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Earth Harp or Heaven Harp?

Sound Medicine, a public radio program produced by Indiana School of Medicine, recently featured a short piece on the Earth Harp, the world’s largest stringed instrument. This musical instrument is used in yoga classes, and it sends sound vibrations through the room and the bodies of those performing their yoga routines. Proponents believe that the sonic vibrations have a healing quality. In the five-minute audio clip heard here, the reporter, Sandy Roob, describes how advocates believe that the sounds affect the “energy centers” of the body and that the sounds thus enliven the soul. They believe that it is “a perfect instrument for sound healing purposes.” The theory says that the waves move through the air, into the ear, and then all the way down to the cellular level, affecting our ability to fight disease.

Either Hot or Cold?

Revelation 3:14-16 reads,

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’”

Christians often come to this passage of Scripture wondering if God wants lukewarm saints to either reignite their hearts with a fresh passion for Him or simply chuck it all and become hardened sinners.  This seeming polarity is borne out of verse 15 where God says, “Would that you were either cold or hot!”

Be zealous or be nothing!  Is that what the verse suggests?

Casting Crowns – I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

The following song is an adaptation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Christmas Bells.”  Wikipedia tells us something of its origin.

“During the American Civil War, Longfellow’s oldest son Charles Appleton Longfellow joined the Union cause as a soldier without his father’s blessing. Longfellow was informed by a letter dated March 14, 1863, after Charles had left. “I have tried hard to resist the temptation of going without your leave but I cannot any longer,” he wrote. “I feel it to be my first duty to do what I can for my country and I would willingly lay down my life for it if it would be of any good”. Charles soon got an appointment as a lieutenant but, in November, he was severely wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church (in Virginia) during the Mine Run Campaign. Coupled with the recent loss of his wife Frances, who died as a result of an accidental fire, Longfellow was inspired to write “Christmas Bells”.

He wrote the poem on Christmas Day in 1864.”

Curious about the poem?  Here’s what I found:

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian

In this deeply personal and biblically charged message, John Piper reflects on the Gospel and its bearing on racism.  I’m tempted to say more, but sometimes fewer words are better.  You can find it here.

If listening to mp3 messages isn’t part of your daily or weekly diet, watch this fairly brief documentary by John Piper.  It addresses the same topic and is superb.

Just start it.  See if you can pull away.

Perspectives on Death and Dying: Decisions at End of Life – Dr. Gilbert Meilaender

I suppose the title of this message says it all.  How are we as Christians supposed to think about end of life decisions?

In this lecture by Dr. Meilaender, delivered back in September at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, this challenging issue is tackled head on.  Now while the listener won’t obtain specific answers to specific scenarios, Dr. Meilaender does provide us with some helpful handles or categories of thought by which we can think more clearly and biblically about terminal illness (and other life threatening situations, for that matter).

Dr. Meilaender gave two other lectures in addition to the one cited above.  All of them are good, but I especially enjoyed this second lecture.

Must Listen Factor: Moderate

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Length: 45 minutes

To Download: Left Click Picture

Audio Buffet

Anytime two figures like John Piper and R.C. Sproul sit down to discuss and reflect on their ministries, one must perk up and pay attention.  During this hour-and-a-half Q and A session a wide array of issues are broached.  I thought the entire interchange was delightful, but I especially enjoyed the segment where glory and holiness were examined and related to one another.  Ministry Reflections with John Piper and R. C. Sproul

Just today I began a ten hour seminar on spiritual warfare by Dr. Gerry Breshears.  The first two hours are a little slow going, but the third session (“Biblical Worldview”) is very interesting.  His exposition of the “gods” in the OT is not only perceptive, but more than a little interesting.  I’m now presently looking forward to hearing the rest.  Spiritual Warfare   

Generous Justice – Tim Keller

While reading the twentieth chapter of Acts, meditating again on Paul’s farewell address to the elders at Ephesus, I was struck by Paul’s emphasis in verses 33-35.  Listen again to him,

“I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Remarkable words!  Paul purposively worked hard with his hands in order to set an example.  He wanted the saints to see his concern for the weak.  He wanted them to know, to truly know, that it is more blessed to given than to receive.  It is a sober reminder.

My reading this passage was aptly timed.  Not long ago, I listened to a short, but powerful message by Tim Keller entitled “Generous Justice.”  In a winsome but convicting way, he wove together the doctrine of justification with the Christian’s duty to care for the weak and poor.

Christology 101 – James White

Every now and again, I swing over to Alpha and Omega Ministries to see what James White is up to.  If you didn’t know, he webcasts a show called The Dividing Line.  Its primary thrust is apologetic in nature.  He interacts with debates, critiques heretics, takes questions from listeners, and keeps you up to date with the current happenings in the theological world.  I’m not a regular listener, but I do enjoy the program.

More recently, he put together a special podcast, a 2 ½ hour introductory session on Christology.  It’s excellent!  If you’d like to walk through things like the Nicene Creed or the Athanasian Creed, as well as get a handle on terms like Nestorianism, this is the place to go.  His approach and style certainly keeps you awake, so don’t feel the need to preemptively down a five hour energy drink.

Must Listen Factor: Moderate (High if you’ve never thought through these issues before)

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

To Download: Click picture to follow link

For Bio: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/bio/jwhite.html