Extreme Christmas Caroling

There are two types of people in this world — those who love it when a group of people show up to their door to Christmas carol, and those who hate it.

Todd Rhodes had a fun post about caroling on his blog today. He tells the story the Long Hollow Baptist Church worship team, who decided to have some fun with Christmas caroling this year. Check out their humorous videos:

 

Book Review: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

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Marvel Comics: The Untold Story
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story – Kindle Edition

 I am a self proclaimed superhero junkie. For years my sons and I have stood in line at the midnight premiers of superhero films to ensure that we would be the first in our region to see a new superhero movie. So, when I heard that Sean Howe was writing the definitive history on all things Marvel, I had to request an advance copy.
It takes someone like Sean Howe, a brilliant entertainment critic and former editor of Entertainment Weekly Magazine,  with a love of all things Marvel to appreciate the history that is Marvel Comics.In Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Howe takes the reader on a historical journey to a day and age when the world was desperately seeking superheroes, but didn’t necessarily realize it was something that they needed.Howe handles the history of Marvel Comics with a care that is normally reserved for more weighty historical topics, and in doing so helps the reader understand the sociological factors that became the fertile soil in which Marvel became such a cultural phenomenon.I absolutely loved this book. It was a historical journey worth taking, surprising me with delightful and sometimes heartbreaking stories . . . kind of like a comic book.Well done, Sean Howe! Bravo.
I received this book for free from Harper Collins Publishers  for this review.

twelve:o-one

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I wrote the following blog post on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. It was the night that Batman Begins was released. For the past several years it has been a tradition for my oldest son, Chris and me to go to the midnight release of superhero movies. Before taking Chris, I’d go to these midnight showings with youth ministry friends. Tonight I get to take my two oldest sons to the midnight showing of The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s a great way to start a week-long vacation to Chicago and the Lake Mille Lacs area. I have always love superhero films, tv shows, etc. I think you’ll see why below. Enjoy!

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It’s 11:14 p.m. and for the second straight summer I find myself being inexplicibly drawn to the AMC Movie Theater, Eden Prairie Mall for yet another 12:01 release of a summer blockbuster film. Tonight’s film? Batman Begins.If history repeats itself I will no doubt snooze for a few minutes as my group of friends, all 10-12 years younger than me, take their turns snickering at the old youth pastor who just can’t say, “no,” to a movie premier.In the past twelve months my little band of renegade youth workers have viewed the midnight releases of The Bourne Supremecy, I. Robot, Star Wars Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith, and now Batman Begins.But, I’ll surprise my friends this time. I will overcome! I will stay awake. For this is Batman! They don’t know that each day after school my older brothers and I would crowd onto my parent’s bed, each taking time to kick the other brother in his face, in order to get the best possible viewing space for reruns of the 1960’s Batman television show. We’d watch the show on my parents 9″ Black and White TV.

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The show made us feel alive! We all wanted to be Adam West’s Batman or Burt Ward’s Robin. We all wanted to battle Catwoman, the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler. We shouted, “POW,” when the screen read, “POW,” and “ZOWIE,” when the screen read, “ZOWIE.” We were engrossed.I still want to be the hero. I want to defeat the villian in my child’s bad dream. To help the homeless guy get back on his feet. To find a place for the orphaned child to call home. To balance the family budget and have money left over.My two youngest sons got a new CD recently. It’s from Austraila. One of the songs is calledJesus is My Superhero. They love it, and I have to admit, it’s become a Schulenburg family favorite! God, thanks for being my true superhero. You amaze me. You’ve rescued me. You love me with a neverending and never failing love. So, this movie is supposed to be about justice. Maybe I’ll stay awake through it. But, if not . . .”He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8Well it’s 11:28 and time for me to meet my posse. Thanks for listening, God. I love you. And, Jesus, You’re my Superhero!

Where Is Your Hope Found?

youngIn December of 2009, the Minneapolis Star Tribune named Owatonna’s, Adam Young their Artist of the Year. Why? Because, Young had accomplished something that had not been accomplished by any other musician from Minnesota since Bob Dylan. His song “Fireflies,” made it to number one on the Billboard Charts. He was called “The Wonder Boy of Owatonna,” and Young had the world at his fingertips.

For those unfamiliar with Young’s work, he is essentially the one-man music machine known as Owl City. When he tours on the road, he brings an entire band with him, but his studio albums consist mainly of his voice and the incredible genius of his synthesizer talent.

I find Adam Young to be incredibly refreshing. He is unashamedly a follower of Jesus Christ. His music carries a positive message, but isn’t overtly “Christian.” I’m told that he is rather shy but enjoys the opportunity that his platform has given him to represent Christ.

One of the most refreshing signs of Young’s commitment to the Lord is a song that he put on his blog on the Owl City website. I first heard the song in October, and regularly go back to the website to listen to it. The song is In Christ Alone, by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. Keith Getty, his wife Kristyn, and their friend Stuart Townend write some of the most theologically profound songs in modern Christian music. There is no mincing of words in the song In Christ Alone. Here are the lyrics:

In Christ alone, my hope is found


He is my light, my strength, my song


This cornerstone, this solid ground


Firm through the fiercest drought and storm


What heights of love, what depths of peace


When fears are stilled, when strivings cease


My comforter, my all-in-all


Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground His body lay


Light of the world by darkness slain


Then bursting forth in glorious day


Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory


Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me

For I am His and He is mine


Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death

This is the power of Christ in me


From life’s first cry to final breath


Jesus commands my destiny


No power of hell, no scheme of man

Can ever pluck me from His hand

Till He returns or calls me home


Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

I want to encourage you to visit Adam Young’s blog and listen to this song. I think you’ll be moved. It is the most powerful rendition of the song that I’ve ever heard. You can click here to visit the site.

Adam has taken some hits from his fan base for his commitment to Jesus Christ. I’m proud of him for the stance that he takes. If you think about it, pray for Christian artists like Adam. It’s never easy to be in the spotlight. Pray that God will continue to use Adam to reach a generation of people for Jesus.