also.

Maybe I’m speaking only for myself, but I think church professionals are particularly good at making this mistake. Pastors and other church leaders lose sight of the bigger picture we are a part of (that includes millions of us working together…with God at the center). We become susceptible to what Parker Palmer calls “functional atheism”, which is “the unconscious, unexamined conviction that if anything decent is going to happen here, we are the ones who must make it happen – a conviction held even by people who talk a good game about God.”

For me the sermon came in these words spoken to Agent Hotchner by a friend/co-worker: “That voice in your head…it’s not your conscience, it’s your ego.”

Again…maybe I’m the only one here…but maybe it is our own ego that brings us the most trouble. I suspect I’m not the only person that falls into this trap…and I’m fairly confident I’m far from the only pastor that can too often be found carrying the unecessary strain and scars of the functional atheism created by my own ego.

Below is a video and lyrics to the next U2 single…and first great hymn of 2009…enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6R_D-4anNc]
“Magnificent”
Magnificent
Oh, magnificent

I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after
I haven’t had a clue

Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart
Black and blue

Only love
Only love can leave such a mark
But only love
Only love can heal such a scar

I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry
It was a joyful noise

Oh, oh
Only love
Only love can leave such a mark
But only love
Only love can heal such a scar

Justified
till we die
You and I
will magnify
Oh, the magnificent

Magnificent

Only love
Only love can leave such a mark
But only love
Only love unites our hearts

Justified
till we die
You and I
will magnify
Oh, the magnificent
Magnificent
Magnificent

I’ve listened to the new U2 record “No Line on the Horizon” (in stores March 3rd) and am beginning to put some thoughts together on it. As I listen to it, I’m mindful that my relationships with U2 records are always long-term committed affairs. At this point, I think we’ll get along fine…but we’ll need to get to know each other.

The adjective that kept coming to mind the first time through was “brooding”. While repeated listens seem to be suggesting something other than “brooding”, I’d have to say that “Get On Your Boots” does not offer a very accurate peek in the window as the lead single for the record.

Bono’s voice sounds great throughout the record. The Edge’s guitars are in place. Adam & Larry drive the songs as I’d expect and hope from them. I suspect that Brian Eno probably ought to be credited as the “the fifth Beatle” on this project, which seems, at nearly every turn, to reflect his penchant for ambience and electronic noises kicking around in the background. Most of the time it comes alongside some undeniably “Edge-y” guitar sonics.

I also keep finding myself thinking at times that this record wants to carry the markings of “late masterpieces” like Sergeant Pepper’s or Pet Sounds or the White Album (for good and for ill).

This record is just about the opposite of a collection of hit singles (thankfully, U2 has never tried that approach). The potential singles (after the already released “Boots”) are probably “Magnificent”, “Breathe”, “No Line on the Horizon” and “I Know I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” (which I would predict will find a spot at or near the beginning of the upcoming tour’s nightly setlists). “Stand Up Comedy” might make it to radio, too.

The record starts off strong, soaring and anthemic with the title track and “Magnificent”. Guitars up front with electronic noises in the back that sort of switch places at times during “Magnificent”. The title track has a bit of an Arcade Fire feel to it.

The song most likely to be remembered in 10 or 20 years is “Moment of Surrender”.

The emphasis in “Stand Up Comedy” is on “Stand Up”. Along with “Boots”, it resurrects the cheekiness that was ever present in the Zoo TV and Popmart concerts.

“FEZ – Being Born” is the opposite of a radio-ready hit single. Starts out sounding like a remix, with looping samples of “Get on Your Boots”. Sort of Radiohead-esque at times. It might just be brilliant.

“White as Snow” is like no U2 song I can recall. Again, slow and brooding with a sort of spaghetti western guitar sound. For some reason, the melody brought to mind the Advent Hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. On some level, the two songs might be connected by more than their music. Made me think of Johnny Cash working with Rick Rubin.

“Breathe” would probably be a more appropriate (and probably better) single than “Get on Your Boots”. Here’s a video of the band premiering the song on French TV:

“Cedars of Lebanon” ends the record in a way familiar to U2: instead of a climactic grand finale they offer an understated, reflective, and even melancholy final scene. The song ends with such stark suddenness that it almost stings as much as “Wake Up Dead Man” did on 1997’s POP.

Lyrics to the songs are available here (I’ll also mention that @U2.com is a great and reputable fansite).

I’m starting to feel a connection to the songs after 2-3 listens. This was the longest hiatus between records in U2’s entire career. I hope the wait is not as long for the next one.

Below is a “video Christmas card” from my family to yours this blessed season. Our prayer is that you know peace and joy in ways that inspire you to be courageous and imaginative in the way you love others.

The video was shot on our digital camera while in center city Philadelphia. It features Amber as “the Cherub”. The song is called “I Believe in Father Christmas” and was written by Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer fame). The lyrics I use come from the version that U2 recorded this year for (RED)Wire. Here they are:

They said there’d be snow at christmas
They said there’d be peace on earth
But instead it just keeps on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin birth

I remember on Christmas morning
A winter’s light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell; that Christmas tree smell
eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
They sold me a fairy story
But I believe in the Israelite

I believed in father Christmas
I looked at the sky with excited eyes
‘Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear

They said there’d be snow at Christmas
They said there’d be peace on earth
Hallelujah, noel, be it heaven or hell
Christmas we get what we deserve

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear

May peace be yours this Christmas….