Miss this place…

I just realized it’s been over 3 years since my last blog post here.  Honestly I was surprised the site still existed or that I remembered my login info.  I’m glad I use the same info, despite the security experts advice 🙂

Why do I miss this place I wonder?  

Partly because I feel like it was mine.  My small and hard to find corner of the internet.  Created and curated by me and for me, about my life and interest.

Partly because it was private.  Yes as odd as that may sound on the public internet.  I can say what I think and feel without many people in the world caring to look at it.  

It was social for someone not wanting to be that social.  

It was just saying something for myself.  To get it out of my mind and off of my chest.

Not sure if I’ll be back or visit often.  But I do miss this place. 


I need a builder

So I was listening to the latest CD of one of my favorite bands the other day, Caedmon’s Call “Raising the dead”. The song “I need a builder” has really captivated me the last couple of days. I can’t find a link to it on YouTube but here’s the lyrics.

You can find it on itunes here… http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/raising-up-the-dead/id402316574

“down to the wire of words that aren’t said
and i’m building the pieces together in my head
to make a place i sleep soundly
a place i think clearly
oh, where do we go
where do we go from here

there’s a sign in the yard and a lump in my throat
a new plot of land and fresh lumber is in tow
two kids in their car seats and hope for our history
and letting it go
letting it go from here

i need a builder, a better design
a house with more windows and more ways inside

we’re leaving behind all that our parents wrote
we’re replacing the past and all our fathers’ hopes
with a new street address and a new bag of tools
to make room as we grow
room as we grow from here

we need a builder, a better design
a house with more windows and more ways inside”

It’s a great song, you’ve got to hear the music to appreciate it I think. I think it’s a sad song, but at the same time a hopeful optimistic song. A song that looks back with fondness, gratitude and appreciation for the lessons learned, love and support offered A song that makes you realize it’s time to let go and move on…because the house, the home, the space is not what the individual or family needs any longer. There’s not the space to grow. Not the openness, the freedom needed to invite friends or strangers over to have an enjoyable time.

So they’re moving on…looking for not another house, but a builder with a better design.

While mulling over this song I also stumbled across an interesting passage in the scripture ( 1 chron. 16 & 17). It’s the story of David bringing back the Ark of the Covenant to Israel and completely disregarding the law and tradition of his time. Instead of taking the Ark to the Tabernacle of Moses he places it in the center of a wide open tent in Jerusalem. Instead of offering daily sacrifices of blood at the hands of sanctified priest he offers songs of praise and worship from the hearts and lips of sanctified people.

And David survived. And it’s safe to say that David pleased God by what he did. For Later in the scriptures we are told…

“On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old (Amos 9:11)

When God makes things right, It isn’t the tabernacle of Moses or the magnificent temple of Solomon that will be rebuilt. It is the simple, spacious, open and inviting tent of David surrounded by those seeking the favor and presence of a holy God.

What did David know about God, worship, and community that we so easily overlook or disregard?

I can’t let go of the thought. “we need a builder, a better design. A house with more windows and more ways inside.”. The religious forms, traditions and institutions of our making are not enough. They are not complete. They never will be. Ironically even David was unsatisfied with his tent. He planned to build God a grand temple, but God said he had never wanted a “house of cedar”. God told David he would build his own house, with a son from his line and that his throne and kingdom would last forever.

I’m unsatisfied as well. I’m often troubled and saddened by the houses we have, the houses I’ve grown up in and even the house i live in now. But I do not lose heart, I do not forfeit hope. I’m putting my faith in the builder, the carpenter from Nazareth and trust he has designs for a better house, with more windows and ways inside. It’s my hope that he’s in the process of building it now.

Thoughts on Lost Finale

So I watched the series finale last night like I’m sure many other fans did.  It was a special moment for me I’ll admit.  I’ve been a huge fan of Lost over the years and to me how I ultimately would feel about the show was dependant on how it wrapped up.

I was able to watch the series finale with the people that mattered most to me, my daughter and son.  Ironically my son had never watched a single episode of Lost prior to the finale.  I think that he just wanted to be a part of something big and share the moment together with me and his sister.  We were glad to have him on board and only said one thing to him before the show started…No Questions!!!  He did pretty well and only asked about 20, which were all met with glares and silence.

I haven’t talked with anyone about this yet or read anything else, because I wanted to summarize how I felt first.  Which I’m stil walking through honestly.  Rest assured, I’l check out everything when I’m done with this post though.  And I reserve the right to come back and make some changes 🙂

So my thoughts on the conclusion… At first I didn’t know what to think.  In strictly practical terms the show did not provide the formulaic ending some had probably hoped for.  That is, they did not spend 2.5 hours going down a check list of questions providing answers.  Likewise, the show didn’t provide you with the nicely buttoned up and packaged ending either.  You know the kind that shows you what happened to everyone after the sland, how they spent the rest of their life. Everyone living happily ever after and such.

But the ending felt right… Lost was and has always been a story about people.  The Island, Dharma, Jacob, Smoke Monster, numbers, tunnels, Temples, Polar Bears, Ships, Planes, Submarines, flash backs flash forwards, flash sideways, and so on were all secondary to the people and their stories their relationships with each other.  All of those things were necessary tools and devices needed to move the story along and provide the backdrop, the framework for the stories of the losties to unfold.  But those things were never meant to obscure us from the meaning of the show.

Ah the meaning…. Was there a meaning?  I don’t know, I’m the kind of guy that tries to find meaning in everything.  So yes I think there was a meaning in Lost.  What I’ll take away from Lost is the value of relationships.  For the characters of lost, their time on the Island was both the best and worst time of their lives.  Every character was fundamentally flawed and broken in one way or the other and regardless of where they were (on the Island or off the Island).  Some of them were looking for hope, meaning and purpose in life.  Others believed that they were caught up in a cosmic game between chance and destiny.  Some of them achieved great things, some of them little at all.  Ultimately, none of those things mattered to them.  The thing that mattered most to them was the relationships they forged together through the experiences they shared.  In those experiences they fought with each other and fought for each other, they hated each other and loved each other, they lived for each other and died for each other.  In this life and in the after life the thing that mattered most, the thing that brought the most joy (and most pain – but how can you have one without the other), the only thing that had value, meaning, and purpose was their relationships with each other.

While I hated the flash sideways all season I was finally able to see the genius and beauty behind them.  While it’s certainly not good theology on the afterlife, it’s a great point.  In this life and the next the most important thing is the relationships we have.  Without the richness of relationships we are all Lost, whether on an isolated island in the middle of nowhere or amongst a thriving mass of people.

My favorite scene of the series has to be the one of Benjamin Linus sitting outside the church at the end of the show.  Ben and John have a great exchange, then later we see Hurley and Ben having a moment.  If there was one character that was relationally bankrupt on the show it was Ben.  Sure he oved, he had relationships with people but they were always with strings attached, or for ulterior motives.  Maybe it changed a little bit for Ben when he became the Island’s #2.  It was interesting that Ben was a part of the group at the end though wasn’t it?  He belonged there, though he really didn’t belong but he did belong.  Above and aside from everything else that Ben did or was a part of Ben was ultimately defined by the relationships of the people that surrounded his life.  His story, who he was was forever entwined with theirs.  It seemed he had made peace with it all.  Maybe he finally felt accepted, maybe he finally felt like part of the group or maybe he finally realized he truly was a part of something big.

And that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it What Lost is about.  Whether your Ben Linus die hard Lost fans like me and you from the beginning or like my Son at the very last.  Lost gave us the feeling that there was something big, powerful, mysterious and beautiful to be a part of.  I’m glad I was a part of it.  I hope you were too.

The Dichotomy of Worship

So I’m setting at home tonight, nothing really interesting to do so I decided to find some worship music to listen to.

There’s one favorite site of mine I go to when I want to listen to worship music. When I want to worship. The music is just the right vibe, just the right style for me. love it. I want to play and sing along. I want to do it just like that in my church.

Then there are the others. The others I cringe at. The others that make me sick, make me laugh. The others I turn away from as soon as possible.

There was one worship leader that reminded me of what a host from Branson, MO must look and act like. Then another from the South that reminded me of Keith Urban. Then yet another that had his wool knit cap and scarf on during the worship time, playing guitar the first song then switching to the rhodes organ for the second song. Doing his best to look like some indie/alternative worship leader.

I’m watching these people and I’m so judging them. Which I feel terrible about, but it’s entirely human I think. Which made me gasp… What do people think of me when I’m leading worship? Do they think… Oh this guy is the wanna be brooding rock star kinda guy, trying to sound a little like Aaron Lewis (Staind) or Mac Powell (third day) or Chris Tomlin. Then on other songs with a slight english accent of Tim Hughes or Mat Redman. Come one!

How does one separate the worship from the worshipper? Without knowing the worshipper, the worship seems a little false at times, pretentious, like a performance. After all the worship platform is the closest all of us wanna be Rock Stars will ever get.

But when you know the worshipper I think it’s different. The worship and the worshipper are intrinsically linked you cannot separate the two. If I knew the heart of Mr. Branson imposter, or Mr. Keith Urban or Bon Iver wanna be… I’m sure they love Jesus…maybe even more then me. And they are just doing they’re best to do music, worship God in a way that is real and genuine to them. If that’s the case and I would say it is for 99.9% of worship leaders. Then who am I to judge? There’s not really a right way, a wrong way, a better way…there’s just ways. Ways we worship, ways in which we seek to use our creative gifts and abilities to make music that moves us a little bit closer to our creator.

So MR/MRS worship person I’m sorry I hate your music, it’s not your fault it’s all mine. It’s just that I don’t know you, if I knew you I’m sure I’d hate your music less. And If I loved you, I would learn to love your music. Because your music is an expression of the unique person that God created you to be. So continue to do your best…Continue to Rock or Chorale or Southern Gospel or emo or trance or punk….oh you get the picture…Rock on!

Where to go from here?

Ran across a great quote today that sums up my life.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?”

     “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where.”

     “Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk.”

God’s Judgement

Just reading Isaiah 24 today.  The thought hit me…  What if everything that I’ve always been told about God’s coming judgement was really just God allowing us to reap what we’ve sown. 

God doesn’t need to burn up the earth, God doesn’t need to cause famines, catastrophes etc…  We’ve done a pretty good job of creating our own messes by forsaking the life that God wants us to live.  A life that is good for ourselves, good for our neighbors and good for our world. 

If the world is destroyed.  I don’t believe it would be by God’s doing.  It would be by us.

Jesus Messiah – Milan Vineyard

Here’s the second track from our CD. Manny Begley sings the lead on this one. The rest of the tracks are almost done and the CD should be out in a couple weeks.

Marvelous Light – Milan Vineyard

Here’s the first track from a CD our worship team is putting together. We made the CD to give away to visitors. Hope you enjoy.

Kris or Adam?

I’m still reeling in the euphoria of last nights AI finale.  Wondering if what I watched was real or staged (Much like Tattiana’s award situation).  Rueben – that was a great look.  LOL!

I read this article today and found it interesting.  I’m sure there’s a lot of people on both extremes of the fence day.  Really mad or Really happy.

Personally – I was really happy.  For the first time ever I actually voted.  (3 times for Kris).  My wife and I were taunting each other just before the results.  She was for the other competitor.  The loser.  I was for Kris.  The winner.

I’ll be honest, I fully expected Adam to win.  But I couldn’t let my wife know, so I held fast to my prediction of Kris stealing the crown from the would-be King.

When the announcement was made there was silence for what seemed like a half an hour in heaven my house.  We stared at the TV screen in disbelief.  I triumphantly shouted!

Reading the comments it seems like it was a love or hate thing for Adam.  It was like that for our household.  My whole family loved him.  I hated him.  To them Adam was the superstar and Kris was the adorable runner up.  I never saw it that way.

Don’t get me wrong.  Adam has a lot of talent.  I really liked about three of the songs he did on idol.  Usually the stripped back ones.  But he lost me with his constant screeching.  The first time he did it I was in awe like everyone else not many people can do that, but he never stopped.  Almost every song, he would jump off the melody and went two or three steps or octaves above (just because he could).  Note From Bono: “Simon – WTF was that!” I don’t blame Adam entirely.  Everyone, judges and fans encouraged him the whole way.  They practically handed him the title every week.  (which made detractors of Adam even more emboldened in their hatred).

What it came down to for me was two things:  Music Style and Performance Style

If I have the option of listening to a Kiss/Gun’s and Roses/Iron Maiden CD or a Seconhand Seranade/Daschboard confessional/John Mayer/James Taylor/Carey Brothers/etc… etc…  I choose the later every time.  I’m not a fan of heavy metal, hair band, eighties metal, screaming shouting rock.  I like the singer song writer, acoustic, laid back easy going songs that have feeling and emotion.

The second thing.  Every time I watched Adam I felt like I was front row at a show on the Vegas strip.  Or watching a modern version of the Rocky horror show.  It was a circus, a spectacle.  It was not real.  Never felt genuine. It didn’t seem to fit today.  If this was circa 1985 he wins hands down, but it’s not.  I felt like I was watching a guy made to be a broadway star trying to become a rock star.  After the entire season of watching AI, I feel like I know nothing about the kind of person Adam is.  I feel absolutely nothing for him.

Kris’ performance style was completely different.  (Not necessarily better)  I hope that’s clear for everyone I’ve completely pissed off right now.  But it’s the style that I liked, the style I would choose.  I feel invested in Kris.  Connected to Kris.  I feel like I know the kind of person he is.  I feel like he is the person you see on the stage and I like that.  He’s real.  He’s genuine.  I’ll never see him in Vegas.  Maybe not in a huge stadium.  But i could see him a small theatre in A^2 or maybe the DTE theatre.  I would enjoy sitting down with him over coffee.  Talking about life.  Playing the guitar.

So Kris or Adam?

And whose CD will you buy when it comes out?

Why I became a Mac fanboy (Windows 7, VNC issues)

So I just got a used PC from my brother-in-law, which I’m excited about.  I’m planning on using it as a media server.  Would love to hook it up to my tv and use the tv as a monitor.

I’ve loaded Windows 7 on it.  Which looks pretty slick.  But I’ve been trying to do a couple things with it that have me really frustrated. 

The main thing I want to do is enable screen sharing from my Macbook to the PC.  I’ve just about conceded that I won’t be able to use my HDTV as a monitor, but I don’t want to add another monitor.  I just want the PC to be a server and I want to be able to control it and make changes to it through my Macbook.

I’m having some problems.

On my Macbook it’s easy.  My Macbook actually has it’s own built in VNC client.  I go to my system preferences and turn on sharing.  Go to finder, connect as server, type in VNC://Whatever IP address is.  And it works.

Not so easy with my PC.  I started with the firewall/network settings.  Allowing certain things that I thought should be allowed to have access to work…nothing.  Then I basically allowed everything to have access…nothing worked.  Then I tried turning off the firewall…still nothing.  I’m at a loss.

I need someone to help me that knows a lot about setting up VNC on a windows PC.  I know it’s possible.  It probably isn’t that hard if you know what you’re looking for.  But once it again.  It’s for reasons like this that I switched to a Mac and I’m loving it.

If you think you could help me please leave a comment and contact info.