Will You Help Us Plant A Church?

o-SUPPORT-FRIENDS-facebookIt’s an interesting phenomenon that asking for help is often seen as some sort of weakness by our culture. We mythologize figures like the Marlboro Man, the independent spirit who don’t need nobody. We idolize the “self-made” man who didn’t have to rely on anyone to get ahead. But we forget that even the “Lone Ranger” didn’t actually travel alone. Tonto was a faithful companion.

We instinctively know that life was not meant to be lived alone. This is revealed to us time and time again in God’s redemptive story. God created a companion for Adam. He promised Abraham a family. He worked through a nation. And, though He saves us as individuals, He saves us into a family. The Christian life is fullest when we bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2). We weep and rejoice with each other (Romans 12:15). Following Jesus is a community endeavor. We are to “speak the truth to one another in love” (Ephesians 4:15), and it is by our love for one another that the world will know that we belong to Jesus (John 13:35).

Though Christians come from every culture, we are brought in to a new community. We are expected to do good to everyone, especially fellow Believers (Galatians 6:10). Not only are we called to be sensitive to each other’s needs but we must also speak up when we have a need ourselves.

And that’s where you come in.Mosaic_Church_logo-Stack

In July 2008, after serving as a lead pastor in TX, I planted Church of the Cross in Glendale, AZ. We planted a church because we believe that church planting is vital for the gospel health of any city. By God’s grace, we saw exciting Gospel growth and God transformed an initial plant of 12 adults and 16 kids into a thriving, multiplying group of gospel communities on mission. We saw lives transformed and people grow closer to Jesus.

After adopting four children at once (putting us at 8 children), I made the difficult decision to resign from the church I had poured my life into. We had grown with our church plant but our suddenly expanded family deserved our full attention. We spent most of 2015 focusing on family stability but towards the end of 2015, God began to tug at my heart again.

Now, after nearly eight months of praying, planning and imagining, we are excited and humbled to announce that we are moving to Gilbert, AZ to plant another church. We will be joining our friends Steve and Christine Valero who are also experienced church planters. Mosaic Church was birthed from convictions regarding the importance of applying the Gospel (our need for Jesus) to all of life. This leads us into community where we share one another’s burdens and joys and then overflow in sacrificial love for our communities.

We are raising $100,000 of start-up funding. This will ensure an initial salary base and cover launch costs (such as a quality children’s ministry, insurance, etc.) for the first year as we become self-sufficient. Your one-time or recurring gift will help ensure church stable for the long-term. We need to raise at least $15,000 by the end of July in order to move. Any help is appreciated.

You can give online via PayPal.





You may also give by check. Checks made payable to Mosaic Church may be mailed to:

19619 North 67th Drive

Glendale, AZ 85308

 

 

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We know that you don’t need extra incentives to give. The warm feeling under left rib and knowing that you’ve helped is enough. But because we are so grateful we want to offer a token of our appreciation.

If you give $350, you will receive your choice of one of Brent’s original drawings in a frame. See a sampling of the drawings available here.

If you give $500, you will receive one of Kristi’s original string art pieces. You will have your choice of a “Home” sign in which the “o” is the state of your choice or a “gather” sign.

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If you give $750, you can have one of each.

We can’t thank you enough for your support in helping make this new church a reality.

  • Read the story of our adoption.
  • Read the story of my resignation from ministry.
  • Read some of our spiritual journey in 2015.
  • Read about my call to plant another church.
  • Visit the Mosaic Church website.





Striving To Be Consistently Pro-Life(?)

deathpenaltyI have not read it yet but Christianity Today‘s review of Shane Claiborne‘s new book Executing Grace has much that resonates with me. My views on this issue have changed drastically over the years. I used to believe that capital punishment was not only justified but required because murder is the taking of a human life which is made in the image of God, therefore it was not only a de-valuing of human life but blasphemy (Genesis 9:6, etc.).

I now believe that it is more consistently “pro-life” to oppose the death penalty, precisely because all human life reflects the image of God. When the Supreme Court approved the modern death penalty, they declared that

capital punishment is an expression of society’s moral outrage at particularly offensive conduct . . .

For a Christian to defend capital punishment, it seems to me that we must argue from a theological perspective. It is worthy of death precisely because murder attacks the image of God. But we do not live in a theocratic state. Christian or otherwise.

Instead, the Supreme Court basis its justification of capital punishment on “society’s moral outrage.” A major problem with this, of course, is that society’s moral compass can sometimes seem like Jack Sparrow’s treasure compass in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. Wonky and ever-changing, especially when it comes to “society’s” norms. It wasn’t that long ago that we put suspected witches to the “swimming” text and burned heretics at the stake. What might have earned capital punishment at one time might not at another. Without the Christian under-pinning, there is no consistent ethic with which to decide which cases deserve death and which do not. In short, we cannot be trusted to be consistent. Since all people bear the image of God, we owe ourselves more than this. The taking of a human life cannot be left up to the shifting winds of “society’s moral outrage”.

Our justice system is not only deeply flawed and often unreliable, it is infected with systemic racism. Even if we agreed that murder is the consistent base-line for capital punishment, our application of any standards are not only inconsistent but often unjust. The ACLU argues:

the evidence from the past 33 years demonstrates that capital punishment remains arbitrary and that society’s moral outrage continues to be expressed loudest when wealthy white people are homicide victims.

Our court system simply cannot be trusted to always be impartial and “just” when it comes to this issue. The ACLU article continues:

empirical research across the country consistently demonstrates that a defendant who kills a white person is far more likely to receive the death penalty than a defendant who kills a person of color, and the racial configuration most likely to result in a death sentence is a black-on-white crime.

Amnesty International argues that “the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim” even non-whites are just as often the victims of murder. Time magazine comes right out and says it: “there is significant racial bias in the administration of the death penalty.” If we believe that all men are not only created equal but that all people are created in the image of God and therefore human life always has intrinsic value, then we must oppose the death penalty as it is currently practiced.

Capital punishment also carries the idea that certain criminals do not deserve even the possibility of rehabilitation. It simply negates some lives based on norms that we’ve already seen are shaky at best and likely to soon change.

Though there is more to be said, this serves as a brief summary of why I’ve changed my mind over the years. I’ve come to believe that the pursuit of wisdom necessitates that we are willing to sometimes change our views. I’m not saying that if you disagree with me on this issue that you are unwise but that my pursuit of wisdom has led me down this path. As I grow older and understand perspectives which my own experiences never provided, many of my views change.

I know that many of you will disagree and I look forward to hearing from you. But remember to express your views with humanity and kindness. After all, we are all God’s image bearers and deserve respect.

The Long Strange Trip Continues (We’re Planting Another Church!)

church_planting-400x300In 2008, my family and I moved from TX where I was pastoring back to AZ to plant Church of the Cross (which has since become Missio Dei Peoria).

In January 2015, a year after adopting four kids at once (putting us at 8 kids), I resigned from ministry in general and specifically from the church we planted in 2008.

2015 has been a whirlwind with a consistent theme from Psalm 46:

Be still and know that He is God.

When I resigned, it was important for Kristi and I that “vocational ministry” not be a career option for an unspecified period of time. With over ten years of lead pastor experience, I probably could have been hired at an existing church. But that just wasn’t right. Throughout 2015, I applied to more than 153 jobs (I stopped counting at 153). Most of those were jobs for which I was well qualified (at least on paper). But nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Bupkiss. A big goose-egg.

That’s not to say that I haven’t worked hard during this time, just that God has not provided full-time employment. Kristi and I both have worked part time for our friends Mark and Jill at Twigs and Twine. This has been a great experience. We’ve learned a lot but we’ve always known that this was not a long-term solution to our situation. It has felt like God was arranging our circumstances so that we would rest in Him even without knowing what was next. To be still. And know that He is God. And we are not.

This is a difficult lesson. It is often uncomfortable but it gets to the very heart of faith itself. Following Jesus means submitting our wills to His and trusting. God has been teaching me this tough lesson over the past year or so.

As I stated, it was important for us to have an unspecified period of time during which full-time ministry (at least in the pastoral sense) was not an option. Not only did we want to see what else God might have for us, we knew that one of two things would happen:

  1. The “indefinitely” would simply progress and we would not ever return to vocational ministry and we would be OK with that, or
  2. God would change our hearts and the “call” to ministry on our lives would return.

As 2015 wore on, the latter happened.

Before I explain what this means, I want to pause for a couple of side-notes.

First, my wife Kristi and I have been remarkably on the same page for every major decision throughout our relationship. This has helped serve as a natural form of discernment for both of us. Believe me, Kristi is not afraid to tell me when she thinks I’m wrong. It is important to me that my wife is on the same page. And she is.

Second, the idea of a “call to ministry” is fuzzy and nebulous at best. But I can say is that our decision to once again consider full-time ministry was not motivated by the fact that I had trouble finding employment. I hope that this goes without saying but I wanted to say it regardless. I have a healthy respect for ministry which requires that it be more than just a job.

In late 2015, not only did I start to miss vocational ministry but Kristi confirmed that I was once again being called to return and that we as a family wanted to give our lives in this way. As we wondered what this might mean for our family, we began talking with my friend Steve about planting a church together in Gilbert.

Steve planted a church called Ekklesia in 2009. Through mutual involvement with the local Surge Network, Acts 29 and Soma Communities, Steve and I became good friends. Around the same time I resigned, Steve shut down his church plant. However, because he’s so awesome, Steve has maintained great relationships with the people of that church, retaining a core group ready to plant another church.

After nearly eight months of prayer and consideration, Steve and I believe that the time is right to move forward with planting a church made up of Gospel Communities on Mission. We are humbled to announce that we are in the initial stages of planting Mosaic Church.

The Thomas Ten is in the process of moving to the Gilbert area so that we can devote ourselves to this exciting new gospel work. Since our ministry conviction is based on relationships and everyday life, it is important for us to be where we minister. We are currently raising the necessary funds to launch this new church and we appreciate anything you can give towards this goal.

Once we can get to that side of town, we will move forward with forming Gospel Communities and launching a Sunday gathering. Our goal is to move as soon as possible so that the kids can transition schools smoothly.

There’s still a lot to figure out and I’m sure you have questions. Feel free to ask them. And please pray for us. Please pray for wisdom, for discernment, for joy, for clarity and conviction. Please pray that God would provide the necessary resources and prepare hearts.

  • Visit the Mosaic Church website.
  • Visit the Mosaic Church Facebook page.

Reading, Listening, Watching, etc.

book-eye-glasses-ipod-love-music-Favim.com-1342041Welcome to this very irregular series where I chronicle some of what I’ve been reading and listening to lately. I like to be very intentional about the things I spend my time with and I also try to be very intentional about reflecting on those things. Yes, you might call it nerdy. Whatever. Don’t be mean. I’m a very sensitive soul.

Anyway, here’s what’s been going in lately:

Listening:

Several new albums have worked their way into my earholes this week:

SturgillSimpsonArt_zpsk5o3to2rA Salior’s Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson.

Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music was one of my top-five favorite albums of 2014. Having already established himself as one of the top voices in “outsider country” music, Simpson could have repeated himself and very few people would have batted an eye. Instead Simpson builds on his foundation with strings, horns and moody hooks. Perhaps what strikes most people is the cover of Nirvana‘s “In Bloom”. A well-done cover song is not only recognizable but becomes something new. The song takes on new life as its sung with a different voice and Simpson definitely has an ear for picking the right cover. His cover of When in Rome’s “The Promise” blew as many people away as his Nirvana cover has polarized. But trust me, it works exceedingly well in the context of the album as a whole. Themes of fatherhood, life, death and the days in between provide the groundwork for an artist clearly pushing himself and his audience. Highly recommended.

Check out the Nirvana cover in question:



Check out ‘Brace For Impact (Live A Little)’ live on Colbert:



woodsCity Sun Eater In The River Of Light by Woods

Woods is one of those bands that I’ve always thought highly of but never listened to deeply. No reason why. There are just some of those bands in our worlds, right? I’ve listened to a couple of their albums but never really spent significant time with any of them. That’s changed with their newest release, City Sun Eater In The River of Light. Highly influenced by Ethiopiques series, especially Ethiopian jazz, not many bands could make the jump from psychedelic folk to world music quite so seamlessly. In the words of Pitchfork, “Turns out Woods is one of them.”

Here’s the lead “single” “Sun City Creeps”:



tmr339_front_550Midwest Farmers Daughter by Margo Price

Reminding us that the resurgence of “real” and/or “outlaw” or “outsider” country (whatever you want to call it) doesn’t just belong to men, Price has fashioned a timeless album full of all the heartwarming heartbreak a great country album should deliver. With tales of personal struggle and sometimes victory, Price reminds us that country music is far from dead, despite what the charts tells us is popular.

Here’s “Hurtin’ (On The Bottle)” live at the Grand Ol’ Opry:



Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 2.57.13 PMMix From the Dashboard by Various Artists

Read my post about this mix that I happened across in my dashboard crap-hole. Featuring Anathallo, Ramsay Midwood and others, it’s a mix I have no recollection of making and seems to be a fairly random collection of songs. But I dig it.

Reading:

9780312373511_p0_v2_s192x300The Time Quintent by Madeleine L’Engle

So, for some reason, I never read L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time when I was younger. I don’t remember it ever being assigned reading though I always remember being aware of the book. So, I finally decided to read it and lo and behold, it’s the first of a five-book series! So I read the whole series. A great young adult fantasy/science-fiction series with lots of theological fodder for reflection. An entertaining and worthwhile read if you haven’t.

71qLnZuj5SL_zpsaqyp1mmzThings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

I actually picked up this book at a garage sale only to find out later that its considered a classic by many and was in fact, assigned reading for many. Another case where the Glendale, AZ school system failed me with their assigned reading lists? Maybe I’m just too old and I was in school before it became assigned reading? Anyhow, I’m about half-way through it so far and its quite a good read and does what much of the best fiction does, draws you in to a world unlike your own.

gutierrez-theology-of-liberation-9780883445426-crop-325x325A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez

I don’t question the validity of penal substitutionary atonement nor its importance (and vital place) as a theory of the atonement. Perhaps even the primary theory but I am not sure it is the totality of the Gospel. I have long wanted to read authors and viewpoints outside of my normal traveling circles on this issue for quite some time and I’m starting with what many to consider to be a classic. Have you read it? Thoughts?

downloadBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I’ve heard great things about this book for quite some time and I’m finally getting a chance to read it. Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” it just shows to go you that its never too late to get around to all that “required reading”.

 

Watching

91d053F2aKL._SY445_Kristi and I don’t get to watch a whole lot of television or movies for ourselves but sometimes we do like to watch something at bed-time. We watched Parks and Recreation all the way through and loved the characters. So it wasn’t a stretch to go back and watch The Office. We’re in season three and we’ve seen most but not all of the episodes up to this point but not much beyond that. As with any good television show, it’s the characters that keep you coming back for more. The Office is no exception, though you get a good idea pretty early on of what the characters are like, they are allowed to grow and grow on you from there.

 

Mix From the Dashboard

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 3.00.37 PMAs you, my friends are well aware, I love music. You, of course, are aware of this precisely because we are friends. And friends know one another.

This morning I had to take three of the boys with me on some errands and NPR was playing the weekly round-up edition of the Diane Rehm show. Now, I know that lots of people really like Diane Rehm. But I wanted to listen to some music. If you live in the Phoenix area, you know that radio was not really an option. So I reached into my dashboard’s crap-hole, you know that big gaping storage area where you throw all your crap? No? Just us? Well, in that crap-hole were several blank CDs. I grabbed one, popped it in and was greeted by a mix I don’t remember making.  It’s like Christmas for your ears when you have a mix of music you know you like (because you made it) but you don’t know what’s next!

I’m pretty sure I did in fact at some point make this mix because I’m not sure who else would put together this particular collection of artists. There doesn’t seem to be a real theme or even significance to the order of songs. The best I’ve got is that the most recent songs on the mix are from 2014 so it was made some time after that. Maybe for a roadtrip? I don’t know. I don’t know where it came from. But I liked it. I liked it enough to pass along to you. You know, for fun.

Download the mix with art and tracklisting here.

Here’s the tracklisting:

  1. Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash) by Anathallo
  2. Franklin’s Tower by the Grateful Dead
  3. Who Built the Moon by Shinyribs
  4. Rosalee by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood
  5. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking by the Rolling Stones
  6. Prophet Omega Riff by Ramsay Midwood
  7. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads
  8. Excursions by A Tribe Called Quest
  9. Move On (Bloom Like The Sunlight In My Song by Mike Doughty
  10. Southern Grammar by Hiss Golden Messenger
  11. Homestead by Northern Hustle
  12. Walking On A Pretty Day by Kurt Vile
  13. Water Wheel by Steve Gunn
  14. Time To Move On by Tom Petty

Download the mix with art and tracklisting here.

the Weekly Town Crier

towncrierWell I’m not sure what you expect. This is the Weekly Town Crier, where I collect and pass along links If interest from the past week. Don’t call it a link-dump. Well, I suppose you could but that sounds so crass, now doesn’t it? I’d like to think of these links as somewhat thought-provoking.

R.I.P. the library card catalog.

R.I.P. Doris Roberts.

R.I.P. Prince.

Read as The Atlantic considers “The Unexpected Pleasure of Doing Things Alone”.

Read NPR’s coverage of “First-Ever Official Pastafarian Wedding”.

Browse “Six Habits Of People Who Know How To Bring Out The Best In Others” at Fast Company.

Read Revolver‘s interview with Daniel Johnston.

Read Christianity Today‘s report that the Bible is now among the most challenged books at libraries and schools.

Read AV Club‘s report that Thomas the Tank Engine is being re-worked for adults.

Read BBC‘s report about the recent study finding that, for those over 40, a 3-day work-week is optimal.

Read Pitchfork‘s report that “Axl Rose Is AC/DC‘s New Frontman”.

Browse AV Club‘s profile of “19 bands that have plowed through 3 or more frontmen without a name change”.

Read Quartz‘ report: “It’s true. Every music festival is starting to look the same”.

Read Techly‘s report that Chuck Palahniuk has re-worked Fight Club for children.

Read Salon‘s piece: ““I am the human being that I am today because of the Grateful Dead”: Bill Walton shares life lessons from 859 shows”

Read as First Things considers “Faith In Fiction”: “’I’m sick of Flannery O’Connor. I’m also sick of Walker Percy, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Dostoevsky. Actually, I’m sick of hearing about them from religiously minded readers. These tend to be the only authors that come up when I ask them what they read for literature.”

Read Pitchfork‘s report that Johnny Marr has announced his autobiography, Set the Boy Free.

Read/Listen to NPR’s profile of Merge Records.

Read as N.D. Wilson writes for The Atlantic: “Why I Write Scary Stories for Children”.

Read as Brain Pickings considers “The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story”.

See a vending machine for books at BBC.

Read The Daily Beast‘s report that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill

Browse Fact Magazine‘s picks for “The 30 best post-rock albums of all time”. Did your favorite make their list?

See “the dying art of the film projectionist – in pictures” at The Guardian.

Read Smithsonian‘s piece: “Why Women Bring Their ‘I Voted’ Stickers to Susan B. Anthony’s Grave”.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks’ 2012 book, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story Of The Music Video Revolution will be adapted for the screen.

Go “Behind The Scenes At Karlie Kloss’s New Coding Camp For Girls” with Fast Company.

Read as NME considers the new study considering “why everyone hates Nickelback so much”.

Take “A Peek Inside Harvard’s Collection of 2,500 Pigments” at Colossal.

Read Quartz‘ startling report: “One in 14 Americans will grow up with a parent in prison”.

Read as the New Yorker considers “The Unoriginal Originality of Led Zeppelin“.

ReadJack Kerouac on How to Meditate” at Brain Pickings.

Watch “Steve Reich reflects on his most significant works” at CBC.

Read as KQED considers “Why Kids Should Keep Using Their Fingers to do Math”.

Browse Paste‘s picks for “The 50 Best Movie Soundtracks”.

Read as The Atlantic considers “The Limits of the Late-Night Comedy Takedown”. What is really accomplished when late-night truth-tellers shine their spotlights?

Read Flavorwire‘s report that “HBO Is Making a New ‘Fahrenheit 451′ Movie”. Let’s hope they remember that the theme of the controversial book is not censorship but television itself, which, sort of ironically works against the re-make itself. How’s that for meta?

See “what happens inside a vinyl factory” at BBC.

Browse “A Graphic Guide to Cemetery Symbolism” at Atlas Obscura.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report: “Coachella organizers planning new festival with the Holy Grail of headliners McCartney, The Stones, Roger Waters, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young“.

Read “An Ode to Shakespeare from Kurt Vonnegut” at Signature.

Read/Listen as NPR considers why it’s time to put away the laptop and take hand-written notes.

Read the Los Angeles Times‘ report: “Under new Oregon law, all eligible voters are registered unless they opt out”.

Read as Quartz considers “Why the sweaty, crowded summer festival became the last sacred space in music”.

Read as Techly wonders “Is the Music You Listen to Affecting Your Brain Long-Term?”

Read: “Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence” at Brain Pickings.

Browse “Six Habits of The Best Conversationalists” at Fast Company.

the Weekly Town Crier

towncrierYou know how it is. This is how we do it. Rollin’ deep, son.

And other cool catchphrases. And such.

Welcome to the Weekly Town Crier. This is the online space reserved for me to pass along links from the past week that I have found interesting. You may or may not find them interesting yourself. If you don’t find them interesting I don’t want to hear about it. Get your own website.

And have a great day.

Read as “Relevant” magazine considers the “Rise of the Cool Catholics”.

Read the Atlantic urges: “For a More Creative Brain, Travel”.

Read as Washington Post considers “How ‘All Songs Considered’s’ Bob Boilen went from Tiny Desk to tastemaker”.

Read as Reuters reports: “Microsoft sues U.S. government over data requests”.

Read as Paste tries the Pogues branded Irish Whiskey: “The Pogues have created a whiskey that both befits the band’s legacy and offers something solid for lovers of classic blended Irish whiskey”

Read Relevant”‘s piece: “Study Finds Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations”.

Browse Bruce Springsteen’s reading list at Brain Pickings: “28 Favorite Books That Shaped His Mind and Music”.

Read “What a Good Book Can Be: An Interview with Edwin Frank” at Paris Review.

Browse NME‘s picks for the  “Top 10 Psychedelic Albums”.

Read as Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant says that “Taylor Swift is the “Margaret Thatcher of pop music” at Fact.

ReadAldous Huxley on the Transcendent Power of Music and Why It Sings to Our Souls” at Brain Pickings.

Read Fact‘s report that St. Vincent is “writing, directing upcoming horror film”.

Read Brain Pickings‘ profile of “Mark Rothko’s Little-Known Writings on Art, Artists, and What the Notion of Plasticity Reveals about Storytelling”.

Help the real J. Peterman make an Urban Sombrero“.

Read as Steve Earle considers “The Other Side of Merle Haggard” at the New York Times.

Read Boing Boings report: “Churchill got a doctor’s note requiring him to drink at least 8 doubles a day “for convalescence”.

See “Miniature Treehouse Sculptures Built Around Houseplants by Jedediah Voltz” at Colossal. 

Consider “Why Is It Important—Today—to Show and Look at Images of Destroyed Human Bodies?”

Read the Telegraphs piece about the study finding: “Attending live music events ‘reduces your levels of stress hormone’.

Read Wimp‘s piece: “What Hiking Does To The Brain Is Pretty Amazing”.

Browse Pitchfork‘s suggestions for “How to Buy the Best Turntable and Stereo System for Your Record Collection”.

Read Newser‘s report: “Go to Grid|Next Story Scientists Wowed by First Look at Brain on LSD”.

Read as New York magazine considers “The Psychological Cost of Boring Buildings”.

Read as Anonymous considers: “How Popular Music’s Lyrics Perpetuate American Idiocy”.

Read as Ars Technica reports on the recent court ruling finding that “Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion”.

Bob Dylan‘s been in the press some this week:

  • Read The Times Picayune‘s report that “Bob Dylan’s paintings to appear at the New Orleans Museum of Art”.
  • Read Uncut‘s report: “Bob Dylan’s childhood pal to publish memoir of their friendship”.
  • Read Rolling Stone‘s report: “Bob Dylan-Inspired TV Show Headed to Amazon”.

Stream Sturgill Simpson‘s fantastic new album, A Sailor’s Guide To Earth now at NPR Music. Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music was one of my top-five favorite albums of 2014.

Watch the video for “Conditions Wild”, the first single from Steve Gunn‘s new album, Eyes on the Lines, out June 03; his first album for Matador. Gunn’s Way Out Weather was one of my top ten favorite albums of 2014 and his collaboration with Blag Twig Pickers, Seasonal Hire was one of my favorites of last year. I dig this guy.

the Weekly Town Crier

towncrierAnd there you go. Just like sand in the hourglass, like waters under a troubled bridge, like the sound of silence. Another week gone by. And what do you have to show for it? Did you help someone this week? Did you do your part to make the world a better place or did you just complain? Did you encourage someone? Bear their burden? Come on now. What’s your problem? Get out there and do some good. Cultivate thanksgiving and let it fuel a life of blessing.

In the meantime, here’s a bunch of links you might or might not find interesting.

R.I.P. Patty Duke.

R.I.PGato Barbieri.

R.I.P. Merle Haggard.

Read Brooklyn Vegan‘s piece: “cult ’80s series ‘Night Flight’ is back as a streaming channel Read More: cult ’80s series ‘Night Flight’ is back as a streaming channel.”

Watch Spike Lee Interview Bernie Sanders.

Read as PopMatters considers the troubled legacy of the Replacements, profiled in Bob Mehr’s book Trouble Boys.

Read as Sojourners considers what happens “When Religion Makes People Worse”.

Read reports that Ron Perlman is confirmed to play Tom Waits in the upcoming biopic by David Lynch.

Read as Ozy considers “The Invention of the ‘American Dream'”.

Read AV Club‘s report that the Animaniacs are now on Netflix.

Read Pitchfork‘s report: “Here’s Why Musicians Won’t Stand for Illegal Uploads Anymore”.

Browse Tom Waits’ top 20 albums.

Read Uncut‘s report: “Keith Richards criticises modern artists for not writing their own music”.

Read The Guardian‘s profile of Richard Fariña, “lost genius who bridged the gap between beats and hippies”.

Browse The Brewer’s Associations‘s list of the U.S.’ ” top 50 breweries for 2015″.

Listen to NPR Music’s piece: “How A Stressful Night For Miles Davis Spawned Two Classic Albums”.

Read Paste‘s report: “John Oliver’s “Donald Drumpf” Segment Broke Every HBO Viewing Record”.

Read “An Interview with case/lang/veirs“.

Ever wonder “‘How Did This Song Get In That Commercial?’ NPR has your answer.

Browse Rolling Stone‘s picks for the 100 greatest drummers of all time.

Read Gizmodo’s report on the recent study finding that “People Who Point Out Typos Are Jerks”.

Read Okay Player‘s report that A Tribe Called Quest was working on a new album at the time of Phife Dawg‘s passing.

Listen to NPR Music’s tribute to the Stratocaster.

Browse Paste‘s list of “The 100 Best Movies on Netflix (April 2016)”.

Read NPR’s review of Don Cheadle‘s new Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead.

  • Read Paste‘s piece on the movie.

BrowseNeil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing” at Brain Pickings.

Browse Men’s Journal‘s picks for “The 101 Best Beers in America”.

Read The Guardian‘s profile of Shuggie Otis: ‘I could have been a millionaire, but that wasn’t on my mind’.

Read/Listen to NPR’s piece: “Alan Lomax‘s Massive Archive Goes Online”.

Read Fact‘s report that Fugazi has returned with a 5-song EP commenting on the “horrorshow” of our presidential election.

Read as the AV Club wonders: “Can the new wave of faith-based filmmaking transcend propaganda?”

Read Reuters‘ piece: “Tesla says Model 3 orders top $10 billion in first 36 hours”.

Read The Atlantic‘s “Case Against High-School Sports”.

Read as The New York Times investigates “the Minds of Mass Killers”.

Take a peek at 15 of the world’s most exquisite libraries” at CNN.

Read: “Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have the freedom’ I had” at the Washington Post.

Read as The Atlantic argues: “Liberal arts and the humanities aren’t just for the elite.”

Read Christianity Today‘s piece: “More Americans Agree Christians Face Intolerance But Complain Too Much About It,” arguing; “tone matters when advocating for religious liberty.”

Read as The New York Times considers the revival of PBR.

Read as The Atlantic considers “The Importance of Eating Together”.

Browse Flavorwire‘s picks for “The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in April”.

Read as Atlas Obscura considers “The Doomed Effort to Make Videos Go Vinyl”.

Read Rolling Stone‘s report that the Rolling Stones will release a new album this year.

Read as PopMatters considers Jon StewartThe Daily Show and “the Rise of Media Accountability”.

Spreadable Beer. Because.

Read the Art of Manliness‘ list of “9 Things a Grown Man Can Learn From the Hardy Boys“.

Read Slate‘s report: “After Seven Long Years, There’s a New Answering Machine Tape on Homestar Runner”.

Read Uncut‘s reflection on “Miles Davis, Hank Williams and the current crop of music biopics”.

Read FACT‘s report: “Bandcamp has made $150M in artist profits in the last eight years”.

Read a report finding “People Who Point Out Grammatical Errors Are JERKS, Says Science”.

the Weekly Town Crier

towncrierAnd here we are yet again. Blah, blah, blah. Yada, Yada, Yada. Holiday-whoo-bee-whattey.

passes them along to you for your interest.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Browse Large Hearted Boy‘s list of “100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads.”

Listen to a mix of some of my favorite songs released in 2015.

Browse my 42 favorite albums of 2015.

Download a three-volume mix of Jesusy songs I collected.

R.I.P. Gary Shandling.

R.I.P. baseball legend Joe Garagiola.

R.I.P. actor Ken Howard.

R.I.P. rapper Phife Dawg, of A Tribe Called Quest.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report: “Paul McCartney is re-acquiring The Beatles’ catalog”.

Browse “Relevant”‘s picks for “11 Contemporary Authors Every Christian Should Read”. What do you think of their picks.

Read Glide‘s review of the Miles Davis biopic and interview with Don Cheadle, the man behind it all.

Look Into the Eyes of Refugee Children” at National Geographic.

Browse uDiscover‘s picks for “20 Great Books About Jazz”.

Read Paste‘s report about Amazon time-warping Doctor Who away from Netflix.

Read The Guardian‘s interview with reggae/dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Read The CreatorProject’s report that “Studio Ghibli‘s Animation Software Is Now Free”.

the Weekly Town Crier

towncrierWell hi there. How are you? How’s your week been? was it a good week or a bad week? Was it a busy week or a slow week. Did your week leave you feeling weak?

Well have no fear, the Weekly Town Crier is here to inform you on all of the things about which you are ill informed. Or maybe he just collects links of interest and passes them along to you for your interest.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Browse Large Hearted Boy‘s list of “100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads.”

Listen to a mix of some of my favorite songs released in 2015.

Browse my 42 favorite albums of 2015.

Download a three-volume mix of Jesusy songs I collected.

R.I.P. Louis Meyers, co-founder of SXSW.

R.I.P. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid.

Read Christianity Today‘s piece: “Israeli Christians Think and Do Almost the Opposite of American Evangelicals”.

Read about the Florida Sheriff who has pledged “to arrest CEO Tim Cook if Apple resists crypto cooperation”.

Read as Consequence of Sound considers the legacy of MTV’s 120 Minutes. Remember when the Music Television Network actually thought music mattered?

Read as jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb reflects on the making of some of Miles Davis‘ greatest albums at Uncut magazine.

Read as Paste magazine talks with a proponent of the flat earth theory.

Read as Flavorwire profiles Obama’s SXSW role this year.

Read as Peter Capaldi criticizes their BBC for neglecting Doctor Who.

Read as Damien Jurado talks with Paste and opens up about battle with depression: “I Went from the Light Really Into the Black.”

Read as Salon reports that the estate of Harper Lee has begun actions to cease the publication of the (rightly) ubiquitous mass market paperback edition of To Kill A Mocking bird.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that the Eagles are breaking up.

Read Brain Pickings‘ piece: “Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last”.

  • Read as The Guardian considers “Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: maybe a film adaptation just isn’t meant to be”.

Read as The Atlantic considers: “The Trader Joe‘s Lesson: How to Pay a Living Wage and Still Make Money in Retail”.

Read Uncrate‘s report that AC/DC is canceling the remainder of their tour dates as Brian Johnson faces total hearing loss.

Read as The Daily Beast profiles “The Stupidly Simple Spy Messages No Computer Could Decode”.

Read as Ars Technica reports: “Google AI goes 3-0, wins Go match against Lee Se-dol”.

Read as On The Media argues: “Why The Publishing Industry Isn’t In Peril”.

Read as Bryan Cranston tells The Advocate that he’d love to star in a Malcom in the Middle reunion.

Browse “The Scariest Urban Legend From Every State” at Thought Catalog.

Read about the “New company offering same-day in-home releases of new films”from Napster founder Sean Parker which has received the “backing of Abrams, Spielberg.”

Read Techly‘s report that “In Switzerland, It’s Illegal To Own Just One Guinea Pig Because They’re Prone To Loneliness”.

Browse Fast Company‘s list of “7 Interview Questions For Measuring Emotional Intelligence”.

Read Damn Interesting‘s profile of Colonel Sanders.

Crank Out Infinite Geometric Designs With The Wooden Cycloid Drawing Machine” at Colassal. 

Read Brooklyn Vegan‘s piece about an increasing problem: homeowners move into areas with (already) existing music venues and then make noise complaints, and win.

Read “Relevant”‘s report that Hillsong is getting its own television network.

Read reports that Christian celebrity speaker Mark Driscoll will launch his new speaking platform here in AZ on Easter Sunday.

Read The Observer‘s profile of Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band on the release of their magnificent double album The Rarity of Experience. Forsyth discusses the influence of R.E.M, Television, the Dead and wonders on his Facebook page of the interview: “I talked a lot about why the Solar Motel Band is actually jazz band in flannel or something.”

  • Read Pitchfork‘s review of the album: “Solar Motel Band leader Chris Forsyth strikes a near-perfect balance between ’70s rock tradition and present-day experimentation with his signature guitar tone.”

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