Sunday, August 29, 2010


Checking out Posterous to see if it will take away my Tweetdeck for iPad woes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

As I approach 40...

Here's a little blast from the past. Yes, that's me playing bass.  Yes, I had hair.  And yes, we were playing songs by Quiet Riot.  A LONG time ago...

Friday, August 13, 2010

#twittersabbath & #fbsabbath

This is something that I've been stewing on for a while. In my thought world, I'm striving to be more and more "present", with God and with others. I think I'm wired up like Dug from the movie "Up", wanting to say "Squirrel!" to every distraction.

With this in mind, the implications on my life from Twitter and Facebook are that they move me further and further away from being present in the moment. Here are just a few situations I find myself in (maybe you can relate):

1. I will often go into what I'm calling "reporter mode", so that whatever I'm experiencing, I'm thinking about how I will shrink it down to 140 characters of less. Not truly experiencing the moment. (particularly tempting on vacations where I want to impress people by how much fun I'm having)

2. I find myself checking to see if people have responded to my status updates as a means for approval. Not really living where I am.

3. While talking to someone I attempt to split my attention between them and my phone screen. This, of course, makes the person (often my wife) feel less than valued. I think we've all been in on both sides of this equation.

4. I have Tweetdeck installed on my computer with notices that pop up whenever someone posts. This is like crack cocaine for the attentionally distracted person. I usually am not as productive as I can be when this is on.

All that to say that I'm proposing for myself and others to take a Twitter and Facebook Sabbath each week. One day (24 hours) where I fully disconnect with the social networking web world and strive to be fully present with everyone around me and God. A couple of notes:

1. I'm trying hard to let go the urge to save up posts on my Sabbath day so that I can double up on the next day. Step away from Evernote, citizen!

2. God desires a glad heart toward this, so if I bring a grumbling heart, I might as well not do it.

3. I think that one cool thing that I might want to report on later is how my taking this Sabbath affected my relationships with others and God.

So, I'm giving this a try. On the day that I do this, I'm using the hashtags #twittersabbath and #fbsabbath.

What do you think? Is this worth it? Might you join me? Love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Killing Time at the Health Dept

We spent 2.5 hours waiting to get school vaccinations for Anna.  Made a little video of our experience:

Monday, August 09, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Bar Gig

I'm in a band called Vanakkam, which had the chance to be part of a team of people who went to India last March. We played several concerts in the Tamil Nadu region of India. It was a fantastic experience for us all.

This past Friday, We had the opportunity to partner with Dan Blacketor and The Rhema Project. We were part of a concert at a bar called Legend's on the campus of Notre Dame. It was a fundraiser which featured the band "The Ricki Lake Effect" (great guys!) while Vanakkam was the warm up act.  On Saturday/Sunday, we then served at Granger Community Church, helping lead worship for all four services.

I think we learned a few lessons on the way.

1. First, we found that the art we performed had both missional elements and attractional elements in it. At the bar, we were literally going to the people. We made some cool connections with the Ricki Lake guys and others who were there. At the same time, it was attractional. We helped people gather for a great cause and later in the weekend to worship God in church. This is the essence of what we'll be talking about at our conference this Fall called "The Genius of AND".

2. We have a deeper sense of community. Our band has played and practiced so many times recently that I think of ourselves more like a family than a band. I love these people now at a much deeper level than I did before we began this journey back in February as we prepared for India. The weekend was just a further deepening of that.

3. We are better musically. Our Friday night set was the tightest I think we've ever played. We now know what's coming up and how we can intuit what the others will do. For people who have played in bands a while, this is a normal thing. Since our teams have been rotating for years at church, this is new for us. (More news on this in a later post)

4. We feel USED. (in a good way!) It is amazing to think that God not only used us "over there", but continues to use us "over here" to bring glory to Himself. How this fully plays out has yet to be seen.

We're excited as to where God is taking us, not only as Vanakkam, but as an entire worship team at GCC. These lessons, I think, will continue to teach us more of the "how" and certainly the "why" of a vibrant arts ministry.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Worship That is Grounded in History

Been reading some Glenn Packiam's blog. Processing this thought:

Our worship is not an attempt to praise God for some arbitrary attribute. Instead, as we look to God's actions within space and time-- His great works of creation and salvation-- we see who He is and begin to worship. Certainly, emotion can and often will be involved. But it is not a floating, emotion; it is an emotion that is genuine not generated precisely because it is attached to a historical event. That means a worship leader's first job is not to generate emotion; a worship leader is there to remind people of God's great acts of creation and salvation in the past, and to point them to the moment God's salvation and new creation come to pass in fullness (Rev. 21).

What are the implications here? This seems to give a grounding to our worship that we desperately need. However, I'm wondering if even a bigger picture of worship needs to be painted for our people. I agree that worship (in the congregational setting) is way more than emotion. At the same time, I wonder if it is more than reminding our people of his past/future work. Our God is the great "I AM" - eternal and ever-present.

In the setting at GCC, I believe that our people need the reminder that our God is HERE. A God whose presence is sought is surely a God who will reveal Himself. I desperately want our people to collectively and individually connect with God. These encounters, as seen in the stories of so many Bible characters, produce worshippers. I think what Glenn is getting at here is the balance of Spirit and Truth (John 4:24). So much of modern worship music is written in "the Spirit", that having a better grounding in the Truth of God's works (present and future) will helps balance our expression of worship.

Any thoughts?