Month: August 2006

Tertullian on Community

It is our care for the helpless, our practice of loving-kindness, that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. “Look!” they say, “How they love one another! Look how they are prepared to die for one another.”

Tertullian {155-230 A.D.}


Worship Album


I am working on a worship album, or songs which might be used in a corporate church setting {or in your car}. But don’t cross your fingers. My taste in music is probably very different from yours. Perhaps you will like it. It is very middle eastern/arabic/jewish/indian/reggae/gypsy-ish, or non-what you are accustomed to hearing in church kind of music [plus there’s a little trip-hop, artsy, Tom Waits-ish/Portoisehead kind of feel as well]. You know me, DIVERSITY is key. Multi-cultural worship seems to be the “style” in Heaven {Revelation 7:9-12}. Finally, no more worship wars. There’s a sample with no vocals on my other website, our family blog {Magness Opus}. Go to the music archive podcast to hear 3 samples. As soon as a few get “polished” I’ll post them on the other website. I’m going to bed. With 3 children, the only time to create is at night, but I’m getting too old for this late night business…



Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked.
Genesis 3:7

I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully upon a girl.
Job 31:1

Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.
Psalm 119:18

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things.
Psalm 119:37

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.
Luke 11:34

…Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened…
Ephesians 1:18

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Revelation 21:4

The Inner Sweetness

“For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Top 10 Albums

Okay, I thought I’d include my Top 10 favorite albums/cd’s of all time. The only criteria here is that with each album, no song could be deleted or it it would have devastating effects on the album’s entirety. I am talking total “completeness” would be lost if one track was removed. This implies that every song is genius and perfect, and has its place in the song lineup. Therefore, this limits the number of albums because many albums have “floater” songs that might be disposable. We’re talking as if the heavenly realm were somewhat involved in this process. If I were stranded on a desert island, this would be the 10 that I would have to have with me to remain sane:

1. The Beatles- The White Album
Its got it all. Every member and every style is representin’. ‘Honey Pie’ and ‘Martha My Dear’ get me every time.

2. Over the Rhine- Good Dog Bad Dog: The Home Recordings
This is OTR at their best. Stripped down and recorded in a 3rd story apartment. And capturing the original foursome before the original guitarist and drummer departed. Genius. Perfection. And definitely an album to fall in love with {and be the soundtrack to a relationship with that someone special in your life!}.

3. The Prayer Chain- Mercury
Where would I be without this one? Fall of 1995. The weather was changing in Texas and so did the Chain’s style. They threw in a little more world music influences {thank you Steve Hindalong} with their dreamy tones and they had me with the opening track ‘Humb.’ Wayne Everett is absolutely the best drummer ever {next to Steve Hindalong of course!}.

4. The Choir- Circle Slide
When it rains, this is the first disc to be played. If I lived in Seattle, I’m sure I would get sick of this disc. Maybe not. Its just pure “alternative” {back when alternative was alternative to metal, not trendy alternative!}.

5. The Seventy Sevens- Sticks and Stones
Again, another alternative album when alt was alt. Mike Roe just might be the best lyricist ever. And when I couldn’t make that concert in Fall ’01, Josh Havens of the Afters [see Links section] was kind enough to bring me Starbucks in the delivery room {Jamin was born} but also to get a guitar pick from Mike Roe with a special message to Jamin written on it. Thanks for going to the show and gettin’ me some love from the 77’s, Josh!

6. Radiohead- OK Computer
Do I need to say anything here?

7. The Verve- Urban Hymns
Gotta love the UK! Its a Bitter Sweet Symphony…

8. Mazzy Star- So Tonight That I Might See
A Rainy, Dreary, Cloudy Day + Hope Sandoval = Nap. Or a good book and a hot cup of tea.

9. Elliott Smith- XO
I was devastated the day I heard he died. I was angry. I was working at Starbucks, opened the newspaper, and was utterly shocked and came close to weeping. Truly one of the greatest losses in the world of music. SAD…

10. The Violet Burning- The Violet Burning
Tapped into every emotion that I had. And still does.

Okay, I realize that this was a foolish endeavor. There are many more, but I wanted to do a top 10 list of something. Here’s more that I couldn’t resist mentioning:

Counting Crows- August And Everything After
Lift To Experience- The Texas/Jerusalem Crossroads
Suzanne Vega- 99.9 F*
Michael Knott- A Rocket And A Bomb
Cowboy Junkies- Pale Sun Crescent Moon
Fiona Apple- Tidal
Edie Brickell and New Bohemians- Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars
The Cranberries- Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
Ben Folds Five- Whatever And Ever Amen
Harry Connick Jr.- Blue Light, Red Light
Natalie Merchant- Tigerlily
Remy Zero- Villa Elaine
Breakfast With Amy- Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt
David Wilcox- Home Again
Eleven Hundred Springs- Welcome To…
Monk- Hush
Mike Roe- Safe As Milk
Bob Marley- Legend
Lassie Foundation- California
The Lemonheads- It’s A Shame About Ray
The Swoon- The Swoon

This is just a start. I left out many classics… Asher is crying so I must go…

Pursuing God

One advantage of studying the original languages of the Scriptures is the ability to find {or have a commentator point out to you!} “nuggets” of gold, or insights about particular passages. I’ve been reminded again of one particular passage in the Psalms which is very challenging. In Psalm 63:8 the text says, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me” {ESV}. The word translated “cling” here, literally “cling after”, means “to pursue with determination.” It is also used in other texts where one army is pursuing, or chasing after another army {see Judges 20:45; 1 Sam 14:22; 1 Chr 10:2; Jer 42:16}.

What is particularly challenging about this word/verse is that we don’t often pursue after God in this manner. Are we really chasing after God, pursuing Him with determination, like one army chasing another? Do we desire His presence like this? Do we do whatever it takes to rearrange our schedule to make time to pray, read Scripture, meditate, etc in order to feed our souls and glut ourselves on God? My prayer for you is that you will run after God today, like an army pursuing another army in battle.

“My soul pursues you…” {NET Bible}