Category Archives: Events

Christian Concerts and Christian Events in the Seattle Area

The Insulated Microcosm

On the heels of the Resurrection, I’m considering how my faith changes things, how it changes me.

Macro or Micro?

Once upon a time, I was concerned with world events, what was happening around the globe, the goings on outside of my little Keri bubble.

But, somewhere along the way I stopped caring about the macrocosm.

And, started focusing on the microcosm.

I don’t know when that change came.

It wasn’t because the macro ceased to exist.

It was because it ceased to exist in my consciousness.

Insulate and Isolate

In my suburban life, it’s easy to insulate and isolate myself from the macrocosm.

I also tend to make up excuses for my lack of awareness, saying things like “I just don’t have time to watch the news, read the paper, or listen to the radio.”

What that really means is that I just don’t want to think about it and my microcosm is much, much more important.

I figure I have enough problems of my own, why worry myself with problems I can’t fix?

When the earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, I was alert.  I was aware.

Yet, I chose to simply turn off the tv and tune out the tragedy.

Simply, because I could.

Simply, because I had the option.

True Religion

In James, we discover that

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)

The Bible Knowledge Commentary expounds on this verse by saying

This is not a definition of religion but rather a contrast to mere acts of worship and ritualistic observances that are commonly called “religion”.  Again, the goal is a mature Christian walk and practical holiness.

Acts of worship and ritualistic observances…they just don’t cut it.

Those types of things are important.  In many ways, those are things that can help me stay grounded to the faith

But, what about the practical holiness and the mature Christian walk?

Actually walking out this thing we call Christianity?

For me, part of walking out my faith is loving others as He has loved me.

True religion is removing myself from the microcosm of Keri and entering the macrocosm of His Creation.

Free Them

In a couple of weeks, World Concern is holding a Free Them 5K Run/Walk to raise funds to combat modern day slavery.

It’s an opportunity for me and my family to take part in the macro and step out of the micro.

Honestly, the cause overwhelms me, the stats on human trafficking from the World Concern site are staggering:

  • Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls and up to 50% are minors.  - U.S. State Department
  • The average age of entry for children victimized by the sex trade industry is 12 years. - U.S. Department of Justice
  • The global market for child trafficking is over $12 billion a year with more than 1.2 million child victims. - UNICEF
  • Surveys indicate that 30 to 35 per cent of all sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are between 12 and 17 years of age.  – UNICEF
  • The average cost of a slave today is $90, a historic low. – Kevin Bales, author of Ending Slavery

::

I’m also recognizing that the macro is not just the big problems of the world.

It’s also the real struggles and real needs of people in my state, my city, my neighborhood, and my circle of influence.

I can step out of myself to love on those people, too, and quit worrying so much about myself and my problems.

How do you stay aware of the macrocosm and not become overwhelmed, in despair, and downtrodden over the reality?

What ways do you exercise practical holiness and a mature Christian walk?

 

More details on Free Them 5K Fun Run/Walk

Making a differences, raising awareness and funds to combat modern-day slavery

Saturday, May 7, 8:30 registration, 9:30 race time

Crista Ministries Campus
19303 Fremont Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98133

$25 adults/$10 for ages 18 and under

  • T-shirt for race participants
  • Dogs welcome
  • Strollers/wagons welcome
  • Food booths, bouncy house, and inflatable slide!

Pop Tops, Volume 1

Introducing a new feature on Pop Parables,  Pop Tops: a collection of links I’ve come across on the interwebs, in the Twittersphere, my inbox, or the best place of them all: YOU!

These are links that I either don’t have the time to post about or wouldn’t be able to turn into a full post

Instead of letting them float away like Piglet with a balloon bouquet, I’ve captured them here for your perusal.

I won’t say with what regularity I’ll be posting Pop Tops, because, let’s face it, there isn’t much regularity in my life.  (Other than the kind of regularity you think of whenever you hear the word regular.) 

Without further adieu, I give you the premiere of Pop Tops!  (massive hand clapping heard in the audience)

To Tithe or Not to Tithe

My hilarious blogging bud Moe Vivas of Beta Christian first told me about this titillating tithing tale (quick say it ten times fast!).

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals found that only 42% of its leaders agree that the Bible requires tithing, while 58% percent do not agree.  I wonder how the 58% expect to get paid??? 

Read more about the story here or see the NAE version here.

Question:  Do you tithe from the gross or the net?  I’ve always wondered about this one.

I’d love to hear from you non-Evangelicals on this one: does your church believe in tithing and to what degree?

Soul Surfer

Currently sitting at #4 at the box office, Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton.

There are some fairly big names in this film included Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and Carrie Underwood in her acting debut.  My bff Cindy says the film does a great job of portraying faith without being preachy or cheesy, and that it’s SOOOOO GOOD.  You heard it here first folks, now go see it!

Go here to see the trailer.

In this article, Hamilton herself explains how she fought to keep her Christian faith in the film.  I found this quote particularly interesting:

Battles over how to portray religious themes in movies are becoming more common, as Hollywood becomes more open to addressing faith and marketing movies to religious audiences but worries about alienating nonreligious audiences or viewers from other traditions.

Have you seen any movies that portray an accurate picture of Christianity?  What is it, in your opinion, that makes Hollywood squirm about Christianity as opposed to other faiths?

Carrie Underwood

Speaking of Carrie Underwood, in this article, she attributes her massive success to her Christian faith and also explains why she wanted to be a part of Soul Surfer.

Today, I heard her amazing rendition of “How Great Thou Art” on the radio.  If you need something to get you in the proper contemplative worship mood for Lent and Easter, watch her sing this traditional hymn here.

What’s your favorite old hymn?

Distorting Love

 This article is a great tie in to my sex series.

The authors, Jake and Melissa Kircher, explore how social media, technology, and culture have influenced our view of love and sexuality

Here’s a quote from the article:

Social media, online dating, chat rooms and pornography also muddle things by creating new avenues for sexuality that move sexual experiences from the physical realm to the metaphysical. This becomes a huge gray area as this generation grapples with how to find balance and healthiness in the midst of an onslaught of opportunity for all kinds of new sexual experiences.

In Eccliastes 1:9 we read that there is nothing new under the sunDo you agree that technology has brought about new sexual experiences?

David Bazan

When my bro first introduced me to Bazan via his version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, I was kinda turned off by his use of the term recovering Evagelical.  Nonetheless, I think he has some useful and thought provoking things to say. 

He’ll be in concert on July 16 at the Showbox SoDo (yep, same place I saw the amazing NeedtoBreathe); go here to get tickets.

Here’s a description of his work on from the Showbox page:

Charting Bazan’s increasingly skeptical struggle with the precepts of the evangelical Christian world in which he was raised, the album covers some pretty serious ground.

Do you consider yourself a recovering Evagelical and what does that term mean to you?

Redeeming Ruth: The Biblical Video Game

This one I found in my inbox courtesy of my blog reading, deal finding, super fabulous sis in law, Nicole.  

Although it was just an April Fool’s joke courtesy of the Mars Hill Church blog, I don’t think it’s too far gone to consider that someone either already has or will soon be developing “Christian video games”. 

Gaming for Jesus: just another use of the God card or a legitimate way to learn more about the Bible?

Double Jeopardy

My blogging bud Tony Alicea wrote a great pop parable based on the Ashely Judd/Tommy Lee Jones film Double Jeopardy on his blog Expect the Exceptional

He challenges the readers to consider how we live out our faith, saying

You may have heard that being justified by Christ is “just as if i’d” never sinned. We might believe that but do we live like it?

Be sure to read the full post here.

I told Tony that I struggle with self-condemnation, which keeps me from fully embracing the beauty of the cross.  What keeps you from walking out your justification?

::

I’d love to feature more bloggers in Pop Tops

If you come across or write a faith based post about pop culture, please be sure to alert me on Twitter!

Subscribe to my RSS feed to be sure you don’t miss another exciting edition of Pop Tops

Or, follow me on Twitter or Facebook

Better, yet, sign up to get Pop Parables in your inbox by entering your email addy in that nifty box on the right that says Subscribe via Email.  Oooh la la!

Stories from The Shack: A LIVE Event

Here We Go Again

Every few years there is an evangelical Christian controversy that the secular media picks up on. 

This year, it’s Rob Bell and his book Love Wins.

But, in 2007, it was William P. Young’s book The Shack that had people crying heretic.

Incidentally, the same assertions made about Bell were then made about Young: that he is a universalist.  You can read an excellent review of those notions here.

Young even appeared on numerous morning shows touting his book and his reputation, much like Bell has done recently.

The Plot

A synopsis:

Mackenzie Allen Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.

What follows is the story of Mack’s encounter with the Trinity here on earth. 

But, the Trinity represented in The Shack is a dinstinctly different Trinity than represented in the Bible. 

::

Over 10 million copies of The Shack are in print, and it has been on the New York Times’ Best Seller List at #1 for 52 weeks.

If you read through the reviews of the book you’ll see phrases like life changing, powerful, and must read.

What’s New?

Today I caught an interesting commerical on the radio about an upcoming stage production of the book, entitled Stories from the Shack.

Apparently, the production will include “celebrities” whose lives have been changed as a result of reading The Shack, as well as Danny Gokey (of American Idol fame) as a musical guest.

The details:

May 8, 7:00 PM

WaMu Theatre

Tickets go on sale  Wednesday, April 6 through Ticketmaster

::

I’m certain that the stage production will stir up some of the old controversy surrounding The Shack

Especially since Seattle area superstar pastor Mark Driscoll vehemently spoke out against the book, and a lot of people paid attention.

My book club, Bibliotherapy, read this book as one of our first reads. 

I think everyone agreed that it was a compelling story.

I don’t remember us talking much about the theology of the novel.

In some respects, it makes me want to read it again since I am at a much different place in my faith and understanding of theology. 

But, at the same time, I have way too many other books I’m reading

If you haven’t read The Shack, you can read chapter 1 here.

::

Did you read The Shack?  Do you have any interest in seeing the stage production Stories from The Shack?

Do you think that a work of fiction need be theologically sound to merit your reading, specifically if it asserts to be a Christian work of fiction?

Do you struggle with explaining or understanding the Trinity?  Aside from Scripture, what has helped you to understand the Trinity?

Rock & Worship Road Show: SATURDAY!

 

Looking for something fun and cheap to do on Saturday night in Seattle?

Head to Key Arena THIS Saturday, March 5 to see all of these bands:

  • Mercy Me

  • Jars of Clay

  • Thousand Foot Crutch

  • Matt Maher

  • The Afters

  • LeCrae

The best part:

NO TICKETS REQUIRED: ONLY $10 AT THE DOOR

 

And, if you don’t live in the Seattle area, fear not! 

The Rock and Worship Road Show may be coming to a city near you!

Upcoming shows include:

  • Boise, ID on THURSDAY
  • Missoula, MT on FRIDAY
  • Portland, OR
  • Ontario, CA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Dallas, TX

Head to their site here for more info on upcoming shows.

Mike and I are pretty excited about this concert because we both LOVE Jars of Clay.  We sprung for the VIP Remix Passes that were only an extra $15, which includes a special intimate acoustic set with the band, a Q & A session, and reserved seating session for the rest of the show.  If you’re interested in that go here ; there are still passes available.

Not sure if you’re into their music? Well, you can sample their latest album, The Shelter, below:

Not a fan of “Christian” music?  Check out these posts to see what other readers are saying about the topic:

Are you a Jars of Clay fan?  What’s your favorite song?

What are your plans this weekend?

The Screwtape Letters On Stage

So, I know C.S. Lewis isn’t exactly pop culture.

But, I think anyone who has read any of his amazing works of literature will agree that his words are timeless, relevant, and speak to the heart of so many cultural issues of our time.  Not to mention his insights on human nature are spot on.

One of my favorite C.S. Lewis works, The Screwtape Letters, is coming to Seattle’s Moore Theatre! 

Details

Saturday, February 26

4:00 PM

8:00 PM

Tickets on sale for $38, $38, $59, and $89.

::

If you haven’t read The Screwtape Letters, here is a brief synopsis of the play from the show’s site, Screwtape on Stage:

The play, set in a eerily stylish office in hell, follows the clever scheming of Satan’s chief pyschiatrist, Screwtape, as he entices a human ‘patient’ toward damnation. In this topsy-turvy, morally inverted universe God is the “Enemy” and the Devil is “Our Father below.”  The stakes are high as human souls are hell’s primary source of food.

As His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, award winning actor Max McLean, creates a “master of the universe” character who mesmerizes the audience as he allures his unsuspecting ‘patient’ down the “soft, gentle path to Hell.” At his feet is Screwtape’s able assistant, Toadpipe, (played by Beckly Andrews & Tamala Bakkensen) a grotesque creature demon, who transforms her elastic body into the paragons of vices and characters Screwtape requires to keep his patient away from the “Enemy.”

The show has already been seen in New York and Los Angeles, but will still be coming to stages in San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Colorado Springs and Charlotte.

::

If you aren’t able to see the show, I highly encourage you to read the book, The Screwtape Letters.  It left an indelible mark in my mind about spiritual warfare and the forces of evil that are constantly battling for the hearts and minds of mankind. 

Have you read The Screwtape Letters?  What are your impressions of the book?  What other C.S. Lewis works would you recommend?