Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Community and its Workers

So I talked to Chase, who is the awesome person that gave me a chance in his studio back when I recorded that first demo to take to HM with me, and he's going to get me back in to record the entire album that I'd like to get pressed by mid-month. I know I've said this two million times over the last eight months (holy crap I can't believe it's been that long), but it's actually going to happen. I got a couple tour offers (which I'm excited about) for July and on, and I want to have something to take out with me. 

I realize a spoken word CD shouldn't be as complicated as I'm making it, and it will probably be a lot less than what I've talked it up to be for me, but I'm excited about it. So there it is. Expect some new recordings and posted dates to be up around the middle/end of next month. I'm excited to finally get out on the road with some people. We'll see how the rest of people that don't live in my hometown respond. 

The church that I'm in love with in ABQ - City on a Hill - is going to become a satellite campus for Mark Driscol's Mars Hill officially in July. It's kind of a bittersweet thing, because I love the pastor here, but in all honesty, I fell in love with Driscol's pastoral abilities last year and have been listening to him ever since. But I'm finally getting plugged in there, which is something that I've wanted to do for years (literally, unfortunately), but haven't because I've been following my girlfriend around to other churches that she's more interested in. Not to say that's a bad thing, the Lord can work through whatever means necessary to speak into our lives, and I don't believe it's about the place anyway, and I think that making a mutual church a part of our relationship is more important than which church it is. However, I've felt the Lord pulling my heart towards City on a Hill since I've lived here, and I'm very excited to finally call it home. 

The other day Bruscas (the pastor now) did this teaching on how God will hold me responsible for what I do (and don't do, for that matter). And in what I do, I may very find myself screwing up everything, but God is sovereign in those imperfections, and he has the ability to transcend all decisions and - essentially - make all things good for those that love him. And if I allow him, God will heal me. Here's a couple things that I pulled out of that:

Don't let your hearing become dull, don't let your heart become calloused. And let the question, "AM I RECONCILED TO GOD?" be a question that keeps me awake at night. 

I thought this was an interesting point to make, because I just listened to this teaching by Driscol that was about Proverbs and the heart, and how all things flow from the heart, and how simple it is to let my heart become calloused, which causes an outflow of sin that is a direct result of my insufficiencies, and unable to be blamed on anyone else. 

And that is interesting, because both of these teachings were about community. Driscol said that "there is a direct result between the condition of the human heart, the living of the human life, and the forming of human cultures." And we want our culture to reflect the kingdom of God among us. And how do we know that the kingdom of God is among us? Bruscas said the picture the Bible paints of this community is one composed of rightness among us. Of loving and treating each other in right relationship, which will result in joy. 

And all of this reminded me of a book called Sex God by a dude name Rob Bell, and he said simply:

"With every decision that we make, we are either inviting heaven or hell to earth."

And somehow that line has always stuck with me and I've always thought that was beautiful, because it's so simple, and it seams like such a wonderful, understandable concept in light of where we are to be in relation with our hearts, relationships and communities. 

I don't know if any of that makes sense at all, or if I just rambled on for a very long time, but somewhere in my head I think that these things came together in some sort of way that flicked the switch on a light-bulb that I've forgotten about, and I'm excited and thankful to Jesus for that. 

There is work to be done. 
I am a worker,
and God has gifted me with the responsibility
of working as unto him.

And the harvest is great, 
but the workers are fighting.
But I want to participate 
in the advancement of the kingdom of God. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So Long, my Lord

So long as we are lost in the shadows

            Your memory will fade into the ash beneath our feet.


So long as we wallow in our self importance

Your pricelessness will be buried beneath our egotistical mindset.


So long as we sink in our pocketfuls of power

Your golden streets will relinquish beneath the hierarchy of our currency.


So long as sameness defines our acceptance into society

Your uniqueness will be doused in the fumes of our cultures’ favorite hair dye.


So long as morality is drowned in the perversity of the latest fashion

statement Your purity will do the same.


So long as Your gift is mistaken for reward

Your death will lose all meaning in the regulations of religiosity.


So long as we remember ourselves

            You will be forgotten.


So long, my Lord.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oh The Blood

One of my best friends - Gage Speas - left ABQ yesterday morning to move to Kentucky to join the band "Oh The Blood" ( Be sure to check those guys out. It was funny - me and all my friends just acted all pissed at him and told him we hope his dreams fail so that he comes back home to us. Haha. I'm super excited for him - chasing those dreams. The Lord is opening doors for him, and I'm happy that he's walking through them. 

The tour that I booked is finally over. It ended this previous Thursday. Good God, those last couple of months were probably the most stressful times I've ever encountered with that tour, among other things. In the Midst of Lions are incredible guys, all of them - ITMOL, All Or Nothing, In Separate Cities and Tristan Betrayal - all incredible guys. I appreciate all of them so much for going out on the VA Tour. (We're friends... if you ever read this, thank you, you guys are beautiful people.)

I started reading Searching for God Knows What by the notorious D. Miller for probably the second or third time this last week. That book (other than the Gospel) is probably the most influential book that I've ever read in regards to my spiritual "walk" ("Christianese") and overall forming of opinions about my relationship with God, and other people, for that matter. 

Anyway, so there's that. And I've been learning some new stuff and re-learning some old stuff through that. Pretty much, I picked up that book because I don't even know where to start in the Bible, which is what I'd like to be excited about reading, but I'm just not. 

Or, I wasn't. But I picked up Proverbs last week and I'm still not thrilled about it, but it's growing on me and honestly it's just completely stupid how relevant that book is when you pick it back up again. It's like - okay - what am I going to read? Pick up Proverbs. 

Gain wisdom. 
Listen to good counsel.
Pay heed to your parent's insight.
Stay away from the immoral woman. 
Accepting correction. 

Okay cool then well how's about we speak directly and forcefully into all of the exact places that would probably be fantastic for me to learn about? Freakin' A. But you know I can't help but smile about stuff like this. I'm not a big believer in the whole "well for my personal Bible studies I just close my eyes and flip the Bible open and point and then read for five minutes from there" - but it was cool knowing that the Lord had something to say to me and he guided me there when I didn't know where to start. 

So my car's broken down right now. I need a new battery, I think, but I can't afford a new battery, so I'm investing in used Craigslist bike tires and I'm going to get in shape which is a lot better than driving anyway. I am going to tour this summer. I don't know how. I want to pull a little hobo thing for a while and hitchhike around and travel - I think that I would just like to split, basically. I'm working on some new material and have talked to a couple people about throwing down some recordings for the demo (which I'm probably going to have to go into debt to do, but what artist doesn't, right?) and getting that out. Top priority. TOP. (Other than rent...)

Veil Arms is going well though. We have A Plea for Purging and whole bunch of amazing bands on that package this... uh... Tuesday. At Telos House. If ya'll would like to come down that would be fantastic. I'm really excited about that show. 

So this poem came out of my Proverbs readings:


...said vipers! tigers!
reassemble, rearrange!
(i long to live as a lion so i violently tuff up my mane)
oh high king of heaven,
my victory won!!
(but i could still taste the soot in my lungs
when that chorus was finally sung)
i called you so often, but you never came
i reached out to you! but you paid no attention
and as wisdom shouts out into the noisy streets
i will cusp my ears tight in stubborn pretension
("how terrible for you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans")
BARREL LOADED!!! (to your brother...)
Abel! run for cover!
if you tilt, i tilt your world in my hands -
take up my life with fraud and violence, and serpent i will meet your demands!

bag lady, you know I heard you sing and
(or rumor has it) you believed in me
...and december's finally set me free... 
(but Mary! i've forgotten just what it means to breathe!)
and as she held baby jesus so very closely (to her bosom, to her soul)
i will cling tightly to my demons in the dark and imagine what it's like
to be

singers, did you feel the ground shake beneath you
when your mustard seed fell deep in dark soil?
but i called out "TORTURE!" amongst the scoffers
(and though the ground is once more fertile)
i recoil...

...I RECOIL!!!...

and as his mother's blood begins to boil,
(and as we pollute god's lips with gin and oil)
i've ne're witnessed such turmoil

as when his heart reflected mine! (and, oh, on that note, my god died)

be the change!
said mother, father,
brother, sister, son, daughter,
i come to you (the porno pauper) with understanding in my open hands
and a tired knowledge in my eyes
(if this beauty is so sacred, how does it sell so fast?) 
i still remember the first time i died ... 
-and oh so unknowingly- gave it a second try

and somewhere amongst this mishap i was allowed to survive

be the change, said angels, demons,
reassemble, rearrange!
i long to live as a lion
so i study him studying me violently tuff up my mane...