Archive for August, 2008

Video Blog: Hillsong United (Video 1)

What a weekend so far! I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go see Hillsong United live! I have so much to say and write! I am going to just blog about what took place for the next few days! Is that okay?Wait…this is my blog…never mind!

 I have a ton of video blogs to post! Some, have nothing to do with Hillsong, but are just some video clips of anything from road trip boredom prank phone calls, to just some basic Toronto stuff.

To start, here is the first of three videos with some actual Hillsong concert footage…They will only get better! (I think)

Check it out:

Hillsong United: A Changed Generation!

After the first night of my first experience at a Hillsong United, all I can really say is…WOW!

Here are a few thoughts:

- I feel like I experienced worship in one of it’s purest forms last night!

- You couldn’t help but have tears in your eyes as you watched a crowd of 5,000 people worship God like never before!

- It was a generation UNITED!

- It was mostly High School students and younger college students. After seeing this, I am more convinced then ever that the next big “revival” in the world is coming, and it’s going to be led by this next generation!

- Phil Dooley, the youth pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, spoke.

- He talked about love, and the fact that so many people in other countries lack what we in America take for granted, but so many Americans lack what they take for granted…Unconditional LOVE!

- Love flows through us, not from us! We don’t have to sit around waiting to create it, but rather just let God’s love shine through us!

- There was so much more cool stuff!

- Wait till you see some of the video footage and pictures I took!

- I should have something up here by tomorrow morning.

- Keep following my updates on Twitter.com/kevinmurrell (also off to the right of your screen)

A Weekend With Hillsong United!

No! I’m not kidding! It’s been a long time goal of mine to get out to one of these conferences. I truly believe that some of the best modern Christian worship songs have been put out by Hillsong United. Half of the songs that most churches sing, are written and produced by them. When ever I’m having a bad day or I just feel like I don’t have answers for what is going on in my life, I often turn to God through worship. I crank up a Hillsong United CD and go for it!

There is a huge movement of teenagers in Australia that are seeking after God, and are changing their generation! I can see the same thing happening here in the Northeast! My goal is to learn anything that I can this weekend that can help. These guys get it! God is using them like crazy world-wide!

I’ll be blogging and twittering (click the link or look at the top right side of this page for updates) all weekend from Toronto! I’ll be making a video blog as well. Oh…and NO! We did not copy them when we started our UNITED! :)

In the mean time, be blessed today by watching this video of Hillsong United playing the song that God has used to speak to me the most…more than any other Christian song has. When the direction of my life was uncertain, and I was beginning to get angry at God and others, something changed when I used this song to reconnect myself to God. These words are a powerful prayer to God if you mean them.

Here is another one of there songs I love:

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Pop Culture Article

 I came across a “Pop Culture” article this week. I am not saying that I agree or disagree with what it says, but I figured that I would throw it out there. This is just meant to be thought-provoking… :)

 

Here it is:

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Pop Culture is Market Driven

The children and youth market is the most aggressively targeted market segment in the world. The reason? They have more disposable income and purchasing influence than any other age group. Consequently, marketers both use and shape the pop culture in an effort to influence the values, attitudes, and spending behaviors of our kids while developing lifetime brand loyalties. By using market research to better understand kids, marketers are then able to turn around and use what they’ve learned to connect with and influence those most vulnerable in our society.

 

Pop Culture is Fluid

In order to grab and maintain the attention of children and teens, pop culture must constantly reinvent itself. What is new, edgy and exciting today (styles, music, ideas, icons, etc.) will be obsolete tomorrow. Because kids are conditioned to look for and embrace whatever is fresh, the purveyors of pop stay busy examining their research in order to shape and develop the next big “thing.” As a result, pop culture is specific to place and time. While there is always some overlap, it’s necessary for those who study culture to look hard for and identify the specific nuances of the popular culture in their unique place and time.

 

Pop Culture is Pervasive

Wherever there are people, there will be popular culture. It is inescapable. Students cannot be sheltered from it. Even if they don’t engage the primary outlets themselves, they live and move in a peer society influenced by the pop culture. In today’s world, the advent of MTV and the Internet has facilitated the effective exportation of North American youth culture around the globe. While there are unique aspects from place to place, popular culture is everywhere and as a result, has facilitated the growth of a globalized youth culture. It has touched and shaped virtually all social institutions including the school, church, home, and community.

 

Pop Culture is Entertaining

Because it is market driven, pop culture must grab the attention of children and teens in order to survive and develop. It enters into their lives through a plethora of outlets, grabbing and holding their attention and allegiance by design. In the increased absence of stability and influence from the traditional institutions of home, church, and school, young people seek out pop culture to fill their time and, in some cases, help them forget their pain. Because it must be constantly developed and updated, pop culture’s “newness” increases its effectiveness to entertain.

 

Pop Culture is Unifying
In a world marked by relational breakdown, young people long for connections. Pop culture serves as a common thread that runs through the lives of children and teens, giving them a common experience, shared allegiances, and a place to belong. Pop culture binds children and teens together.

Video Blog: John Mayer / One Republic Concert

Some good friends of ours, Jason and Kristy, invited us to go see John Mayer and One Republic last night at SPAC.

They put on a really cool concert. I didn’t realize that John Mayer was so good at playing the guitar. If his band was walking down the street, then you would not think that any of them would have anything in common, but when they get on stage, they have an amazing sound.

Since it was too dark to take pictures, I took a few short video clips instead. Check it out:

(Well, this is a picture…don’t click on it…the video is below)

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Weekly Re-Cap / Thoughts

- Why is gas only 3.51 in Glenville, and then 3.80 everywhere else around here?

- Why in the world did Jackie Chan have a solo last night in the Beijing closing ceremony? Apparently I was missing something because… did you know that he has his own recording? Check it out here.

- Why are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays so good this year?

- When are the Yankees going to make their yearly run for first place? Never?

- Why can’t Leah and I successfully grow any indoor plants?

- Okay! I’ll stop asking so many questions!

- I got to hang out with my friend Bill this past week! He lives in Texas now.

- We had a great weekend at Northway!

- John Cremeans (Pastor Buddy’s brother) spoke and did an awesome job! If you missed it, make sure you check it out online this week.

- We spent the afternoon doing a video shoot about our High School camp. We interviewed a bunch of students about what God did in their lives! I can’t wait to see how it turned out.

- I can’t wait to spend part of this weekend with Hillsong UNITED in Toronto! Yeah…that’s right! HILLSONG UNITED!

- I hope they let me cross the border!

Here are a few funny pics for this week: (We are going with funny signs this time)

An actual church sign in Green Bay… (Brett Favre)

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And one of my favorites…

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More Pics From Our Trip to Virginia…And a Video

Below are some more pics from our trip to the wedding in Virginia. I posted some others HERE.

The best video footage I had with my camera was a mini birthday celebration for Dave Howe at Red Robin. They did a good job of being loud and making a scene.

Check it out:

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You can see the skilled photography! (Actually, I think Leah took some of these)

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There’s someone picking their nose in the background…or he just had an itch.

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Students and Media (2 of 2)

brian-head-on-multitask-image-copy.jpg(Brian said that I was fired yesterday for putting this picture on here, so I figured that I had nothing to lose today by posting it again)

Yesterday I posted a bunch of statistics (Scroll down to the previous post) about students and media. It is really probably not a shock to most people. It is a reality that we live with every day, even in our own lives as adults.

Again, I love media and use it everyday. I am just trying to sort through ways that in my own life I can get a handle on this, but then also help students. I think the main problem is when we get so busy with multi-tasking and always trying to be so busy (whether with media or other things), that we fly through life without experiencing everything that God wants us to, as well as missing the opportunities to make a difference in the lives around us.

So, how do you stay on track? How do you teach students to have a godly Worldview? How do you filter what is coming into your eyes and ears?

This post isn’t really “solution oriented”, but I’m just trying to get some thoughts out there. I definitely don’t have all the answers. What I am going to be doing each week leading into the Fall, is post about this stuff. I’ll post stuff about youth culture, whether good or bad. It will help me study about this, but also I want to get information out there in the blog world. Youth Culture is changing everyday, and it is important to understand how to teach students how to live the way God wants us to when everything around us is changing.

I  hope you check this out next week as I begin with a couple of posts. I’m looking forward to it!

(Also, I’ll be posting some pictures (and maybe a video)  this weekend from our recent trip to Virginia!) 

Students and Media (1 of 2)

brian-head-on-multitask-image-copy.jpgI read a great definition of media this week:

“Media is the means or instrumentality for storing, communicating, and widely disseminating information to the public.”

Every parent knows that if you really want a fight on your hands then take away your students media. I have been reading up on this a lot lately because this generation is saturated with media. Media can be one our best tools in ministry, but media can also be one of the most harmful things we can let in personally. Working in student ministry, I know that if I want to understand students and who they are, then I need to comprehend media and the role it plays in their lives. Make sense?

Students are still using the traditional “old” media forms of television, radio, movies, and magazines, but they’re using them in new ways. Radio can still be heard on the AM and FM dials, but more and more people are accessing the medium through satellite and Internet hookups. Movies can be viewed anywhere and anytime through computers, iPods, and even cell phones. What used to be an entire record or cd collection (which I still have, by the way) can be digitally downloaded into a “portable listening device” the size of a credit card, lipstick, or pen. And although magazines are still printed on paper and show up in the mailbox, most can also be accessed on the Internet, where visitors are able to interact with even more content that can be read, heard, and watched.

The bottom line is that media has literally changed the face of the world and how today’s students live in it. Media is not only at their fingertips; it’s woven in and through the fabric of who they are. Many are trying to label this generation – Generation “M”. (M for Media)

I AM NOT FOR A SECOND AGAINST MEDIA! I use media every day! I’m just trying to grasp the affect it has on students both positively and negatively.

Here are some of the latest statistics:

- Students ages 8 – 18 are spending an average of nearly six and one-half hours a day (6:21) with media.

- During that period of 44 1?2 hours each week, students are spending 26 percent of the time using more than one medium. In other words, they might be listening to music, instant-messaging friends, and reading a book for school all at the same time.

- One-third of students (30 percent) say they either talk on the phone, instant message, watch TV, listen to music, or surf the Web “most of the time” while they’re doing homework.

- Another third (31 percent) say they do so “some” of the time.

- Students between the ages of 12 and 17 multi task more than any other age group, with girls multitasking more often than guys.

These numbers are staggering when you consider the same study found they only spend two hours and 17 minutes “hanging out with parents,” one hour and 25 minutes in physical activity, and one hour pursuing hobbies or other activities. What about their time spent with God?

I will wrap this up tomorrow!

(Yes, that is Brian in that picture. No, I did not ask him for permission or have him sign a waiver first. No, of course he won’t be upset!) :)

Video: Why Some Don’t Make the Olympics

I have to admitt, I am not really into watching the Olympics. I watch it here and there. I saw some of Michael Phelps winning races, and some gymnastics stuff. The talent that these athletes show off is amazing! The courage…the stamina…the strength…the persistency…It’s inspiring!

It makes me think about all of the people that tried to get to Beijing, but missed there chance.

Check this out: