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My Worship Revolution I lead a missional community of faith in Santa Cruz, CA. I am a husband, dad, musician, speaker, performer, community catalyst and dreamer. Welcome to the conversation.

12 March 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Kony 2012 – Lesson #1

Unless you were living under a world wide web rock, there’s a good chance you heard about Kony 2012 last week.
If you missed it, here’s the video that caused quite a stir.
I recommend checking it out.  Well worth the 30 minutes.

This week, I decided to share a blog series on some things I learned or reflections I pondered as a result of the video and all that surrounded it.
And the first one has absolutely nothing to do with kids in Africa, Invisible Children, or Joseph Kony…

Lesson #1: Facebook Can Be Toxic To My Soul

For reason’s I’ll get into later in the week, I liked the video, I liked the cause, and I am a supporter of Invisible Children.
As with anything that happens these days, everyone has their own opinions.  And they aren’t always friendly in how they communicate them.
I spent a good portion of my online time last week commenting on negative posts about the video.  I felt like I had this need to defend them.
Not every post that disagreed with them was rude, so don’t assume that cause I commented on your status I think you’re a jerk.  Different opinions are OK.
Again, I’ll get into that later in the week.

But with all that it became clear how emotionally taxing something as stupid as being on Facebook was for me.
Now don’t hear what I’m not saying!
I’m not saying that Facebook itself is toxic.
As with most any tool, it can be good, or it can be negative, and most of the time it’s a little of both.
But for myself, I kinda reached my limit.
So I decided I’m gonna get kinda crazy.

I didn’t give anything up for Lent or anything, but hey…better late than never.
So I’m gonna take a break from Facebook til after Easter.
Would probably be smarter this year if I just took a break til November 7th!

Now there are a few small exceptions…

  • Messages
    There are people who contact me through Facebook or that I can only reach by Facebook.  I’ve reconfigured my notifications so I’ll get an email of any messages I get through Facebook.
  • Blog Posts
    I’m not taking a break from social media, just Facebook.  That’s the one for me personally right now that seems to suck my time and energy away.  I may still Twitter on occasion.  I’ve disconnected my Twitter from Facebook for this time so you won’t see them there.
    I plan to return to being a better blogger during that time, and the reality is hardly anyone comes over here from the RSS feed anymore.  So I’ll keep it posting on Facebook to let people know when I post.  But I’ll mention on each one, don’t comment on it at Facebook.  You won’t get an answer, at least not til April 9th.  Comment right here on the blog and let’s chat together here.
  • Work/Ministry Pages
    I may use it on occasion just to update things I need to for Missio Dei Community and CYT.

There ya have it.
Facebook, see ya in about a month.

15 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Improv – World’s Worst…

Every Thursday for the next couple months I’m teaching an Improv class for CYT.
Basically I get to laugh, have fun, and play improv games with 25 13-18 year olds every week.
This class serves as an audition for the Improvathon team, which I will most likely be coaching in the Spring.  Then we get to go to San Diego in the summer to compete against teams from other CYT’s across the country.

So it occurred to me as I was getting ready today to include you in the class every so often to keep it interesting.
Today we’re talking about creating a character.
One of the exercises I will do with them is Worlds Worst… (you may have seen a version of this on Who’s Line Is It Anyway and that should hopefully help a little).

So here’s where you come in.
Leave me a suggestion of a verb, hobby, or profession.  They then have to act out a character that is the world’s worst example of said whatever.
Remember, they are 13-18.  So keep it clean. ;)
I’ve got a coulpe hours, so ready…go! 

 

 

 

 

 

14 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Most Powerful Images Of 2011

I’m a firm believer that we live in a culture that communicates through stories and images nowadays.
One of the problems when we just try to get our message and mission across by spitting out facts.
Saw this link of the 45 most powerful images of 2011.
WOW!

Which ones are your favorites? 

23 October 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Thinking Of Eisley Today

Every so often an event happens that gives me perspective.  Reminds me about true priorities.
One of those happened last weekend and it’s been on my mind all week long.
It didn’t happen to us, but a family we know who grew up at the church we came from here in Santa Cruz.

Early on after having Caleb I remember thinking about what it would mean to really hold him and my family open handed.
I wanted to be able to trust God no matter what, but when I saw that kid and fell in love with him I knew how hard that would be.
I asked myself if I could fully surrender him to God.  Would I be OK if God took him from me.
Last weekend some friends of mine had to actually come face to face with that reality.

That’s Scott and Stephanie.
And their daughter Eisley.
Eisley turned 3 a couple weeks ago.
Then last sunday morning, she just didn’t wake up.
The memorial service is in Costa Mesa today and they have been on my mind all week.

It is a sobering reminder that NONE of us are promised tomorrow.
Several times this week I’ve hugged my kids a little tighter.
The other night I checked on them before going to bed, and took a moment to feel Caleb’s breath on my face and breathe in the smell.
I’ve taken a little extra cuddle time with Micah on the couch watching Umi Zumi, even though I knew I should get back to work.

It’s also been pretty awesome to see the outpouring of love for their family from their faith community.
There has already been over $25,000 collected to help them pay for all the expenses that are coming.
Click here to check it out, and consider helping them out too.
And if you’re the prayin type, please say a couple for them this week.

And go love harder, hug more, and appreciate the people around you.
They’re worth it.

18 October 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Not Too Extreme Home Makeover

There used to be a time when Rachel would reference people to my blog or grab my pictures to post.
She is now way more diligent on her posting so I’m having to flip that around.
Oops.

So if you don’t follow her and didn’t catch her post on the house (you can go there for more pictures & details) we ended up buying back in April, here are some fun before and after pics of some of the work we did before moving in:

BEFORE                                                                         AFTER
 

  
  

      

Some future projects…

Most important one in order to get the house ready for adoption, and likely now an exchange student next semester – knocking out a wall to expand the downstairs bedroom and add a closet:

And this is the man-cave/brewhouse.  I will definitely get you some before and after pics inside, cause my future abode is gonna rock:

 

Oh yeah…and gonna do some work to turn that weed area into an actual lawn someday too.

So who wants to come over to do some drywalling, painting, and/or landscaping?! :)

 

 

 

20 September 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Gungor Gets Five Stars

Every so often I get emails asking if I want an album to review.  I often say no.  Partially because it’s just not what I want my blog to be all about.  Partially cause one of the things that drives me nuts about ‘Christian music’ (aside from the delineation in the first place, but that’s another post) is that it is just often sub-par.  (We do keep up better in music than in movies, but again, a whole different post.)

But when I got an opportunity to review the new Gungor album, Ghosts Upon The Earth (released today, 9/20), and have some giveaways (hint, hint…foreshadowing) I jumped on it.  Some of you may remember me posting about the first time I heard Gungor.  They play “liturgical post-rock” and blew me away as great musicians with great music and an incredible presentation.  So….after a such a great album before, I must admit I was a bit concerned that I might be disappointed, that they may not be able to live up to it.

I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case.

The day I got the CD, I jumped in my car to go some where and popped the disc in as soon as I could.  Right off the bat the album opened with beautiful, haunting guitar and piano notes, the female vocal adding the perfect added layer, followed by a choir building in.  I knew with half a minute that I was gonna dig it.  I love Gungor’s use of orchestration and interesting, progressive instrumentation.  Also, I’m not sure if they intentionally through compose their albums, but it is amazing how it all fits together and should really be listened to straight through as an entire movement.

One of the things I enjoy about Gungor is the use of great lyrics that communicate an abstractness that pushes envelopes of the typical, that are poetic, and that seem to contain an inherent depth.  The second song, Brother Moon, opening with some cool sounding woodwinds, “Brother Moon, shine down you light on us tonight / show us the love of God / Sister Sun, you bring out the day / you shine in the light of God on your face today…” and building to the chorus – “In you we live, in you we move, in you we have our being…”

Anyway, I’ll spare you going song by song, but there were a couple highlights for me as I listened through the album several times over the past week.  Church Bells is this haunting lullabyesque sounding proverb that forces me to stop and listen everytime, sometimes skipping back to the front of the track to take it in again.  “Let church bells ring / let children sing / even if they don’t know why let them sing / Why drown their joy / stifle their voice / just because you’ve lost yours.”  Love songs that make me think, and I must admit, I feel like each time I listen to this song I’m confronted with my own jadedness.
It then transitions perfectly into a tension filled opening of Wake Up Sleeper, a more prophetic proclamation of the Kingdom type of song – “Rejoice all you who are poor / the Kingdom is yours / the kingdom is yours / Rejoice you jaded and torn / both sinner & saint for the Kingdom is yours / Woe to you religious teachers rich and worshipping your book / woe to you who use His name to justify the souls you took / Wake up…”  video below

Finally, the end of the album builds to a very hope filled sound and heart, the highlight for me being You Are The Beauty.  The upbeat traditional folk sort of sound is awesome, with a killer banjo.  Kinda reminds me of an upbeat Irish bar song and is a celebration of creation and beauty.  Makes me wanna dance.

The Bottom Line

I love the versatility of Gungor and all the different types of songs that come in this one album.
They did a great job having that same sound I loved from the last album, but not being a copy of it at the same time.
The lyrics are inspiring, the artistry is impressive, and musicianship and instrumentation is crazy interesting and fun to listen to.
I wouldn’t call their music super accessible for most churches to use in a worship context, but that’s not really what I’m looking for these days.  I prefer listenability and musicianship.  (I realize those things don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but often times they are right now.)
Honestly, the first album I’ve heard in a while that I don’t have any sort of critiques or anything negative to say about.
Just go buy it…

OR…

I have 2 copies to give away!
I’m trying to get more in the habit of blogging, but it’s not that I’m so back on it that I just wanna drive a ton of traffic here.
So let’s try and do something useful.
It’s always nice to have some good music, and discover good stuff.

Leave a comment here or on the FB link to this post and let us know what you’re listening to that we need to hear.
Better yet, if it’s on YouTube or anything, leave us a link.
Any genre, any style, just give us all some stuff to check out and enjoy.
You have until 7am tomorrow morning.
I’ll pull some names from that pool of people tomorrow morning.
Then the rest of you can go buy it.

So…
What new music are you digging on right now that we need to check out?

 

 

 

16 September 2011 ~ 4 Comments

The Only Thing Better Than Hairspray

Art

So it’s been over  month since we closed, but in case you somehow missed it (not sure how you missed all my abnoxious posts on Facebook), this summer I had the opportunity to perform in Hairspray at Cabrillo Stage.
It’s the first time I’ve made the time to get back onstage in that capacity in about 5 years.
So it may be a bit overdue, but not getting anything up on the blog about it is not OK!  Thus, a quick rundown of some of the highlights of being a part of the cast this year…

  1. Sharing with others.  Most people around here know me in a ministry context or something, but I’ve been singing and dancing longer than I’ve known Jesus.  It was fun to share that part of me with some peeps.

  2. Curtain call.  OK, seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a musical where people went so nuts at the end.  Such a fun experience to be standing there at the end with people on their feet, whooping and hollering, and a lot of the time, still dancing!

  3. The talent.  Seriously…SUCH a talented cast.  Not gonna lie – I’ve had the chance to perform with a lot of amazing casts with a lot of people way more talented than myself.  So I am a bit of a snob about not wanting to be a part of a sub-par show.  My other cast mates were ALL amazing.  It was such an honor and a blessing to get to perform with them.  I love performing with people better than myself cause it pushes me to grow, learn, and do better, and I definitely learned from others around me doing this show.

  4. The artistic team.  Was so fun to watch Janie Scott direct and choreograph this show.  Such a great director and a blast to work with.  Great stage manager(s), music and vocal director, all around, a great crew of people at Cabrillo Stage.

  5. Just performing.  Haven’t seen the movie Chariots of Fire, but my spiritual director has shared with me this quote from the move a few times – “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. “  Great summary of what theater is for me.  So great to live that out.  Definitely feeds my soul.

  6. My family.  In a way this was the bummer part.  Putting up a production takes a lot of time and energy that takes away from the family.  But it was again a reminder of what an amazing, sacrificial, and supportive wife I have.  And I must admit, I may have had slightly misty eyes when Caleb came to the morning show and I’m standing on stage at the end of curtain call with Caleb standing in the aisle beaming, clapping, and yelling, “Yay daddy!!”

  7. The relationships.  Or should I say my extended family?  Aside from just being talented, the cast and artistic team for this show was full of amazing people!  Many of them I have continued to be in contact with over the past month and I consider friends.  So blessed to be introduced to so many great new people in our life because of the Cabrillo family.  Definitely, hands down, the best part of being in this show.  Thanks to everyone who made it such a special summer.

 

 

And the only thing better than Hairspray?
That’s me. ;)

(If you don’t get that, you don’t know the show.  Just roll with it.)

28 August 2011 ~ 5 Comments

Milestone – Year 1

It was a year ago today that I woke up to the phone call that my mom had passed away.

It’s been a tough weekend.
All in all, I haven’t necessarily thought about it much, but somehow I know the milestone is there and the emotions are just a little more raw.
I don’t feel it most of the day, but I also have trouble sharing the info without crying…and I HATE to cry.

It’s been a tough year.
It’s been a long year.  But at the same time, I look back and it feels like it’s flown by.
At some point I feel like I should have been past dealing with the loss and moved on at 100%.
But lately I’ve been more aware that some of the events of the past year have contributed to seasons of discouragement, even without me being aware of the cause. It’s just in there, and sometimes it effects me whether I like it or not.

And while it’s been the hardest year of my life, we’ve also had tons of blessings, especially so far in 2011.
I refuse to let the tough stuff outweigh how good God’s been, regardless.

All that to say, today has been a big reminder for me.
It’s a big deal to lose the one person who’s known you longer than anyone else in your life.
Today’s a bit of a reminder of that loss.
Everyone talks about the first year being the hardest, making it through all the firsts.
But it never totally goes away even after that.
And milestones like today are a good reminder to slow down and reflect just a touch.

Again…love ya mom.
Miss ya.

07 July 2011 ~ 1 Comment

Oregon Or Bust!

This is where I will be between 9pm-ish tonight and 9am-ish tomorrow morning.
One of Rachel’s best friends, Kari, gets married in Salem, OR this Saturday night.
Rachel’s the Matron of Honor.
The kids are ring bearers.
Which makes for a whirlwind weekend of travel for us.

Rachel is there.
Flew up on Monday.
Her mom flew here to help watch the kids while I work and rehearse this week. (Thanks Glenda!)
Glenda and I leave after I get out of rehearsal at 9pm to make the 11 hour drive (err…at least 12 hours with 2 midgets).
Rehearsal dinner Friday night, wedding Saturday night, and then I fly back early Sunday morning to get back for rehearsal 10-6 on Sunday and then Missio Dei Community at my house Sunday evening.
Rachel and her mom drive back and get in Monday.

Red Bull and 5 hour energy, get me through the all nighter on highway 5!
OK, so that to get me back to blogging…now to keep it up…

10 May 2011 ~ 0 Comments

The Monastery Of Parenting

Just read this as I was hanging out with Jesus this morning:

Joy or sadness, war or peace, love or hate, purity of impurity, charity or greed, all are tremendous realities which are the hinges of our interior life.  Everyday things, relationships with other people, daily work, love of our family – all these may breed saints.

Jesus at Nazareth taught us to live every hour of the day as saints.  Every hour of the day is useful and may lead to divine inspiration, the will of the father, the prayer of contemplation – holiness.  Every hour of the day is holy.  What matters is to live it as Jesus taught us.

And for this one does not have to shut oneself in a monastery or fix strange and inhumane regimes for one’s life.  It is enough to accept the realities of life.  Work is one of these realities; motherhood, the rearing of children, family life with all it’s obligations are others.

-From Letters From The Desert by Carlo Carletto

Most of us are not on the front lines, fighting poverty and living in third world countries.
Of course, this doesn’t absolve us from caring or doing what we can to make a difference.
But God has given you a job.
Or he’s given you a wife, kids, friends, family.
He’s put you somewhere in the world.
And he wants to use what we see as the mundane and redeem those minutes to make us more like Him.
He wants to use our jobs to bring beauty and meaning into the world.
He wants to use our parenting to grow us and to give us the opportunity to be disciplers.

Funny, when my kids are flippin out and I want to strangle them, I rarely think of those times as redeemable by God.  But God is using those little rugrats up there in my life.  That’s one of the calls on my life right now.
How is God using the mundane to make you more holy – more like him – today?