Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lorde’s Melodrama and Living Life as a Supercut

Posted on 06/27/17

Lorde’s Melodrama and Living Life as a Supercut

No longer the outsider peering down on the glitz and glamor of pop music—as she was on her hit single “Royals”—Lorde now critiques from the inside with her latest, Melodrama. The music itself reflects this change. Gone are the days of her raw, hip hop-inspired beats and simple melodies. She’s now finely tuned and produced, while her lyrics have taken on typical pop-music themes of love lost and partying. Overall the album feels complex, robust, and eclectic.

Though she’s converted to a stronger pop vibe, Lorde has retained some of her edge. “Hard Feelings/Loveless” opens with her soft, throaty voice leading to harder electronic screeches. Then there is an almost silent interlude before the song breaks down into a dance beat, as her voice turns brighter and lighter. The new album features people looking for lasting pleasure or happiness in romantic love, one-night stands, partying, and substance abuse. The transitory nature of life is referenced in certain phrases: “summer afternoon,” “overnight rush,” and “the games of the weekend.” Melodrama shows us we tend to look for lasting things in transitory moments. On “Sober,” Lorde tries to see this pop world for what it really is: “It’s time we danced with the truth … we’re sleeping through all the days … I know you’re feeling it too, can we keep up with the ruse? … What will we do when we’re sober?”

King Solomon, the likely author of Ecclesiastes, would have appreciated the restlessness of Melodrama. Like Lorde, he was on the inside of a luxurious life that offered much pleasure, yet he found it “meaningless.” Or, to borrow Lorde’s term, “melodrama.” She echoes these concerns with “Sober II (Melodrama)”:

And the terror and the horror

Gotta wonder why we bother

All the glamour and the trauma

And the f***ing melodrama

All the gunfights and the limelights

And the holy sick divine nights

They'll talk about us, all the lovers

How we kissed and killed each other…

 

You wanted something that we offered

We told you this was melodrama.

On Melodrama, Lorde seeks something more. This is the subject of the last song on the album, “Perfect Places”:

Now I can't stand to be alone

Let's go to perfect places

All the nights spent off our faces

Trying to find these perfect places.

It would be easy to say that God offers just this “perfect place.” After all, even Solomon concludes that one should “fear God and keep his commandments.” But the truth is even those of us who rest in God find it difficult to live the perfect life God requires of us. Our melodrama continues. That’s where the good news comes in. Jesus came to earth as a perfect man, to die a perfect death, and to rise again so that we can be declared perfect in him. Trusting in this truth, we can find solace as children of God, saved by grace. Pursuing melodrama instead, we’re reduced to what Lorde describes as “just a supercut of us.”

 

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Date: June 27, 2017 at 11:57AM
From: “Think Christian Articles”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Think Christian

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Why Do Christians Disagree about the End Times?

disagree end times

Dr. Mike Heiser loves to take on tough topics. In addition to his academic work primarily on the first half of the Old Testament books and on Semitic language studies, his published works include a rich trove of popular non-fiction works addressing perceptions (often misperceptions) of topics related to the Bible. His goal seems to be to disabuse Christians from popular flights of fancy and redirect them to sound Bible study and interpretation.

The topic of eschatology or the end times provides an arena for some of the widest discrepancies of understanding found among Christians. In his course Why Do Christians Disagree about End Times? Heiser enters this arena not to persuade his students to one interpretation or another. He doesn’t even spend that much time explicating the various interpretations, figuring—I suppose—that the main points of the various positions are fairly well known. However, to establish a common baseline, he does outline the main shape of the arguments in five areas: (1) the Abrahamic covenant and the nature of the kingdom of God, (2) is there a rapture of the church or not, (3) the second coming of Christ, (3) interpreting the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy, (4) the relationship of Israel and the church, and (5) should we interpret prophecy literally or is nonliteral interpretation an acceptable option. For all of these areas the devil is in the details but Heiser manages to keep us out of the weeds so that a broader perspective may give us some needed clarity.

Why do Christians disagree?

Wrapped around these specific topics—as fascinating as they may be—is a much needed discussion focused on answering the question of the title: Why Do Christians Disagree about the End Times? In fact, the question might be truncated simply to “Why do Christians disagree?” Here is where Heiser’s presentation becomes most helpful. He raises the often ignored matter of the presuppositions and assumptions all of us bring to questions of interpretation before we even open our Bibles. The truth is that every reading is an interpretation and that interpretation is often directed by presuppositions rather than exegesis; our presuppositions determine which exegesis is correct. Admitting that fact at the start pulls the fangs of potentially relationship-destroying arguments that fracture unity in the body of Christ. In fact, it is worth noting that all of us carry about a bundle of presuppositions whenever we make any evaluation, biblical or not, and we’d be better off if we admitted it and tried to examine them with the help of trusted others who hold other presuppositions.

Heiser completes his task when he answers the “why” question. I’d love to see him tackle another topic: from where do these assumptions and presuppositions come? I suspect a starting point might well be the best-selling Bible that shaped both the formulation of The Fundamentals and Dispensationalism: The Scofield Reference Bible. I’d take that class.

Buy Mobile Ed: BI171 Problems in Bible Interpretation: Why Do Christians Disagree about End Times? today and save! Use coupon code: Endtimes to save 40%. Hurry! This officer end July 25.

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Date: June 27, 2017 at 12:00PM
From: “Logos Bible Software Blog”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Logos Bible Software Blog

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12 Ways To Turn a Bad Day Into a Better One

They are inevitable. Bad days happen to everyone. But, there are things you can do to make them better. Here are 12 simple things you can do right now to improve your day!They are inevitable.

Bad days happen to everyone.

But, there are things you can do to make them better.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Hopefully just reading this post will help, but actually DOING some of the things listed below definitely will!  So be bold and take action!

 

1. Play with kids.

Even if they are not your own, just get around kids while they are just being kids.

It is really difficult to not get cheered up while letting go of “being an adult” and just playing with a child.

2. Give someone a compliment.

Not a fake one, but take the time to see something that someone else is doing well.  I heard someone say that the most depressing times in their life were when they were focused on themselves and their problems.

Giving someone a compliment or a gift forces us to think about another person and get our minds off our problems.

3. Sing in your car.

And sing as loud as you can. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to frown while you are singing?

4. Read Philippians 4.

And while you are at it, just think about where Paul was while he was writing it.

5. Bake your favorite kind of cookies.

Then eat some, but not too many or your day might get worse. 😉

6. Literally count your blessings.

I mean it. Start a list of all the things you are thankful for. Write until you can’t write anymore. Staple it to the wall.  Don’t leave any stone unturned and write down stuff like (any that apply):

  • I am thankful that 99% (or whatever it is for you) of my body parts feel great.
  • I am thankful for air conditioning.
  • I am thankful that I have a car that runs or a moped, bike or horse so I don’t have to walk everywhere I go.
  • I am thankful for the invention of electricity and all the convenience it has brought.
  • I am thankful that I can walk in a grocery store and purchase tens of thousands of items – and don’t have to grow or make them all myself.
  • And on and on…

Every time I wholeheartedly do this exercise I find myself feeling better within minutes.

7. Clean something

I am not sure why, but the sense of accomplishment from cleaning out a closet, garage, or anything else always seems to help me feel just a little better.

8. Do something for someone you love.

Do the dishes for your wife, take your niece out for ice cream, take your mom to Starbucks for a coffee.

9. Pray.

Talk to God like the friend that He is (or should be) and tell Him what is on your mind.  Not only can He handle it, but we are designed to cast our cares and worries on Him.

Even though it is #9 on the list, it is probably the most important one on the list.

10. Think of the most encouraging person you know and call them.

But don’t complain. Refrain from telling them how bad your day is and focus on making their day better and let their infectious attitude rub off on you.

11. Write a letter.

A good old-fashioned paper and ink letter.

Bonus: write it to someone who has impacted your life to thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their role/impact in your life.

12. Remember the truth.

That God causes all things to work together for GOOD (Romans 8:28) for those who love Him…

He didn’t bring you this far to leave you here.

What do you do to help improve a bad day?

Let us know in the comments below!

Date: June 27, 2017 at 08:00AM
From: “SeedTime”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/Nay9uw
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christian Personal Finance

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On Sex Disputes, Most Americans Still Favor Faith

But 1 in 5 Americans think believers are motivated by hate.

Americans love to fight about sex and religion.

From shacking up and same-sex marriage to birth control and bathrooms, Americans disagree about what is right and wrong with sex—often based on faith.

Those disputes can end up in court, in highly divisive and controversial cases. This week, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

When faith and sexuality clash, which side should prevail? Americans can’t decide.

About half of Americans (48%) say religious freedom is more important in such conflicts when faith and sexuality clash, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. A quarter (24%) say sexual freedom is more important. A quarter (28%) aren’t sure.

“It’s clear Americans value religious liberty,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “But when it comes to sex, they aren’t sure religion should have the final word. That’s especially true for younger Americans and those who aren’t religious.”

Religious beliefs, age matter

LifeWay Research’s study is based on new analysis of a survey of 1,000 Americans. Researchers wanted to get a big-picture look at how Americans view conflicts between religious views and sexuality, McConnell said.

They found Americans’ views are divided by geography, religious beliefs and demographics.

Men (30%), those in the Northeast (33%), Hispanic Americans (31%), and those 18 to 44 (30%) are more likely to favor sexual freedom. So are nones, those with no religious affiliation, at 49 percent.

Southerners (53%), those with evangelical beliefs (90%), Protestants (68%), African-Americans (58%) and those 55 and older (55%) …

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Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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Ruralology: All It Takes Is Sacrifice, Commitment, and a Desire to Be What God Made Us to Be

It doesn’t matter how grand your vision is if it doesn’t flow with the culture of your community.

I recently attended my high school class reunion. It was a backyard barbecue with a couple dozen in attendance. As I’m sure most reunions go, the time was spent reminiscing of the glory football days and Saturday night shenanigans. Not a lot has changed, but we are all different. The majority of my class was born and raised in that tiny town (population: 1,500), so being back together just felt like home. We took turns trying to remember each other’s home phone numbers and joked about landlines, party-lines, and how quickly news could travel. There is a unique camaraderie among us. Something that only develops from small town living.

It’s because of this upbringing that I know I’m wired for rural ministry. A little over a decade ago, I felt the Lord’s prompting to plant a church in western Nebraska. We didn’t have a ‘sending’ church that we could pull volunteers from to partner with us. It was just me, my wife, and our two small children. We raised our own financial support through family and friends. I went to a “Church Planters Intensive” bootcamp where the Holy Spirit began to download a clear vision into my heart for the community.

I knew it would be a lot of hard work, but there was a fire in my belly and excitement in my bones! I was going to turn this town upside down for Christ! My vision was clear and my mission was established.

I noticed that the majority of churches in our area had stayed the same over the decades. Nothing had changed within the four walls. I determined that we would be different! We established our Sunday morning service routine that did not include Sunday School. As the congregation grew, so did the argument to start up Sunday School classes. …

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Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2tS111s
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

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Philippians 1:1: Who Does God Want to Govern His Church?

Kingdoms need a king. Children need parents. Sheep need shepherds. The Church needs servant leaders that point them to their King, Father, and Shepherd.

Watch Now

Date: June 27, 2017 at 04:00AM
From: “Desiring God”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2ucGgNh
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Desiring God Blog

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To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

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3 Days to Save on Gospel According to the Old Testament Series & More

June is almost over, and that means this is your last chance to get a great deal on featured resources from P&R Publishing. We’ve pulled together five of this celebrated Reformed publisher’s most popular series, including the Reformed Expository Commentary and the Gospel According to the Old Testament Series. There are just three days left to save 30% on these great titles, so now’s the time to make your move:

  • Gospel according to the Old Testament Series (15 vols.) – 30% off – Discover how the Old Testament presents the Gospel of Jesus Christ—not just in occasional Messianic prophecies, but in its essential message. Get exegetically grounded exposition that’s focuses on Christ without straining the text.
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  • John M. Frame Collection (3 vols.) – 30% – Frame’s lucid and engaging style will help you understand a broad range of theological and philosophical topics. Includes Doctrine of the Word of GodDoctrine of the Christian Life, and his much anticipated Systematic Theology.

Don’t miss your chance to save 30% on these great titles from P&R Publishing. They all go away on Friday at midnight!

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Date: June 27, 2017 at 04:00AM
From: “Logos Bible Software Blog”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2ucEPy5
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Logos Bible Software Blog

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If you would like to share your thoughts and/or comments… please leave your feedback below. All comments and suggestions are not of our own, but that of our readers and customers. These comments may not reflect our (TLLJCC) views, but are meant for discussion purposes to talk about a variety of Christian subjects.

Giving Back

To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

The post 3 Days to Save on Gospel According to the Old Testament Series & More appeared first on To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company.