Balearic Beats (aka Hipster music part III)

Here are few bands I think you should know about…you’re welcome.

Another greatness…

I’ve been a fan of M83 since the beginning and they never cease to amaze me. Truly talented.

Hipster Music part two

Again, some fantastic freshness from the analogue realm.

Hipster Music part one

Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of anything that requires the use of a synthesizer. Within the past 10 years we have seen a shift in music, in that we see that synthesizers are a staple arrangement in bands. You even see metal bands use synths. Below are a handful of noteworthy bands. Each has it’s own uniqueness, yet affectionately familiar. Enjoy!

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For the summer our youth group is meeting at a community park. It’s a great opportunity for our students to get outside and enjoy the amazing creation of our maker. What makes this more amazing than just getting outside the walls of our local church is the excitement I can see in our students. There’s this smile they give when about to play potato, or that distinct high-five they give each other that really reminds me what I love about my job. I love hanging with my students…period!

They are incredibly challenging, smart and talented. Even more so they are working out their salvation with fear and trembling as the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Philippians. There’s this movement that’s happening in which our students are really searching for Jesus. They want an authentic relationship with him, and when I say authentic what I really mean is life transformation. That’s where the money is.

When we really think about our relationship with Jesus Christ was are some things that come to mind? What identifiers emerge from your analysis? Is Jesus the absolute center of your world? I believe that is the question many of my students are asking, but not asking. They want authenticity but often times don’t know how or where to begin looking for such a thing. That’s where I come in.

My mission for our students is pretty simple: I want them to love God, love others, and change the world. To love something or someone is to know them. I want our students to know God. Not just in a sunday school sort of way, but in a all life changing sort of way. Where all you want is Jesus. Through that encounter, we begin to learn how to love others, and from that love of others, we can change the world.

Who are we changing the world for?

It’s all about Jesus. When we remove everything that we hold dear to, all the convictions we constantly argue over, and the petty agendas, Jesus still remains. Because we have nothing without him. Youth group, the local church, it’s all for nothing if it doses’t have Jesus.

There’s a movement happening in my group. They want Jesus. They want to go deeper. They want meat instead of milk. They want life transformation, and I sit here in complete awe of the working of the Holy Spirit in our youth group. It’s all about Jesus!!!

“Facebook…we need to separate!”

Dear Facebook,

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while now. It’s keeps me up at night, but you already know this. It’s this idea that I’ve become disenchanted with you. You’re not what I what thought you were, in fact you’re more sinister than I expected. You’re destroying the relationships around me.

How are you doing this….

You suck the life out of me.

You disguise real authentic relationships with artificial ones.

You give me a complex when I see that no one “liked” my comments.

You  persuade me that there’s something constantly going on that I need to know about.

You create in me this need to be narcissistic, as if everyone needs to know about me all the time.

You convince me that you’re more important than spending quality time with my wife.

You need to go…

Facebook has been a huge tool in me connecting with my students and in youth ministry in general. But I have to do something. I look how artificial my world has become and I need a break. I need time to spend talking with people and use my real voice to do it. I need to spend more time with my wife, looking into her gorgeous eyes and listening to her talk about her day, not constantly checking my phone for an update on my wall. I need to go out and spend time with my students and not think that putting a “hey what’s up” on their wall is going to suffice. I need to be real, authentic and willing to allow Jesus to move, encourage and motivate me, not Facebook. 

Facebook…I think we need a break.

Best Regards,

Lucas Miller

Brëgo…

My brother-in-law wrote a book a few years back and it’s great. Watch the video, buy the book and enjoy.

A Liturgical Experiment…Sodalitas

It’s a new year and I’ve been spending much time thinking about community, or more specifically spiritual community. What does is mean? What does it look like? How is it formed? These questions keep me up at night and the answer that I found is really not an answer but in fact an idea; a concept. It’s liturgy.

Since I was a boy, I’ve always been fascinated by old things, especially medieval things. There’s something whimsical and wondrous about the simplicity of the middle ages. This is where I’ve found the concept of liturgy. Although liturgy is not specifically a product of the middle ages, it it was practiced and experimented with during that time. Your probably asking “what does liturgy mean?” Good question.

Liturgy comes from the Greek word leitourgia meaning “public worship.” As I study more and more about community this concept of liturgy seems to surface. Not to mention as I remember the things that made me smile as I studied medieval history as a boy, it was the liturgical elements of the medieval church that fascinated me. Nonetheless, it was community that brought this concept to whole new level.

People gather to worship God in public places. The structure of how this is done varies from denomination to denomination. Some see the concept of liturgy to be a terrible thing, but I ask the question; why? Why is worshiping Jesus with kneeling and meditative prayers a horrible thing? Is it because Catholics do it? Why is doing the sign of the Cross a terrible thing? Does it not remind you of what Christ did on the cross? Why is responsive readings rendered obsolete, yet we still sings songs written from the 1990′s, even 1800′s?

Where am I going with this?

I’m proposing an experiment. I want to create a small community of Christ followers that would want to meet once a week and worship using the old ways. The more I study the early church the more excited I get about the local church, even more so this experiment.  I got this book Common Prayer: A liturgy for ordinary radicals and it’s intriguing and inspiring. This is not to replace the local church, it’s sort of a creative bible study if you will, some would even go as far as to call it a “bible study for hipsters.” We will meet to sing songs, recite responsive readings, take part in morning/midday/evening prayers and meditate over God’s word. The goal of this experiment is grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ and create community, nothing else. Again, this is a bible study, not a new church! We are not trying to be Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, or even Protestant. We just trying to be authentic followers of Jesus Christ while using the imagination and creativity that He (Jesus) gave us. If you are wanting to participate in this experiment please fill out the form and I’ll contact you.

{Please note: this experiment is intended for those living in or around Yucaipa, Ca.}

Soli Deo Gloria!

What I Learned from TRON frisbee

Last night instead of having a typical youth group night we planned an event, TRON ultimate frisbee. In a few words it was absolutely awesome! Imagine glow sticks, a glow in the dark frisbee, music from TRON: legacy, and whole bunch of students running around like crazies; sounds like fun huh? However, there were some things that I learned from this event and hopefully this will continue to be a regular part of our student ministry.

Not all students are athletes

There are two kinds of students at an event like this: 1) an athlete and 2) the non-athletic. Neither student is better than the other, though the athletic minded will take anything that has a hint of competition and run with it (pun intended), while the others will adapt to the event and make it something they can connect to.

Students will find ways to have fun

This event was no doubt super fun. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like glow sticks? What was more awesome was to see students interact with other students that they normally wouldn’t interact with on any given day. One of the reasons we plan corporate games like these is to get everyone on the field to socialize. This brings conversations, laughter, and fun. Students who normally see students in a specific way could often walk away thinking “wow, I never knew that Josh was so good at frisbee!” 

Everybody loves Electronica

I don’t care what you say, you drop a beat on the iPod and your foot is going to move. You can’t help it, it’s the way God designed us to be. We are moved by music. Period! The music couldn’t have been more appropriate for TRON frisbee.

 

Advent Conspiracy 2011

Worship Fully // Spend Less //  Give More //  Love All

The question is what will you do?

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