UnLearning UnLearning

In Joey’s Head

Yo, for them folks out there that really want to know, here’s “Here’s What I’m Listening to Part II.”


“The Beautiful Struggle,” by Talib Kweli (10 out of 10)
One of the best hip hop artists out there.

“Beta Love,” by Ra Ra Riot (8 out of 10)
New album, sporting some old 80s sound pop ear candy.

“Swearin’” by Swearin’ (9 out of 10)
Newish album, sporting that good old, lo-fi, garage, emo 1990s sound.

“Mars Hill Music Worship Sampler” Various Artists (8 out of 10)
Great, creative music by Mars Hill Church bands.
*$2.99 on amazon!

“Mr. M” by Lambchop (7 out of 10)
Weird, but good.

“Fade,” by Yo La Tengo (6 out of 10)
Classic, older band. New album. Ummm. Yeah. Good stuff.

stuff i’m listening to and Toby and Matt WOULD be IF they  listened to music. .  . 


“Swing Lo Magellan” by Dirty Projectors - best album of last year ? ? (pictured on left)

“Cynic’s New Year” by Horse Feathers – nice violin, folky stuff.

“True” by Solange – killer R&B female vocalist with “Michael Jacksonish” 80s music.

“Gravity” by Lecrae – some killer hip-hop by one of the best

“Portrait of a Legend” by Sam Cooke - oldie but a goodie.




You Don’t Care what JESUS Prayed??

Right before big brother Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave some instructions that Christians seem to take pretty serious. You know, the “Great Commission.” Whether or not Christians are carrying this out well, we at the very least say/hear many times, “Go out into all the nations and make disciples…” What’s quite peculiar is that in my experience, aside from the ritualistic uses common in the catholic church, people don’t really take as serious Jesus’ instructions on how to pray in Matthew 6. So the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. And He doesn’t even teach a parable for them to figure out what He’s saying?? He gives them a straight up answer?? Dude. I’m pretty sure we should look closely at this prayer and pray accordingly.

Below, I’ve broken this prayer down line by line and have added my thoughts, some in which I would say are absolute biblical truth while the rest is at the least quite helpful to me. The principles of this prayer should be looked at closely, but I actually pray through this prayer every day, thinking through each line, meditating on them, and applying them to my life, ministry and personal struggles. Hope this can be of benefit to some people. Perhaps you have a heard time praying. This is a great place to start and maybe you don’t need anything more.

OUR FATHER: I actually say “my Father.” This begins my prayer with a reminder that I am God’s son, coming to a perfect father. He adopted me completely through his doing, even knowing the sin that I would commit in the future. He will always be my Father and he’ll always love His “little boy.”

IN HEAVEN: I remind myself that “my Father” is also in heaven running this thing. I pray to a God who is sovereign. This is also a reminder that my prayers are more about my heart conforming to God’s will than they are about my requests for Him to be my “yard boy.” (SEE OLD POST:)

HALLOWED BE THY NAME: The most important posture that I can have ANY time of ANY day, while I’m praying or just in general, is having a heart that recognizes God’s worthiness of being worshipped. If I can be saturated in this, everything else falls into place.

YOUR KINGDOM COME: I take this time to pray for God to literally come get me and the rest of His people. See this note from Pastor Billy: http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=4066
While we get to enjoy the pleasures of this world, let’s not forget that our hearts should be set more so on what He has in store for us.

YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN: I think through things currently in this world that could use a little “God redemption.” I pray for “God’s Kingdom” in: my life, my marriage, my parenting, my kids, my church, unity in the universal church, the universal church to love others better, I sometimes pray for God’s kingdom to come against abortions, human trafficking, and sexual abuse. God is sovereign, but He says to pray, for He also works through our prayers. I’m determined to have more focus on obeying than on understanding how the heck this works.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD: I use this segment to pray for: 1. physical sustenance, remembering that I’m dependent on God even for my grub and that all good things come from Him. Food, air, and water are all good things. 2. I pray for spiritual sustenance. 3. I pray for the “spiritual bread” of doing God’s will (John 4:34), asking God to point me in the direction of doing what He has made for me to do (Ephesians 2:10). How crazy that Jesus basically is saying, “Dude, if I’m doing what God wants me to do, I’m good. That’s all I need.”

FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SINNED AGAINST US: We live in God’s grace. It’s our only hope in every area, including our need of forgiveness. We should never take grace for granted and praying this is a reminder of how much we’ve been given for free. We must offer the same to others.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIEVER US FROM EVIL: This to me is a simple recognition of my dependence on God to live a life that pleases Him and benefits me. I don’t have to pray for God not to tempt me. He won’t (James 1:13). When I ask this, I’m asking God to lead me, with the guaranteed assumption that it won’t be towards evil. Deliver me from evil? “God, I’m no match for my flesh, the world, or the enemy. I need you. Deliver me.”

DO YOU EVER TELL A WOMAN SHE’S FAT? (You’re Welcome, Guys)

Do you ever tell a woman that she looks fat? No.
What if she is getting fat in a way that could be damaging to her health? Try to think of creative suggestions for exercising that will likely go unnoticed to her. “Hey, you want to go shopping? And let’s walk really fast to each store, so we can get to as many as possible.”
What if she is pregnant? It doesn’t matter. She wants to be seen as a “skinny-looking pregnant woman.”
What if she asks, “Am I getting fat?” Lie.
Do you ever tell a woman she looks tired? No.
What if you are concerned about her health and want her to rest more? Then tell her she’s acting tired. She never wants to look tired. If you tell her that, she has to come to grips with the fact that not only does she feel tired, she also looks tired too.*
Do you ever tell a woman that she is aging? No.
What if you like how she is aging? Just tell her that she gets prettier and prettier each day. Duh.

Parents rap about maintaining their household by videosonlytube

Forgive and For-WHAT?

by Joey Svendsen

So, Uncle Gordon touches my daughter and I’m supposed to forgive AND FORGET—by letting him babysit her again?

 My dead-beat dad forgot to pick me up for the middle school dance and I need to forgive AND FORGET—by counting on him to pick me up the next time?

 I caught you with illegal drugs and I’m supposed to forgive you AND FORGET—by not doing anything to get you help?

For folks that say, “You need to forgive and forget,” you are wrong.  You need to forgive, but you must be crazy to forget.

But God “keeps no record of wrongs” and “remembers our sins no more” (1Corinthians 13, Isaiah 43:25).  So God suffers from Dementia when it comes to our sins?

If that were the case, after He forgives us, how could he help us continue defeating the sin He forgave us for, if He forgot that it was a struggle for us?  How can we disassociate with the prideful/unrepentant hypocrite that claims to be a Christian when we are supposed to forget their trespasses?  (1 Corinthians 5).


When we are told to keep no record of wrongs, that doesn’t mean blotting it out of our memories.  It’s impossible for God to do this, by the way, given what we know of His omniscience.  It means that we no longer hold some one accountable for his or her sins against us. We count the person that sinned against us as having been justified just like us, which can represent the phrase “JUST-AS-IF-I’D never sinned at all.” We completely let them off the hook because that’s what Jesus did for us Christians.  Yes, this includes Uncle Gordon too.

Just know this.  No one is ever let off the hook at the end.  Every one will face punishment for their sin.  Either they will be punished or they are protected by their faith in Christ, who took the punishment for them.  All sin is dealt with.  That’s why Christians should be the most loving, peaceful folks on the face of this earth.  We know that justice will be served.

 Side note:  Apologies for any Uncle Gordon’s out there.  That’s just the name that came to me.



Christians AREN’T all Hypocrites??

By Joey Svendsen

When you look up the word “hypocrite” in the dictionary, you may find this picture:

 I kind of laugh when I hear Christians say something along the lines of “not all Christians are hypocrites.”  Really.  The very essence of what scripture teaches about Christ’s followers says the exact opposite.  We know how we ought to live our lives and yet often times, we live the complete opposite (Romans 3:23, Romans 7:15, 1 John 1:8)  Thus, we should probably be more articulate with what we mean when we say, “not all Christians are hypocrites.”  So, let me do my favorite thing that I need to repent for: categorize people!

Level 1 (unhealthy hypocrite):  Christians who strive to be good people and think that they are pretty much perfect because of these efforts.  

 Level 2 (healthy hypocrite): Christians who strive for righteousness, but realize their sinful shortcomings, admit that in many areas they are indeed hypocrites, and simultaneously celebrate the grace of perfect Jesus that covers all sin.

Level 3 (unhealthy hypocrite):  Christians that admit their hypocrisy and yet never strive to live according to God’s plan, simultaneously taking advantage of God’s grace.

Level 4 (unhealthy hypocrite): Christians that live ridiculously sinful lives, never repent, but pretty much think they are above reproach.

Many people that are in Level 1, 3, and 4 haven’t even accepted Christ as their savior in the first place.

ALL OF US should come to terms with Level 2 and strive to be a “healthy hypocrite.”  And remember that we follow the only non-hypocrite that has ever lived.

So next time some one accuses all Christians for being hypocrites, you can say, “Dang straight.”



Why Thank You Cards Suck in the South

 By Joey Svendsen

If you’ve sent me one I truly do appreciate it.  If you’ve given me a gift, I probably didn’t send you a thank you card because I told you “THANK YOU” when I received the gift initially.

I really do love receiving thank you cards along the lines of “thank you for being a good husband” or “thank you for being there for me through tough times” or “thank you for coming; it meant a lot.”To be honest I appreciate cards that say, “Thanks for the gift,” but honestly I could take it or leave it and it means very little.  Why? Because, most of the time, writing these sorts of cards is a chore and “something that needed to be checked off their to-do list.”  I feel bad actually when people have stacks of these sorts of cards to write after a busy wedding week, for example.  And I can’t believe it’s socially acceptable and sometimes even expected by others for a newly widowed woman to write thank you cards to folks that were loving towards them throughout a time of loss and a funeral!!!So, please don’t take offense that I think it’s silly to write thank you cards for gifts, please feel free to cross me off your list of people to thank in the case that I bought you something, and please don’t think some one isn’t appreciative if he or she forgets (or even purposely neglected) to write you a thank you card.Lastly, I think this world would be way better off if every time we had 30 cards to write people that gave us gifts, we instead wrote half the amount of letters (15 total for those of you that suck at math) to parents for loving us, friends for being there for us, teachers for teaching us, and/or kids for bringing us so much joy.