on my nightstand — demon: a memoir

June 22, 2007

My dear friend, Tosca Lee, got picked up by NavPress and they just published her first book, Demon: a Memoir.

Read the first chapter.

Um…WOW.

The title will draw you in and the storyline will keep you. It’s fresh paint on the canvas of the gospel story–but told in the most unlikely way.

I consumed it and found myself with a hunger and love for Jesus deeper than before I opened the cover.

My a-ha?…Jesus didn’t die for angels, he died for people — unlikely, made-from-dirt people. I don’t ever want to get over that.

Here’s the overview:

“One night changes everything.

Recently divorced and mired in a meaningless existence, Clay drifts from his drab apartment to his equally lusterless job as an editor for a small Boston press—until the night Lucian finds him and everything changes with the simple words: ‘I’m going to tell you my story… and you’re going to write it down and publish it.’

What begins as a mystery soon spirals into chaotic obsession as Clay struggles to piece together Lucian’s dark tale of love, ambition, and grace…only to discover that the demon’s story has become his own. And then only one thing matters: learning how the story ends.”


in my ear: jeff deyo’s “bless the Lord”

June 15, 2007

This song burrowed into corner of my heart and has become my words these past few days.

Jeff’s videos are listed on his site: choose the video for “Bless the Lord.”

Thanks, iTunes, for your surprisingly godly recommendation. That’s the best $.99 I’ve spent all week.


in my ear: ginny owens’ “be still, my soul”

June 10, 2007

It’s Sunday night. That means it’s 11th-hour-learn-Jazzercise-routines time.

As I bought a few new songs on iTunes for class, I came across this one from Ginny Owens.

With all the unknowns in life, I was captured by the words (a remade hymn?) and her wonderfully haunting voice.

“Be still, my soul,
The Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God, to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul,
Your best your heavenly friend,
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul,
Your God will undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake.
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul,
The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he lived below.

Be still, my soul,
Be still, my soul,
Be still.”


in my ear: britt nicole’s “holiday”

May 30, 2007

I’m not the new owner of a driver’s license, but I love this new face on the teen music scene.

Britt Nicole’s “Holiday” makes even your great aunt Phyllis do a lil’ sway in her seat.


in my ear: imogen heap

May 9, 2007

Yes, that’s the name of the woman with a sound that’s a mix of 80s electric techno and an a capella choir for which you forgot to audition.

(A shout out to Colleen for introducing my ear to Imogen…pronounced “em-uh-gin”.)

Here’s a favorite line from a song that’s getting dizzy from excessive play on my iPod:

“Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before the takeover…” (From “Hide & Seek”)

Listen to “Hide & Seek” on Imogen’s Myspace.


Christ the Lord: out of egypt

March 29, 2007

Anne Rice surely amounted to more than her birth name of Howard Allen O’Brien would suggest.

I just finished her latest book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.

Not your average book for a woman who’s penned more than 20-some books.

Mostly about vampires.

I love that God is still in the business of changing lives.

In the author’s note chapter in the back of the book she says:

“I stumbled upon a mystery without a solution, a mystery so immense that I gave up trying to find an explanation because the whole mystery defied belief. The mystery was the survival of the Jews.

“As I sat on the floor of my office surrounded by books about Sumer, Egypt, Rome, etc., and some skeptical material about Jesus that had come into my hands, I couldn’t understand how these people had endured as the great people who they were.

It was this mystery that drew me back to God. It set into motion the idea that there may in fact be God. And when that happened there grew in me for whatever reason an immense desire to return to the banquet table.” (She’d left all of “religion” at 18.)

“In 2002 I put aside everything else and decided to focus entirely on answering the questions that had dogged me all my life. The decision came in July of that year. I had been reading the Bible constantly, reading parts of it out loud to my sister, and pouring over the Old Testament, and I decided that I would give myself utterly to the task of trying to understand Jesus himself and how Christianity emerged.”

“I wanted to write about the life of Jesus Christ. I had known that years ago. But now I was ready. I was ready to do violence to my career. I wanted to write the book in the first person. Nothing else mattered. I consecrated the book to Christ.”

I fell in love with Jesus all over again in the pages of this book. I’m surprised that a vampire lady could do that. But then, again, that’s not who she is.

Anymore.


bigger than my body

March 14, 2007

So now that I (and John Mayer in his new song) have your attention…

I love how music moves me like no alarm clock can.

Colleen told me about John’s song, “Bigger Than My Body” and I don’t think I’ve been the same since.

John’s not a follower of Jesus (I think the only one he’s following these days is Jessica) but he nails a truth:

My life here on earth is missing something. I am more than just this earthly tent.

As he says, “I’m bigger than my body gives me credit for.”

Someday I’ll fly
Someday I’ll soar
Someday I’ll be so much more
Cause I’m bigger than my body gives me credit for

One line he croons is “Guess I’ll circle while I’m waiting for my fuse to dry.”

But I thought he said: “Guess I’ll circle while I’m waiting for my fears to dry.”

And I like what I heard because it resonates with my experience.

This isn’t home. I was made for more than this. I’m circling over the pavement of life. There are so many fears I have. Fears that seem very liquidified and schlushy and oozing over everything adjacent.

But I don’t want to live like that. Jesus doesn’t want me to live like that. (As Switchfoot confesses, “My fears have worn me out.”)

I want fears as dried as cracked-feet. Arizona-parched-120 degree-baked fears. Fired-in-the-pizzaria-brick-oven fears.

No longer alive and kicking.