Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nothing to Say

I don't have much to say - but I wanted to be a current

This week's highlights:
  • Leading worship for junior high students at camp - playing with my brother is fun!
  • Looking forward to a weekend away
  • Reading "Walking on Water" - Madeline L'Engle
  • Hanging out w/ Melissa in the evenings
  • I cleaned my office a bit yesterday
  • 2 mix CDs from Josh - my music collection just got LOTS cooler - I love the hidden track on the new Coldplay CD - "Til Kingdom Come" - and I need to listen to more Patty Griffin and Damien Rice


  • My church computer randomly dying this morning
  • Trying to jump up and down w/ the junior highers - not my thing
  • Heat+humidity=nappy hair

Boring post - but noone reads this yet, so no worries!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Willow Creek Arts Conference

Just got back from 4 full days at the Willow Arts Conference. I thought it might be a good idea to process a bit.

I love going up there - and I know why. I can just take in all these creative things - and have good discussions with other people I'm in ministry with all year long.

Best things:
  • The morning with the Nichole Nordeman concert and John Ortburg preaching. They were both very genuine - and very obviously using their gifts to God's glory. John O talked about the book of Job - and being in a spiritual winter. He re-iterated the need to acknowledge pain and suffering in our services. Good stuff...deep stuff.
  • Briefly getting the chance to thank Nancy Beach - she's very genuine. I admire that.
  • Seeing WC's new auditorium. Awesome. Although I was again thankful that we do not use I-Mag in our services. Noone's face should be that big...but especially mine.
  • I love going to the sessions where they show us things they've done in their services or different artsy things. I don't think it's showy - I love seeing it and it makes me think of 1000 other ideas.
  • Gene Appel's message Friday morning about costly love. I doubt I can do it justice in an explanation...but realizing that I cannot think more highly of myself than anyone else. Christ died for the world and loves the world.
  • Getting a surprise visit from Melissa and Kira. I have great friends.
  • Coming back with new ideas and fresh energy.

Pesky, lingering thoughts:

  • I don't want to put Willow on a pedastal and try to be just like them - but I also don't want to look at them overly-critical or belittle their ministry. I'm on the outside looking in - and I'm just grateful for their hearts for God and His kingdom. Is that okay?
  • Where is the balance in worship between giving glory to God and putting our attention on Him and ministering to people and connecting their lives with God's story? Can we do both, or are we bound to favor one at the expense of the other?
  • What does moving worship "forward" really mean? When people are trying to do that, what are they really trying to do?
  • One word: copyright. Enough said.
  • I HAVE to make some friends outside these church walls. Non-Christian friends, specifically.

Glad to be home. And there's plenty of summer left.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I ::heart:: NY

Tonight at church the group of us who went to Brooklyn last March talked about our trip. Even though it's only been a few months since we've returned - it was amazing to see how talking about the trip and that area stirred up very strong feelings and thoughts. Nostalgic in a way.

I loved visiting Park Slope (Brooklyn neighborhood) - and God did cool things in many of us during that trip.
  • I love urban areas - and it always amazes me that God knows ALL of these people as well as He knows me. I always wonder if I could live in an urban area.
  • People in Park Slope have really strong perceptions of Christians - primarily political (which I don't think politics is bad - but it's definitely not the central theme of Christianity!!) and close-minded. I know the team out there is trying to break those stereotypes. How do I contribute to those perceptions here - how do I actively work against them?
  • As we walked around the neighborhood, prayed for people, served people, and talked with people - my heart and eyes began to see things from a Kingdom perspective. I need to do that here in Springfield - and am glad that we're going to try this summer (
  • I want to go back there. Maybe this summer.
  • God put together a random group of young people to go on this trip - and did really cool things in community.

Now I'm off to play in the LAST "Sound of Music" show at the Muni - por fin. It's been good, but ready to be done.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


I was talking to several people this past week about how my thoughts about worship are constantly being challenged and stretched. It has been confirmed by my friends that I am a dork for reading the Christian Standard on a regular basis. I'm okay with that! This past week's issue had some articles on worship - one in particular was really good: Exploring Biblical Worship by Knofel Staton.

An excerpt:
"God does not want worship that includes him, but intentionally or unintentionally excludes a certain category of people. What is happening on the platform that includes or excludes people in the pews? Whom we exclude in the sanctuary, we will eventually ignore in the streets.
Each congregation is God’s personal vehicle for transporting his Trinitarian nature and interpersonal relationship within the Trinity to others. Every aspect of the early church’s worship in the New Testament enhanced unity amid diversity. Early Christians were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, which stresses unity amid diversity; to fellowship, which is sharing partnership with others in spite of diversity; to breaking of bread, a meal of unity; to prayer for one another; to generosity that crosses economical differences (Acts 2:42-45); and to baptism that incorporates diverse people into God’s new community. "
And then the standard question - HOW DO WE DO THAT?
Unity among diversity. What does it look like when a church is thinking about other peoples' needs before their own? How much unity is possible? This is much deeper than worship styles. Special events where churches and different groups come together are good - but what does it really look like to be unified for the sake of the Kingdom?