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Month: April 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Bezalel @ Kaleo

BezalelKaleo’s very own Bezalel has released their first cd. They’ve gotten a great response. Check out the cd at Vote for them at, they currently are in the Top 5. They even got picked up by Tower Records.

Mixing eclectic influences from Bach to the Beatles, Dylan to Death Cab, and a little Rolling Stones and Radiohead thrown in for good measure, Bezalel is creating beautiful ambient indie-folk-pop songs filled with tension and truth. Brian, Chris, Dustin, and Mike met at Kaleo Church in San Diego, CA where they just sortta organically formed a band to lead the congregation in song. One thing led to another and they recorded “Fidelity on High” in Brian’s studio, which will be released in April. This album could be defined as one of the most adventurous worship albums ever recorded. Not your typical CCM Nashville crap, if you know what we mean. That’s about all we have to say about that.

We are really proud of this new cd as a reflection on the community we are creating here in San Diego.

Bonita Valley Community Church

San Diego ChurchesIn the 35-minute sermon, Pastor Brawner included jokes, humorous stories, a fairy tale, and a comment about the Chargers. At one point Brawner said, “The Apostle Paul was a golfer. You can tell this because Paul said, ‘That which I want to do, I don’t do. That which I don’t want to do, I do.’ A joke that referenced Romans 7:15. The simple sermon made five points and concluded with, “Like Jonah, We Are Invited To Run ______ God!” The congregation wrote in “with” as the final point.

Bonita Valley Community Church Article

Mega Churches that are Family of God-centric

Have you seen a large church that does a good job of not segregating the family into compartments based on age, gender and sin groups? What does that look like? How can a large church still be a place that is united as a Family of God?

It seems as I visit ‘mega-churches’ they all are program-run and divide the people of God into small groups based on these classifications. I would love to hear if people have seen a large church do this well.

The Kabbalah Centre

San Diego Sheep & Goats Kabbalah“Kabbalah is a spiritual wisdom that precedes all religions. It was founded over 4000 years ago. Kabbalah is not really a religion or Jewish mysticism but a spiritual technology. Kabbalah teaches people how to attain lasting fulfillment. The tools of Kabbalah provide peace of mind, transformation, and the ability to rid ourselves of uncertainty in our lives. Kabbalah exposes the real nature of God. God is nothing more or less than a lasting energy. God is not a god that punishes us or rewards us. It is people who follow religions with a mindset of ‘God is doing this’ that are missing the real game.” Joseph Shvili told the class that the rules of the game are like natural laws. “Gravity has nothing to do with being Protestant or Catholic. It’s a principle of the universe. If you know the principles, you can play the game and win.”

The Kabbalah Centre article >

My own 'Sin City'

Sin City‘Sin City’ was how I felt one-quarter of the way through this film. I hadn’t heard much about the film, other than watching a couple trailers. I had hoped it was going to be Kill Bill meets The Punisher (from the comic book, not the bad movie flop.) Instead, I was taken on a ride that easily lived up to the films name.

The movie takes place in a dark, rainy place called Sin City. The film is an adaptation from Frank Millers comic books (graphic novels is what they call them in the credits) and it follows three interconnecting stories. The list of stars is A list material with Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro and down from there to Mickey Rourke and others.

Cannibalism, decapitation, molestation, prostitution, murder, abuse, drunkenness, debauchery and just about every other sin you can think of was packed in this 124-minute wicked-fest. Now I understand this is what we should expect from a culture that has flipped God the middle finger, while we live in our sin-drenched lives where people no longer fear God. But even with that understanding, I have to confess there was a time I realized this film had gone too far and I needed to leave the theater. Well, I didn’t and at the end of the film I felt miserable.

Swirling in the graphic blood-soaked scenes was a moral message straight from hell. Good was bad, bad was good, justice was perverse, the Church corrupt (the local Cardinal sanctioned and participated in the kidnapping of prostitutes, next they are decapitated and then finally they eat their flesh), cops were on the bad guys payroll and the good guys were the murderers. This movie has so twisted the designs of God, I could only imagine the liberty it offers viewers who now have a new low of humanity to look at with pride and say, “Well I’m not as bad as…”

The primary motivation to write this review is to recommend that you not see this film. In our desire to be ‘culturally relevant’ often we do this knowing we enter into a world of sinners, but you don’t need to see this film to learn about the wicked world we live in.

The Kabbalah Centre Sales Pitch

Last week I attended a ‘free seminar’ put on by the San Diego Kabbalah Centre. I was pretty disappointed with my experience. The whole session was vague about what exactly Kabbalah believes but also they were selling classes that cost several hundred dollars to learn the mysteries of Kabbalah. After the class was over I asked the instructor a few questions, when he heard I was a journalist, he freaked out. He would not answer any questions and was very defensive. You’d think if you had confidence in your ‘product’ you’d be open to discuss it. Anyway, more to come from my Reader article on this.

Mewithoutyou (Album Review)

MewithoutyouFear not Christian emo/ screamo/ hardcore fans! All is not lost to the self centered, pseudo-nihilist, hopeless, sup pop philosophies of your favorite sub culture bands. Meet Mewithoutyou, a quirky blend of spoken word and emo/screamo. continued…

Full Article: Mewithoutyou
Author: Jason Bowe
Kaleo Institute of Cultural Studies

The Gospel and Music

culture musicOur culture is saturated with music. Whether we are at home, the office, church, a caf?© or restaurant the one constant factor is that music is lingering somewhere in the background. In fact, as I write this I am streaming my favorite radio station from Seattle , which is 1300 miles away from my desk. 1 We spend more money on music ‚Äì CDs, DVDs, IPODs, concerts, etc. ‚Äì than any generation before us.

Many in our culture find their social identities within musical genres such as Goth, Hip-hop, or Country and Western; their lifestyles reflecting the attitude, clothing, and general interests of their particular musical subculture. Whether you consider your musical taste to be refined or an eclectic hodge-podge you cannot deny the power of music. Music has been used to soothe and bring comfort; to stir the hearts and minds of worshipping communities; to teach young and old; to express the emotions of the heart; to stir the passions in the bedroom; to stimulate the courage of men on the battlefield; and lastly, as a destructive influence to promote ungodliness (to name just a few). continued…

Full Article: The Gospel and Music
Author: Brian Thomas
Kaleo Institute of Cultural Studies

Aural Pleasures: Putting the Indie in Independent Music

I am a supercilious audiophile. I admit it. When it comes to music, I am an out and out snob. I find comfort in the characters from the movie High Fidelity. While you are careening through the crowds at Target to purchase the latest offering from an ex-American Idol loser, I am busy downloading rare b-sides from the band East River Pipe. What? Never heard of East River Pipe? How bout’ Say Hi to Your Mom? No! Ambulance LTD? NO!!! This is my problem with you. This is my problem with society. I realize you do not care, and that I sound like a pretentious geek ‚Äì which I am. But at least I am a geek with a good music pedigree.

For years I have lamented the state of music in our fine country. We live in an age where the song ‚ÄúMacarena‚Äù spent 14 weeks at number one; where boy bands keep returning like a bad case of herpes; where nonsensical mind-numbing lyrics like ‚Äú makes me want to La La ‚Äù can be heard 100 times a day pouring forth from the Satan controlled medium known as modern radio. I don’t even know what ‚Äú makes me want to La La ‚Äù means, but I do know that it ‚Äú makes me want to up-chuck ‚Äù. Do you hear me Ashley Simpson? Turn off the backing track and stop hurting my ears.

Full Article: Aural Pleasures: Putting the Indie in Independent Music
Author: Brian Thomas
Kaleo Institute of Cultural Studies

San Diego Church

San Diego Churches“If you have A.D.D., this is the church for you,” read San Diego Church’s advertisement. “People have commented that they do have A.D.D. and love that we do service under an hour,” said Pastor Chad Furlong. “We strive to create a relaxed environment. We all sit at round tables, dress in casual clothes, and offer food in the middle of service. Often, in the middle of service, we take a five- to eight-minute break to eat, grab coffee, and talk.”

Full article on San Diego Church >

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