Monday, December 11, 2006


So I looked out the window and decided to write something.
Tell me what you think... and what you think it's about.

I may just end up telling you. :P

I feel the weight pulling down.
I am constantly being added to.
heavier and heavier
I am unable to float any longer
The burden of growing is too much to bear

Now I fall
faster and faster

gaining speed
I am blown by the cold wind
left and right
faster and faster

I see where my destiny lies
I see the end of my travels
My path is set.
and with a crash my journey is over

I feel the weight pulling down
I am constantly being added to
until the warmth comes and it begins again.


Check out Mouth!
Trust me... you'll like it.


mouth embed

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Public Service Announcement

Poopies... a plague among us.

(this was done by my good friends Ben and Chris, go to Ben's YouTube site for more good stuff)

Monday, December 04, 2006

UPDATE: On Being Purple In the Church

Amid the controversy, Kay Warren (Rick's wife) sat down with Newsweek for an interview about AIDS and the role Christians can take in fighting the epedemic.

Read the article here.
(it only takes a few minutes)

A quote:
"I had to start from scratch and educate myself. I started going to medical conferences and was quickly overwhelmed by its size and scope. I went to one at UCLA, and a woman approached and asked me who I was. I told her I'm a pastor's wife, and she said, "Well hallelujah, the church is finally here." -Newsweek

Saturday, December 02, 2006

On Being Purple In the Church

I usually don’t care enough to be political.

I usually watch the news and keep to myself.

I usually either get angry or disgusted or just thick skinned.

Something this week happened that made me smile. Something gave me some brand of hope. But then this hope was dashed by something that unfortunately is all too common and expected.

No one will argue (I hope) that Christians are supposed to leave this world better than they came into it. We all have our different ways of going about it but hopefully somehow we reach out to other people’s lives and inspire some sort of hope.

Problem is, we are human.

We like to think that we are a positive influence on our surroundings but time after time our actions are actually detrimental to others. Now you may think I am speaking in obscurities and over-generalized terms, but I challenge you to think of a time where either you have been hurt by a Christian who instead of helping you just gave you the lecture about how you needed to straighten up and fly right. Or worse even, when have you as a Christian failed to reach out and instead hurt another. I speak in this general sense because I don’t want you to think specifically. Although I am bringing up a specific topic, I challenge you to apply this to yourself. I ask you to look past what you see wrong in others and internally search. To ask if there is any wicked way in our heart.

In the past few days a popular pastor has been criticized and put on the defensive by some fellow Christians who do not think he is acting as pastor should. Rick Warren, the author of the ever-popular Purpose-Driven Life, has come under fire by conservative (Christian) special-interest groups because one of the 60 people he invited to speak may not necessarily be cohesive in more conservative beliefs about difficult issues.

Pastor Warren invited the democratic senator Barack Obama to speak at a recent Global Summit on AIDS and the Church at the Saddleback Mega-church in Lake Forest, California. Many groups and conservative leaders have criticized Warren because of Obama’s views on abortion. Obama is a self-proclaimed pro-choicer and many evangelical leaders have a hard time swallowing that and an even tougher time with the fact that Warren would have the audacity to have him speak from a pulpit.

Please bear in mind that I am very opposed to politicizing any pulpit message and passing it off as some sort of pseudo-gospel, and to do so is not scriptural whatsoever and in my mind undermines and soils the gospel of Christ. Here is the difference in this situation: What Warren is trying to do is not become some sort of flaky teacher more concerned with patting you on the back than exhorting you to a change of life. Instead he is being bold and using the influence and power he has been blessed with to reach out to others. He is giving his church (and other Christians) the rare opportunity to go beyond our church-lives and actually do something to help the rest of humanity. All over the world, AIDS is a serious epidemic that countless lives are lost every day to. We have a duty to show Christian love to the people who suffer and the ones who help the suffering. We are called to be a light to the world that points to Christ by our actions, not our politics. If we are ever going to make a difference we need to stop thinking in red and blue and start thinking in terms of humanity.

Rick Warren, by the way, is not being timid about his beliefs in this. He has been very outspoken about his clear-cut opposition to Obama’s stance on these other issues and it is this opposition that makes this situation so meaningful. It shows that we can relate to others in a way that is deeper than asking leading questions in hope that eventually we can tell someone about the gospel. Instead, we are automatically able to show them the gospel and hope that is Christ by simply living our lives. It is this clenching of our faith and values in one hand, and the reaching out desperately with the other that causes change in the lives of others. It is grasping out for the drowning hand of another in any way we can while holding just as tightly to the only thing that keeps us afloat with our other hand. We do not need to sell out our beliefs just to be relevant to the rest of the world and our culture.

Which is more beneficial, inviting a sinner to church, or condemning the one who invites them? The body of Christ is made up of sinners, idolaters, slanderers, drunkards, and fools who have instead of being pulled under by our own selfishness, have been broken and restored by a God who reaches beyond politics, beyond borders, and beyond our own foolishness to bring us back to a peace with Him. I hope and pray that you and I can be the person who reaches out. One who goes beyond our safe buildings and Christian friends, and actually touches the heart of another with God’s hope.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Perhaps this is a new beginning or perhaps it is nothing at all, I am not the one to decide.

I find it interesting that when around certain circles (usually older ones) saying the word "blog" can be fun. I usually get strange looks because apparently, "blog" sounds like a dirty word. I am not sure if this is true but it still lends itself to fun regardless. So you see, blogging can be fun despite the fact that no one around you knows what the heck it means. Even now Microsoft Word says that the word “blog” does not exist. That being stated, I have come to the conclusion that I should blog more frequently and not just in the "I-thought-this-was-funny-so-you-should-think-it's-funny-too" sense. I do this not because I am any more brilliant than the next fellow, nor that I have something to say that has not been said already. No, I suppose the real reason is so I have a place to organize my thoughts and aspirations. It might, could be that my thoughts could seem a bit scattered about now and that my brain needs an outlet through my fingers, onto the screen, through my eyes, and into my heart.

I must admit however, I am doing this for my own good. Selfish as that may be at least it's the truth. I do ask that you join me as a companion on this awkward road of self-discovery. I can always use someone to talk to. Someone to share joy and sorrow with. Someone to tell me I'm wrong and to tell me it's ok. I hope to use this road as a way to shed light on who I am and who I have become. I hope to use it as a way to become who I am in my Creator who beckons me wholly to be holy.

Last but not least... I spend way to much time awake late at night doing nothing.
Hopefully this will change that.

(for all you nay-sayers who say that I blog to much… b-b-b-baby you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet)

Don Rabbit Part 1

I have been reading "Blue Like Jazz" recently and there is a lovely little story within a story in it.

I will share it with you in the next few days here.

Here is part one in our little saga.

(you may have to click to see the image in it's normal size)

We shall continue our saga... tomorrow.

Monday, October 09, 2006

An Open Letter to A Friend - Lessons in Honesty

So I think previously I have stated that I want to be a bit more honest and forward with my writing. I suppose this is a way of confronting myself with myself and dealing with things that I like or that I don't really care for. I have just begun corresponding with a good friend who is not a Christian about Christianity in general. In this letter I respond to my friend who is feeling a bit irked at a Christian arguing about something yet not really have followed their own advice I would surmise. I have decided to publish this letter because I think it bears repeating to more than just a closed audience of two. Take heed that names have been changed to protect the innocent and that I really pull no punches. Feel free to comment if you like but I really don't care if you do or not. This is more for me anyway. Sorry 'bout that

-In Him



Well, to begin. I understand where you are coming from. I am well aware of the fact that the group that I happen to cast my lot with has a tendency to be a bit judgmental / hypocritical / overbearing / overzealous / crazy / ...well you get the general idea. I am also well aware that when a Christian decides to argue with a non-Christian, usually things like humility, empathy, and sanity to say the least tend to fly out the window. Instead they will tense up and going into full-defense mode. Somehow I think it's cause we start thinking we are arguing God's argument and that if we lose, we somehow failed some great mission. The problem is, the idea of someone trying to argue for God would be like an ant trying to explain the finer points of my day to day actions. We as humans are selfish and fallible even when we are trying to be spiritual.

In your friend's defense, the biblical point of view does say in many places (if you really want I can get the verses but for now it's early am) that sex before marriage is a bad thing. Although, in my personal opinion, this is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. I mean that "fornication" (pre-marital sex as it is commonly called) is just another "sin." Not to take away from it's importance, but it would seem to me that in many cases, an act that God would ask us not to do is not because He is trying to ruin our fun, but is rather trying to protect us regardless of what it is. (murder, stealing, copyright infringement) It is more like a parent telling their child to not run in the parking lot. What I mean by that is that He knew that one day some tweaker in Butt-City would one day have sex with a fellow tweaker, get pregnant, go on welfare, and then begin the long process of raising the next president of cell-block A. All the while not caring at all how their own actions effect others let alone their own offspring.

Now obviously you know my history and know for a fact that a) I have definitely done the Do and b) this is not the only transgression ever to have graced the pages of the Ho-Ho history book. So I am probably not the best role-model in this particular discussion. What I can tell you is that while I was gallivanting about with said women, my once healthy relationship with God soon wore away. The problem there that while this was fun and almost free-feeling, I soon discovered that it wasn't. eventually the excitement wore away and I realized exactly what I was doing and risking and there I was, without anything whatsoever i could call positive and meaningful in my life. One mistake away from being the proud father to your local dealer. My actions were getting in the way of who I was being called to be.

Now of course I would like to say this was a turning point in my short life but it wasn't. I am one of those slow learners that needs to be hit on the head over and over again before i realize someone is even talking to me. So began the arduous process of becoming who I am today. Now, granted, that's not much and there is PLENTY of room for improvement but I can also say I am happy (just, not content) with who I am.

You happen to be asking me to correspond at the same time that I am sort of going through one of those epiphany moments that happens so infrequently in ones life. So forgive me if I get to be a bit airy in my dialog. I am trying to formulate words where there really weren't words before.

As far as your friend goes, no they should not be persecuting you in such a manner. Honestly though, I think when I was a "young Christian" I may have done the same. We as a faith seem to be a bit out of touch with the rest of the world and humanity for that matter. Instead of being followers of Christ we have turned into His salesmen. The problem is that half the time, we act like we don't even believe in the product we are selling. Instead of loving the world we try to separate ourselves from it all the while trying to act like we're
"just like you" and can listen to cool bands and buy stupid crap just as well if not better. (see my blog about the stupid pajamas)

I often wonder how the world would view us if instead of acting like idiots with an agenda/product, we just genuinely cared and loved people regardless of who they were or what political party they belonged to. Maybe we wouldn't look so insane to everyone.

I think I have gotten a bit off topic but I think it's OK for now. I think this was stuff I needed to get off my chest to someone who wasn't in my church bubble but would still listen with an open mind. What I am trying to say I suppose is that I am sorry. Sorry for misrepresenting who Christ is. Sorry for George Bush and his so-called faith. Sorry for big-haired preachers telling you to send us your money so they could buy another jet. Sorry for the Crusades, sorry for horny and perverted priests, sorry for friends who turn their nose up to you because they think they are better than you. Sorry for it all.

What a way to start huh?

Hope this helps.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I for an I

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.

I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, reassurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
I talk of love-a scholar's parrot may talk Greek-
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

-C.S. Lewis

Saturday, September 30, 2006

melodic resolve

Add my band on myspace, click the pic.

pedals drumedited

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I stole this from my friend Adam Adams (yes it's his real name). I urge you to see Equilibrium to understand the context. Once you have my friends, you will know once and for all... that computers suck.
I call you, Librians...
It should be noted that all things spelled "Prozium" will be bold and red.
Also, all things loaded with "cool factor" will be blue.
I write this with but one purpose. One truth drives me. That is this: All should rename their computer. All compulsions to replicate the names of significant individuals, family members, glib phrases or musings should be suppressed. All names should die, for the substitution of another.


"Prozium" is the medication all Librians took to suppress feeling or sense. Not taking "Prozium" would mead certain "processing" (also known as death by burnanation). Feeling anything is known as "sense crime," which we know with much certainty is bad.

While clever, this particular name is not witty. I beleive this drawback is outweighed by something I'd like to call "cool factor." "Cool factor" is something acquired when you recieve the opportunity to utter something that Sean Bean "Errol" or Christian Bale "Senior Grammaton John Preston" would.

For instance, with your computer named "Prozium," you could correctly say "It's time for my dose," or, if someone attempts to force computer usage on you, you could say, "But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

Or by taking on the role of the father, you may daftly utter "Prozium - The great nepenthe. Opiate of our masses. Glue of our great society. Salve and salvation, it has delivered us from pathos, from sorrow, the deepest chasms of melancholy and hate. With it, we anesthetize grief, annihilate jealousy, obliterate rage. Those sister impulses towards joy, love, and elation are anesthetized in stride, we accept as fair sacrifice. For we embrace Prozium in its unifying fullness and all that it has done to make us great."

Also worth mention, and perhaps the coolest thing ever, is that with a computer named "Prozium," you may call yourself a Grammaton Cleric of the Tetragrammaton.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Does anyone read this? Is there a point to my blog? Or am I wasting my time? Please let me know.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Amid Smoke, Steam, and Grinding of Gears...

...I have been thinking.

Since I just so happen to be a "worship leader" I was thinking to myself.

"Hmm... I wonder... when do I have to get up tomorrow? Why did I eat those Doritos? What AM I doing up so late? What..."

Well you get the idea. But among this torrent of cerebral firings I have also began to wonder if I, as a "worship leader" (I am putting quotation marks around it because it is part of the issue in question) should speak upon the subject of which my title refers to. But first, as if there were to be a last on the topic, I would like to know what YOU have to say on this subject.

What is worship? What is praise?

Keep in mind that these are asked in the vein of thought that they are each two separate entities. Say as little or as much as you want. You can leave comments, send me an e-mail, call me, Send it FedEx, or even send me a Myspace message. Whichever method you prefer to convey your ideas, either public or surreptitiously, extensive or short, please do so in a somewhat timely manner. I realize that this is a silly thought, to ask you the reader to "turn your homework in on time" or to even comment at all but I genuinely want to know what you think. Moreover, I would like to write on this topic soon and would like to have your input while I do so.

So there we are... well... I suppose we are somewhere anyway.

Répondez s'il vous plaît.


Monday, August 07, 2006

a beautiful collision

The heart breaking makes a sound
I never knew could be
So beautiful and loud
Fury filled and we collide

So courageous until now
Fumbling and scared
So afraid You'll find me out,
Alone here with my doubt

Here it comes, a beautiful collision
Is happening now.
There seems no end to where You begin and there I am now
You and I collide

Something circling inside,
Spaciously you fly
Infinite and wide,
Like the moon and sky

Sunday, August 06, 2006


It's coming soon

Sunday, July 16, 2006

If This Won't Tick Someone Off...

OK, ok... I DID NOT write this. This was written by Mark Oestreicher, the head of Youth Specialties. Please, PLEASE, read it to the end. (The thing is, once you read the beginning, you won't want to stop.) To be quite honest, much of this contains the same sentiments I have, just, not exactly in the way I would put it. Ok, then when you are done... comment away.

By the way, if any of this interests you, go to Marko's blog

Yes, it's long. Get over it.


Sunday July 16th 2006, 9:42 pm
Filed under: church, thinking...

so. i know this post is going to come off as way-inflamatory. really, thats not my intention. im extremly hesitant to post these thoughts because i fear they will:
a. incite a vicious plethora of responses to me and about me, which i really dont feel like wading through, and/or
b. be quickly and easily misunderstood as the liberal rantings of one of those emergent types.

but i visited the united states holocaust museum recently in washington, dc. id not been before, and had heard so much about it. it was really great, though my feet were dog-tired by the end and i was a bit whiney.

heres the thought that kept jumping in front of me, even when i tried, repeatedly, to dodge it: there are so many awkward similarities between the nazi partys tactics and the christian religious rights tactics in current-day america.

now, let me stop right there and make some important disclaimers:
1. im not saying the religious right ARE nazis.
2. im not equating all conservative christians with the religious right. frankly, until very, very recently, i still considered myself a conservative christian (and im darn close to it still, in many areas id now likely consider myself a moderate evangelical); but ive never seen myself as a part of the religious right. there are tens or hundreds of thousands if not millions of conservative christians who should not be unfairly labled as part of the religious right.
3. im not referring to racial cleansing or hatred. the only comparisons im going to refer to are tactical.
4. im was not intending to post this in such close proximity to the discussion about isreal and lebanon. id been planning this post for a week and a half, since having these thoughts in the holocaust museum. while there may be some connections, thats not my intent.

the holocaust museum is divided into five levels the basement being a cafe and such, and the main floor being a lobby, special exhibit and bookstore. visitors begin the actual tour on the top floor, and work their way back down. the top floor is the rise of the nazi party, the 3rd floor is mostly about the concentration camps and the final solution, and the 2nd floor moves into the final days and liberation from the camps. im bothering to explain this because this nagging comparison kept coming to my mind ONLY in the top floor the rise to power.

here are a handful of things i noticed:

1. fear is a tool.
i was intrigued, learning about the rise of the nazi party in germany while they were still considered the minority, the fringe wackos how they used fear to both mobilize people and win people over to their agenda. they systematized the cultivation of fear, rather brilliantly, if one can use a word like that. as i was reading and experiencing this in the museum, i was bowled over by the similarities to much of what is happening in the american church right now. the constant use of war imagery (were in a battle for a generation or we are on the brink of being the last christian generation in america) and fear-based tactics are the dominant themes in much of the fundraising and publishing released into the (american) christian world these days. its not helpful. it seems to me, the only time jesus really talked about being fearful of the influence of those people was when he talked about religious leaders.

2. popular culture is bad, and threatening our way of life.
this is a varient on #1, really. but it was a massive message of the nazi party prior to their rise to power. they condemned other germans at this point (which became something of a moot point, and a message they stopped using, once they rose to power). the early nazi party spent much of their communication coin on pointing out (from their perspective) how their own country had become infiltrated with abborhant behavior and thinking, and that popular expressions in culture were threatening to extinguish the only things that were truly good about germans (and other aryans). this oppositional approach to culture is being consistently laid out by the marketers and fundraisers of the religious right in american also. what struck me (when thinking about this in the museum) was how selfish it is. even if our way of life is being threatened (which i dont believe), the jesus-approach would be to be missional into culture, not to spend all our effort drawing lines of demarcation, and retreating from culture. some might say that the religious rights engagement in politics is missional, or at least, an effort to engage culture. but i dont buy this when the effort is fueled by a desire that is ultimately self-serving.

3. people who dont believe like us are ruining our country, and threatening our way of life
again, this is a variant on #1 and #2. but it moves beyond culture as an amorphous disembodied thing and toward a personal level. this was the primary message of the nazi party to other germans in their early years. hitlers speaches were peppered with this language, as were the collateral materials printed by the nazi party. in our own setting, this connects with the (wrong-headed) notion that american is a christian country, and should be preserved as such in order to protect our way of life (which, at the end of the day, means my way of life). i realize its a bit cliche to mention this, but real christianity (real, passionate, following of jesus christ) has never flourished in a christian country. jesus never encourages us to become the dominant thought-power or political leader, and certainly doesnt encourage us to expunge those we dont agree with from our midst.

4. shows of strength provide courage where courage is lacking.
when the then-young nazi party realized that the majority of germans thought they were an odd fringe group, they were proactive in showing their growing strength, though marches and rallies. this show of strength brought a sense of movement, and brought courage to those who were waffling. the nazi ranks grew exponentially during this period. there was almost a sense that if that many people are part of this, it cant be competely wrong in fact, maybe its right. our rallies on the steps of governmental steps and our million-man marches may have the same apparently-positive affect of fostering courage. but its not the route to courage given to us by the bible, or by jesus. those approaches are more acts of zeolotry than acts of passion for jesus (see scot mcknights fascinating multi-part posting on zeolotry). courage biblical courage is not something we drum up in ourselves. gaining courage to have a full heart (from the french and latin roots of the word) is a contrite and humble process of asking god to fill our hearts, asking god to be our source of courage.

5. the primary task becomes about defining whos in and whos out by whether or not they exist in our boundaried set of beliefs.
the early nazi party (again, this became somewhat of a moot point after their rise to power) were brilliant at systematizing detailed descriptions of who was in and who was out. they developed detailed charts of family trees and partial acceptability, based on heredity. they developed photographic charts that proved the undesireable outs based on size of nose and forehead, among other things. of course, theres nothing quite so blatant in our context. were much more subtle about it - more sophisticated. we write books about why we cant have fellowship with other christians because they dont believe exactly as we do. we spend inordinate amounts of time and effort refining and clarifying and arguing our propositional statements of belief, and communicate that it would be wrong to associate with others until you completely know and completely agree with their statement of belief. we spend more of our time and effort (in the american religious right) explaining who and what we are not, clarifying why were more right and pure then them. and weve become obsessed with boundary marking, rather than stacking hands on core essentials.

and a parallel in governments response to both groups:

6. keep them close, give them some power, in order to control them.
this was so interesting to me. i hadnt been aware of the final steps in hitlers rise to power, and had never quite understood how he (and the nazi party) got to complete power. for the few who, like i was, are unaware of these final steps: the moderate president of germany thought hitler was a nut, and thought the nazi platform was misguided. but his advisors encouraged him along the lines of the old adage keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. the president decided it would be easier to control hitler by giving him a position of partial-power. so he appointed him chancellor of germany, a somewhat ill-defined role that was a bit more ceremonial than not. but this was a huge miscalculation of how much power hitler and the nazi party had already garnered. within months (weeks?) of hitlers appointment as chancellor, those in parliament (or whatever it was called) from the nazi party had taken over power of the real government. they quickly moved to outlaw all other policital parties. and in a shockingly short span of time moved germany to a totalitarian state. parallels to our context? well, there are certainly many christians in america (myself included) who are surprised by the clout of the religious right. much of their power in controlling the republican party is based on an assumption (right or wrong id like to think its wrong, but im not sure) that they have the ability to control a significant-enough segment of the american voters to control those who are elected. so one of our only two feasible political parties has been co-opted by keep them close thinking. i think this is highly dangerous for all of us including for the religious right. there is no example in history (that im aware of) where a religiously uniform group dominating the political scene of a country has been a good thing for the country, or for the very people who aspouse the views of the religiously uniform group.

so. this observational rant has gone on long enough. i havent been very helpful in suggesting alternatives, i admit. these are merely thoughts that came to me when touring a museum.

To add, Marko later said this...

i know i kind of already said this, but i want to say it again, based on some of the wonderful comments here:
i am NOT slamming conservative christians. i still consider myself a moderate evangelical. and i highly value my deep freindships with many very conservative christians. i value their passion and commitment. my post is not about conservative christians. its a cautionary observation about political tactics.

Comment by marko 07.17.06 @ 12:57 am


(Note: Sorry guys, when I copy and paste stuff into blogger, it gets rid of stuff like commas, apostrophes, well you get the idea... oh well, move on and comment. -Chris)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Camp and the Triumphant Return

I am back from a week playing music at youth camp. I got back yesterday around 4 and then went to back to work last night so needless to say I am POOOOOPED.

But besides the poopiness (is that the proper way to spell that?) the past week was amazing. I led worship every night and a little bit each morning with Brock, Josh,
Mike, Tim, and even Lew for one of the nights. Eventually my voice completely died and I now have vocal cords that are nothing but raw flesh (yay) but I wouldn't have it any other way. My fingers burned from playing guitar for an invitation that did not stop for what seemed like 45 minutes. No, that does not bother me, it just means I need to practice more. God did some amazing stuff at that lake and hopefully I will be able to keep up.

In other news stuff is rapidly changing personally and I am fully ok with that. More and more each day I am feeling called to full-time ministry. Where? When? How? To who? All of these I have no answer to but I am fully ok with that as well. Aaaand on top of that there are some other things coming up on the radar. Whatever happens I think I'm coo' with it.

So, until next time kiddies... brush your teefs!


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Well Then

please pray for us during camp week.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

So I have a question

Does anyone actually read this stuff?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

David Crowder*band

Get this video and more at

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What Goes Through a Worship Leaders Head

No I am not back. I will never really be back. I have been taken in by the black hole that is myspace. Anyways, this was written by Eric Owyoung of Something Like Silas, worship band for FLOOD in San Diego. Just a glimpse into the strange mind of a worship leader. Feel free to comment and if you are a worship leader, feel free to add a few.


What Goes Through A Worship Leader's Head
By Eric Owyoung of
Something Like Silas

"Why does my stupid guitar keep going out of tune?"

"Man it's hot in here."

"Jesus, give me the right words."

"I hope I don't get something in my eye."

"We need to practice the chorus some more, we stink."

"That was a cool drum fill."

"My cable is wrapped around my leg."

"Lord, bless that girl crying in the front."

"I wonder if they're getting this song."

"I hope the band remembers how to do the transition into the next song."

"Shoot, what are the words to the next verse?!"

So does that sound like a divine experience? Or does that sound just a little too familiar? That's just a few of the thoughts out of the other million going through our heads. The difference between me though and a lot of other guilt ridden worship leaders is that I don't feel that those are wrong. In fact, I think they are exactly the things I should be thinking about! But aren't we supposed to be dwelling on the presence of God? Aren't we supposed to be having an intimate moment with Christ each time? Isn't that what being a worship leader is? I suppose then, I should just drop the guitar, tell the band to put all their instruments down, and lets all have our own worship experience. How lame would that be!!! We're not helping anybody draw near to God by doing that.

Lets start with this. Worship is more than a song, it is more than words. It is more about a lifestyle, the way we live, think, act, breathe. But when we describe a worship experience, we are referring to an intimate moment, a divine connection, a time in which we put aside all distractions and give our attention to God alone. I believe that my moment of worship does not happen on stage near as intentionally or intensely as it does when I worship him off stage. If I am saving my time with God for the moments on stage, I believe that I may be taking away from others intimate moments with God. For example, if I say "God, I want to have such an intimate time with you and I shouldn't disrupt it. Even though my E string is a complete half step off, I refuse to pay attention to it." Man what disaster it would be. I'd have the worshippers praying that worship would be over soon.

Leading worship is like being a teacher. The teacher learns and discovers outside of the classroom. When he come into the class room before the students, his lesson is prepared, he is ready to focus on his lesson plan, not to have any new discoveries. It is much like that in leading worship. The worship leader is required to take the time, to study over, to pray over, and most of all to worship before walking on stage. Those moments on stage require the worship leader to be thinking about what he doesn't want other to worry about. That's being a servant. It's saying, "Hey, come here and relax. Enjoy the presence of God. Come into this place and I'll tidy things up so you don't have to focus on anything but your God right now. My band and I am going to serve you so this can all happen."

I've found the spirit of God moves not because I'm leading the charge, but because the thousand worshippers in front of me are enabled to lead the charge without distraction. I'm just in the boiler room keeping the engine running. I may throw out a few cheers or challenges and stuff, but man the spirit of God is responding to the mass of followers that are seeking after him. That's when something amazing happens.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Hey... I like this song.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Return of the FatKid

So, i am back to blogger. Sorry it's been so long. Life is good, but that is not the reason I am posting. I found something worthy of passing on to my friends.

I didn't write this. Kevin from Worship Generation done did. But, that is ok because it is worth a read. Besides, I would actually have to write something if I didn't just steal it. Ok, read and comment. Then, you can go to his page and subscribe to his blog so I don't have to do this anymore. (click the title)

In His Grace



A Lot To Think About…

-Kevin MacDougall

The title of this blog is a cheesy joke. A pun. You'll see how and why as you continue to read. I apologize for this awful, awful joke.

I've been thinking about Lot - Abraham's nephew. Lot is famous for being rescued from Sodom and having a wife made of salt in the process… quite a legacy. His story is found in the middle of Genesis; he pops up in chapter 13 and then in chapter 19.

Generally, it's assumed that his association with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah stemmed from his own desire to live as a corrupted man of faith. We're told he lacked integrity and was loose morally – that he was "carnal," to use the churchy word. We hear things like, "Lot believed in God… but he didn't want to live his life for God." We also hear that his story is a cautionary tale, meant to illustrate the danger of "pitching tents" close to Sodom. Some would even say that Lot illustrates for us the danger of having friends who are not like we are.

But as I consider those things, they just seem off, especially in light of Jesus and the way He approached life. I realize that there are probably some assumptions being made about Lot, which turn into judgments. If it's possible we're missing the man, it's possible we're missing the message – in which case, our application of the text is off.

First things first - no matter how uncomfortable it makes some Christians, Jesus was a FRIEND of sinners. They had no problem with Him, and they enjoyed His company. He was an example of love and acceptance and did not play Morality Police until they couldn't stand him anymore. It's tough to reconcile that with a typical 'Christian' attitude we often see around us, where people who say they're following Jesus are always trying to avoid the world, and anyone in it whom they deem "sinners". It's a bomb-shelter existence they're aiming for… only the bomb isn't coming. They're just missing out on helping people to "taste and see that the Lord is good". They were made to be a POSITIVE influence ON the world, but they spend life incapacitated by the thought of the NEGATIVE influence OF the world.

"Bad company corrupts good character," they say… and yet THAT verse – in context – refers to people IN the church who sow dissent and bring disunity and un-love. "Do not love the world," they say, quoting 1 John… and yet the word "world" refers to the value systems of pride and selfishness that break this world in the first place, and are not limited to those outside of the church (or John's instruction would be frivolous). The original Greek for "world" is perfectly clear: it does not mean the "people" of the world, nor does it mean the "culture" of the world. In spite of this, many well-meaning (perhaps) Christians and even pastors will read a verse like this and, without any mention of its context or literal meaning, begin to warn against being amongst people who don't consider themselves Christians, or they'll begin to denounce "secular" film, music, etc… things which didn't even EXIST at the time of John's writing.

It's all very shallow, but I don't want to spend too much time getting into this aspect of the subject matter. Instead, let's just re-examine what we know of Lot.

The very first thing I remember is that the Bible says Lot was a RIGHTEOUS man. Righteous. And in the Bible, being righteous does not mean someone who prayed a "sinner's prayer" and then lived exactly the same as they had before. If Lot was the type of person that it's generally assumed he was, why would he get this distinction? The title "righteous" is given to one who believes in and trusts God and is then moved and transformed by the ongoing experience of that relationship. Peter tells us that Lot was a righteous man. He also tells us that Lot was troubled and pained by the lawlessness he saw around him. Where another assumption takes place is in deciding that his pain was the result of his own sin as a result of the influence around him. See, we could just as easily deduce that his pain came from being amidst so much brokenness and seeing so many lives hurting. It COULD be a pain of simple compassion.

Most of us know the story. God was judging Sodom and Gomorrah, because God knows hearts (unlike us), and God knew the people there would continue in their ways no matter what. Their ways were harmful to others. The cry that rose up because of them was great. They were murderous and completely given to their every whim and desire.

But Lot was saved from that judgment. He was ushered out in time. He wasn't hurt at all. His family was, but we don't fully know if they shared Lot's faith. And Lot was reluctant to go (about as reluctant as one could be), and yet he was saved from the destruction. I wonder, if his very choice to BE there with those people was so dangerous and such a warning to us… why did Lot emerge unharmed? His safety was never in question. His security was never in doubt. Where was the danger? To his wife or sons-in-law? We have no indication they were people of faith anyway.

If Lot was a righteous man, he was a man whose relationships were characterized by rightness.

Could it be that Lot was never meant to present to us the weak, gutless person of faith? Could it be that the point was never supposed to be that Lot didn't have any business in Sodom? I'm more convinced of this second question. Regardless of what happened to Lot there, I don't think anyone can make a strong case for him having no business in that place. And maybe, just maybe, Lot went there specifically to be an influence? Maybe he represents to us the person who just will not give up on people, even to the point of offering his daughters in place of the Lord's messengers (a very cultural-historical thing for him to do), and maybe he illustrates for us that our involvement with the most broken of society will never remove our security or remove us from the protection of God in His judgment. Maybe the tragedy of Lot's story is not that he lived in Sodom, but that in spite of the presence of a righteous man, no one was touched by his love or service to them?

Just maybe.

Think about it

Friday, February 03, 2006

Am I a Cog??

So I have been thinking to myself. Not recently but for a while now... what is my purpose for being here. Now I know that this seems like a normal thing to think about but I don't think that I mean it in such a broad sense. Accounting for my mission from God, to be an example and a light of rescue, I am left still wondering. I seem to confuse myself on the specifics of the matter especially on the matter of money and financial situations. It seems that I have become sort of a money "machine," if you will. I seem to do stuff (i.e. work) and then when the check comes in, it goes back out in the form of bills, CD's, food (that's a big nay, huge one), clothes, and just well, stuff. I ask myself on numerous occasions "is this part of a healthy, Christian life?" Am I just performing a magic trick and turn my labor into something that I will undoubtedly grow tired of in a relatively short while?

Understand that I am not really trying to be some sort of weirdo that gets stuck on "consumerism," or whatever, I am simply trying to find what my part in this should really be. I am constantly performing a search of my motives for doing anything now. Not that I am worried or stressed about my "life" and "future" because I know that God has the outcome of it in His hands, but I am trying to dissect almost every aspect of my life. What am I blindly supporting buy just buying stuff? Am I really doing this Christian life thing the correct way? Or am I just an American that has the subtext of being a Christian?

Now before anyone has a fit about my use of America in a "bad sense," try and see where I am coming from. I am not anti anything... I think. What I am trying to say and ask is are the actions that I do dictated by the teachings of Christ, or by what feels good to this American society? The last time that I checked is that God is the God of people before he is the God of a nation. And yes I do realize that he is powerful enough to "build and break kingdoms" but He, at least to me, is the God of ME before anything else. Sorry if I sound selfish about that. I really don't mean to be. What I am saying is that to myself, the most powerful connection between God and us is the one between Him and I. There, satisfied? That is what I was trying to say.

So what am I letting get in-between that relationship? Why do I constantly turn away from the thing that is supposed to be the most natural thing for us, and devote my time to what I seem to have been almost brainwashed with? I am speaking of this homogenized life that almost all of us subscribe to as Americans.

Here is an example: I go work (and this will sound very odd to you all) I go to work at midnight and immediately after I clock in, I have "down-time." There really isn't anything to do workwise. So the first thing I do after making sure everything is ok is turn on the TV. Why? Why is it my natural reaction to having nothing to do is to do nothing? Why don't I read? Why don't I do my homework? One could argue that it has more to do with "being lazy" or having "poor time-management" but I believe it goes deeper. I don't think that this is what God intended us to be.

A quote: "human beings were not meant to sit in cubicles and stare at computer screens all day"
-Office Space

Now I realize that I am being sort of ironic because I am typing this on a computer but I think that this rings true. We have gone so far from what we were meant to be that we forget what it was. Kind of like the huge RV with a satellite dish and microwaves and whatnot going camping. What is the point? Might as well go to a hotel.

I don't know. Sorry that I made you read all of this and then have no conclusion. I really am bothered my this. I don't think that God made his creation so we could buy McDonald's and sit around all day playing Halo and listening to our IPods while sitting in the middle of His creation. Where is the life that He wants me to lead. Is it here, being who I am now? I don't really think so. Leave me a comment. Tell me what YOU think. A human interaction moved by spirit. Sorry if I sound like a ranting hippy, trust me... That is not the idea. Ok, I have to go to class now.

"we were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?" -Switchfoot

Friday, January 27, 2006

yeah I know, I know...

Very soon, before you ask. Wait for the weekend.
For crying out loud, I've been sick and it's the first week of school!

If you want to talk to me more, go to my myspace.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

update (clever huh?)

So yes I am home. No I don't have pics 'cause I don't know how to work flikr. I guess you can go search flickr for vivalehoho but I don' t know.

SYC was fun and I saw a lot of cool people that I don't see enough of. I miss so many people.

I am working graveyards monday through friday for a few weeks so I am a little off when it comes to sleep.

Anyways I am giving my very first sermon ever (in front of the whole church) on the 22nd.

So for those of you who only see me on here click on my myspace page and add me as your friend. HERE

Ok Hopefully I will have those pics soon, Much love and I'll talk to you soon.