Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Porch at 17th

So, I was supposed to continue my thoughts on butter Jesus (see previous post), but I think I am spent from trying to analyze things too much. In short I think to spend money on such a thing is the worst decision they could have made. And maybe I am being like Judas because the people at that church really feel that this was the best they could give to God, like a small child drawing a picture of her dad, but I feel like there is so much harvest ready to be reaped all over the world. I would hate to think that resources were squandered. Anyways, enough of that.

The last few nights have been perfect weather wise. Warm but not humid. You could smell the grass and the soon to be budding trees. It reminded me of making killer movies at three in the morning in college with the guys, and sitting at the edge of the runway of the airport for like two hours only to have one plane, the smallest plane in the world, fly over our heads. And then to get stopped and interrogated by the cops. It reminds me of bitners, and camp during lane duty, and jumping off the bridge, but most of all...

It reminds me of the porch at 17th street. If I was Josh, I could wax on eloquently about the joys of the porch and the yucky couch and the bottle tree and everything else. I love all of the seasons equally and am always ready for them when they arrive, and they always provide me with nostalgia.

So here's to the porch!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Newsong and Other Rockers of Old

I must comment on my recent experience with Newsong. Now, previously, I had only experienced Newsong in the context of the song 'Arise my Love' being ( air quotes) danced to through interpretation with assistance of dow rods. Now, saying nothing of the dow rodders, this song was scarred slightly, which in turn kept me from seeking out further Newsong songs.

Now Newsong is sort of in the Christian rock genre. Now, not to be confused with the straight hair rockers such as Petra-(This means War!) , DeGarmo and Key ( Boycott Hell), or of course Striper ( To Hell with the Devil)... who all taught young Christian kids how to Jesus rock. Now also not to be confused with the more adult friendly MWS ( oh you know) or SCC or Geoff Moore and the distance, Newsong meets somewhere in the middle with very solid and tight 80's rock and roll with a stack of killer vocalists. These guys embrace their lives of 10-15 years ago and rock it hard. I went to see them play along with SCC and a few others and they rocked. I do not think this is because I am getting old either. These 8 or so white guys sang the old spiritual ' people get ready for the train's a comin' and let it rip. The piano player ( who incidentally has been nicknamed "Sauce" by Thunder Dan and friends for the amount of sauce he throws down on the keys to spice up every song, which by the way may be my favorite nickname aside from Thunder Dan) so 'Sauce' jumps out from behind the keys and throws all sorts of soul in a vocal solo. And then this other dude ends the song with the longest, loudest, highest note ever. Comparable only to-"To Hell with the Devil" if you don't know, get it somehow an listen to it.

All that to say, I have been renewed in my love for the snare heavy, screaming guitar solos, synthesizer ready rockers of old. Rock ON!

Coming up next... the continuation of "butter Jesus"

Monday, March 05, 2007

Butter Jesus

Ok, for real?

This statue is in front of a church on I 75 just north of Cincinnati. It is most commonly referred to as ‘touchdown Jesus’, but I like to call it ‘butter Jesus’ because it looks as though it was carved out of a giant stick of hand churned, full-out-Amish butter. If you look close you’ll see a dude standing next to the statue as a way to scale the thing. It is over 60 feet tall. We’re talking the statue of liberty big.

This is the most gaudy thing I have ever seen. It blows all other ‘big’ church indulgences out of the water. This makes the textured iron cross of camp look almost necessary to true spiritual growth and development. ( this analogy only works if you know of said cross, my apologies.)

Now, before I go into any thoughts on this…what do you think? Audience participation. Is it a good use of money for the church? Is it an “alabaster jar” expensive? Is it good for churches to drop money on bigger better stuff? Is this a symbol of God’s blessing or a perversion of resources?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


This is me really thinking through the issue of healing. Perhaps some food for thought might come for some folks. When I left my previous job, I remember having to work through what went wrong. I still am working through this. It is interesting that as I left, I wondered if I was in fact doing what I was called or gifted to do. I realize more and more that it had less to do with calling and more to do with following. Like all of us in leadership, I am learning constantly how to be a better leader. I think that the point when we left, God was opening some new doors for us, but perhaps more importantly teaching me some lessons about what it mean to 'heal'.

I was surprisingly not very distraught or self conscious when we left, but I had a older leader express to me that this time would be a good time of healing. I was taken a little by surprise, thinking, "I don't need healing, they need healing." But as I have had opportunity to think and reflect, I realized that there was a defensive response to my own insecurity. I remembered that it is through the struggle that God makes us more of who he wants us to be. We don't realize it while in the struggle, but he uses it to sharpen us and draw us closer to him.

Now that Julie and I are in our new place, after four months of waiting around for God to make things go, I am now again in a leadership position, and perhaps one with greater responsibility. The ironic (to us mortals)thing is, in order to be here, we had to step on someone else. After tons of thought, worry and prayer as to whether this was the right thing to do, our pastor pushed it forward. Now, as for me, I am in a place right now,( and I pray that I remain), where I know deep down that God has to direct this.

The other guy however has been pushed-out a bit, caused to question his call and giftedness. I know God can provide him with healing. I guess my whole thought process boils down to is, in order to take people to where God wants them, leaders must pull them out of the spot that isn't good enough, even when it is painful. It is here when God picks them up, brushes them off, and points them in the best direction. Healing takes us out of the status quo and closer to the great things God has for us.

This is a bit of a burden for me right now, having to be the center of the struggle for someone else. Hopefully I will be able to come along side the person and help the healing process.