Worship Through Song

Last night I went to the Winter Jam 2013 concert with my youth group.  This is the third one that I’ve gone to with them since taking the job and I have to say that I was the least excited to go last night.  For starters, I’m not a huge Christian music guy.  I like Hillsong United and things like that, but not really the pop and rock Christian groups that are out there.  You may say that is wrong or I just haven’t heard the right stuff or whatever, but its just the way it is.  But at least the last two times there were people that I deemed semi-bearable to sit through.  This time I was really not looking forward to anybody.

With the headliner being the Newsboys (who I had assumed broke up long ago) and a spot from Thousand Foot Krutch I felt as if I was stepping into a time machine.  Those bands were ‘popular’ when I was in junior high.  How is it that they are still big enough to headline something like this? There were other bands that I thought I’d never heard of like Tenth Avenue North and Building 429 and a girl named Plumb so it goes without saying I thought I’d be pretty bored.  And as I’ve written before the music at these types of things can sometimes be pretty cheesy (I’m looking at you Newsong).

But every time I go to one of these things one band always changes my mind halfway through the night.  This time it was David Crowder.  Yes, I forgot he was going to be there until him and his Duck Dynasty looking crew walked on stage.  At this point I became somewhat engaged.  For starters, he was more in line with my style of music by giving the show a little Mumform & Sons feel.  But he lead the room in a smaller acoustic set of worship songs and hymns.  I was able to close my eyes and just sing praise to the God of creation.  And it was amazing to hear 10,000 other people doing the same.  That kind of stuff always gets me.

And then the Newsboys came out and did this:

I have to admit that was pretty cool.

-Jacob

Help The Philippines

If you haven’t heard already, on November 8th, 2013 a typhoon named Haiyan (or Yolanda to the local people) made landfall in the Philippines.  Haiyan is the strongest recorded typhoon to hit land with wind speeds of up to 195 mph.  Growing up in south Texas, I’ve been through a few tropical depressions and hurricanes but none of them compare to the devastation that this storm has caused. The governor has estimated that 10,000 people may have died in the city of Tacloban alone.  The UN has reported that 11 million people may have been affected and left homeless.

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The people of the Philippines need help.  They will continue to need help for a long time.  Here are a few ways to help out:

1) Pray

Pray for the people of the Philippines.  Pray for the people who are missing family members or children who have been displaced by flood waters.  Pray for people who have lost their homes.  Pray for people who will not have food for a long period of time.  Pray for them continually.  This is not a problem that will be solved in a week.  Just because the news stops talking about it doesn’t mean its all better.

2) Spread the word

Surprisingly, many people are not aware that this happened.  It’s been 5 days since the typhoon hit and there are people who have no idea.  By helping to spread awareness you are giving more people the opportunity to pray and get involved in different ways.

3) Donate

Donate money.  There are many different organizations you can donate through including Compassion International, Red Cross, Samaritans Purse or many more.  Just be sure that you are donating through a credited organization and you aren’t being scammed.  It is a sad reality that there are some people who will take advantage of people in times like this.

Pray for the Philippines.

-Jacob

Thor: Still My Favorite Avenger

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Yesterday was the release of Thor 2, Marvel’s second movie in it’s Phase 2 of MCU movies, and I absolutely loved it! I admit that I did not see the original Thor in theaters.  I really had no desires to watch it all because I knew little of Thor and the trailer did not interest me, but once I heard of the plans to combine all the movies into an Avengers film I decided to rent Thor from Redbox one night and I absolutely love it!  Thor was easily my favorite of the original Marvel movies (Iron Man, Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America)  I loved the characters, the fantasy worlds and the bad guy was by far the best of all the Marvel movies.

And with Thor 2 all that stuff was back!  The amazing scenery of the other 9 realms looks amazing.  The space shots are awesome!  There is one scene where we get to see what it looks like as Thor is beaming from Earth to Asgard and it is so cool!  Plus, we get the great characters.  I absolutely love Kat Dennings’ character in the Thor movies.  Her show on CBS, Two Broke Girls, is horrible but her character in the Thor movies is hilarious.  And of course we have Loki.

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By far the best villain (thus far) in the Marvel movies.  None of the bad guys in any of the Iron Man or Captain America movies can compare to Loki.  He is just a great character and we get to see a lot of him in Thor 2.  

I would recommend seeing it.

-Jacob