Thursday, October 21, 2010

One Of My Favorite Passtimes

I LOVE finding new and interesting mods that guys will do on their guitar effects pedals. Here is a clip showing a modded Danelectro Fab Tone. I think I am going to do this to mine.

What I Learned from LEGOS About Being Present While Absent

     This morning as I left for work Cole handed me a "Snow Trooper" LEGO figure from one of his Star Wars LEGO sets. He said "Daddy, don't take his gun away from him". I knew he wanted to play Star Wars LEGOS with me. But I was late getting out of the house so I told him, "I'll put him right here in my pocket and he can go with me everywhere today." Later on, while in a meeting, I reached into my pocket and discovered Snow Trooper just chilling in there. I thought it would be funny if I sent Cole a picture of Snow Trooper attending the meeting with me. So I took a picture with my iPhone and emailed it to Susan so she could show Cole.
Then something absolutely magical happened. After lunch, I sat down at my desk and saw that I had two new email messages from Susan. I opened them up and to my extreme delight there was this picture with the subject heading, "We love you daddy and hope you have a great day." The second message had a picture with the subject heading, "Snow Trooper Farting On Nonnie's Deck." This is AWESOME!!!! so I sent another one to them. It read, "Snow Trooper Helping Me Type This Message. He misses you."

Our conversation is still continuing. But I learned that even while I am away at work, there is always something I can be doing to make my family feel like I care. I can let them know I am thinking about them and that there is nothing more important than they are. I am learning how to be present even when I am absent.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Follow Me As I Follow Christ

1 Corinthians 4:11-17

11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don't have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home.12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us.13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world's garbage, like everybody's trash—right up to the present moment.
  14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.16 So I urge you to imitate me.
  17 That's why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.

What a strange and confusing snippet of scripture.
Paul is writing to the church in Corinth telling them that He [Paul] is their only link, thru the Holy Spirit, to who Christ is.

Since Christ walked the earth lives have been irrefutably changed. We all imitate Jesus as best we can. But we have never seen Jesus. We never saw him move through a crowd with grace and purpose. We never saw with our own eyes as he, full of mercy and compassion, reached down to one of the helpless, invisible outcasts and healed them. We don’t have the luxury of believing because of the physical proof. We all have imitated Christ by imitating others who imitated Christ. They in turn imitated others before them.

Now we are the ones who are being imitated by our peers and for successive generations.

This weekend we watched as literally hundreds of people walked out onto the LCBC stages and held up signs that said things like “Went to church because of my kids” on one side, and “here now because of Jesus” on the other.

These people at one time or another had a life-altering moment that made them realize their need to know Christ and set out on a journey to imitate him. But they couldn’t see him – except through us. Maybe this weekend there was someone sitting out in those auditoriums, looking up at the stage and they too realized their need for Jesus. Who will they imitate? Let’s let this reality sink in: that if we are saved Christ is in us and to that person that is far from God, we ARE Jesus.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Push Is Over

It’s interesting to me, as I look back over the past two months that have passed me by, I don’t feel any regret or nostalgia. I took nine months of my life to create a new expression of the songs (which are life experiences) from the past ten years.  I worked long past dark on so many days. I chose to forego cuddling with my wife before falling asleep on more than a few nights. All of my family’s combined sacrifices and the drive to create finally led to the release of “Loose Cannon”. I made it. I told you about it. You downloaded and listened to it. You told me you liked it. I was happy - for a moment. Now, I am thinking about what else I can create. I want to put out a new record. I want to find a new series of subjects to blog on. I want to do what I need to do to get to that moment where I feel happy again – for a moment.
     Now that the push is over to finish the record, to get it out there, to hear what you thought of the songs, I feel like I need to create something else. This last statement begs the question: do I create for me or for others or for God? I’m not really sure of the answer. I actually think that all three answers are true at different times. Sometimes they’re true all at once. As a creative I think that I have two major responsibilities. 1) I must always be creating. 2) I must always be aware of my propensity for self-indulgence.
     You would think now that I am finished with “Loose Cannon” that I would be feeling a sort of postpartum depression after “giving birth” to the project. But the fact is this: I don’t feel like the push is over so much as I feel that the push is on. I’ve started a fire in my imagination that is fueling me to continue to create, to write, to sing, to joke, to drive, to eat, to laugh, to live and to love. These are all gifts from God. I want to learn to create for the sake of submission to the greater community, not for pleasing my own insatiable need for acclaim or fame. And I want to learn to create constantly. The push is on.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wish Me Luck

     This is a song I wrote one day when I was feeling down. It was kind of a suicide note for going into ministry. I imagined that people would look at me and say, "God, what would drive someone to the point where they would do that?" Or, "Man, he must have felt completely hopeless." This of course is ridiculous and hyperbolic. But since I've started working in Worship Ministry (I still get squeamish when I say that word - ministry) there have been many days where I wondered if I had committed career suicide by taking the job as Associate Worship Leader at LCBC.
     The thing is that I have experienced so many awesome stories ans amazing encounters with really good and unique people, I have little time to second guess. Plus, there hasn't been a single day that I've doubted that God had somehow, in all of his deviousness, brought me to this place to do this work. All in all, I am extremely grateful that I get to serve and serve with the people that lead our community in worship and praise of such an awesome God.
     I hope you have enjoyed the posts telling the meaning and lyrics of the songs from "Loose Cannon". It has been a fun experience. Thanks for reading! TMF

Lyrics for "Wish Me Luck":

Wish me luck
I'm on my way
I wave goodbye like I'm
the King of the Parade

But there's no crowd
no colorful balloons
no thanks sincerely
I'll be coming back here soon

He said:
You have to believe
And if you do
You get to see the end
and be here with me too.