Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

If you've been around me for any amount of time, you've probably heard me complain about how little sleep I'll get that night, or how much time I don't have because I've been busy editing the new Witness album. Well after months of recording and working and not sleeping, I've finally finished a track from this CD and am posting it for all to hear. I won't be posting any more, because you are supposed to BUY the CD. My web server will be undergoing some maintenance soon, so you'd better listen to it now while you can. I'll even say you can save it to your computer and listen to it over and over again.

The song is an a cappella arrangement of a song by Sara Groves called The Word.

Only nine more songs to go.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Quote For The Day

In case you forgot to look for God in popular culture today, here are some words from a rock legend:

“Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s rebellion.”
- Alice Cooper

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Be Careful What You Pray For

Most of you know about the recent destruction of my only means of transportation and the great burden of sorrow it has brought to me. Well, looking back upon it, I can see the answer to prayer that it actually is. Let me take you back several months.

Before moving to Salem to plant a church, I was singing with an exciting, fun a cappella praise and worship group called Enterpraise, the very reason that I purchased some expensive, professional quality and sized speakers. One evening at an intense outdoor praise session (of which I was not present) one of the speakers began to make disgusting buzzing sounds on the low end of the frequency spectrum akin to that of a dying bird flapping its wings helplessly on a fiberglass sheet. Being the kind people they are, the leaders of Enterpraise decided to pay to fix this speaker and I proceeded to take the speaker into a shop to have it repaired.

Also during this time in late summer I was involved in several weddings, as seems to be the case for me over the past 5-6 years, none of which are my own. I was DJing a wedding of some friends for a very discounted cost, using my own equipment minus the broken speaker. One of the pieces of equipment was a small mixer being very useful for many applications and cost effective for it amount of uses. I had remembered I loaned it to a friend to use for an urban Portland church plant summer program, so I had to get it back. When I received it, one of the four channels had a horrible short in it, which I did not blame on them, for it was a cheap $50 mixer and I expected as much, however it still had three working channels, two of which I actually needed for the wedding. Upon completion of the wedding, I remember returning it to the church plant to complete the summer with the needed equipment.

Not long after this, I moved to a new apartment for a few months, waiting until I could finally move to Salem to work with some folks that one of my college professors hooked me up with through the church planting organization he started. In this process of moving and loaning out equipment I could not remember if I had received my mixer back from that summer. I also had not heard back from the shop with my speaker, but I did find out it was still under warranty and would cost me nothing to have it fixed.

One thing I can tell you about church planting is that there is no money in it. If you're looking for a job for the sake of making money, become a car salesman or work for the government. One thing on my mind since before I moved to Salem was how the heck I was going to pay rent and still be able to be involved in all of this talking to people and showing them the love of Christ (I know...go figure, church people being loving towards non-church people). I can tell you that my prayers have pretty much been seasoned with an idea of "Okay God, I moved here and don't have any money, but I have faith you'll provide, so I could use a little more reassurance a little bit sooner than the 4th of the month to pay rent". Come the end of this month, pretty much all of the fundraising support I have received has been wrung dry and I am running on fumes, and then the unthinkable happened: my car, my only means of getting around Salem and to and from Portland was smashed and totaled. "Thanks a lot God, you know I need that car!" was my first inclination, but God thinks much further ahead than me, and He's much smarter.

Before that, I had already gotten my speaker back, but it took the company I bought it from months longer than it should have, so the coffee house ministry we started at church was only using one speaker (which is pretty much all we need anyway, but I digress) and I was greatly inconvenienced. What if I had another wedding to DJ?! Well just last week, I got a call from the shop saying that Mackie had sent a mixer for making me wait so long for the speaker parts. Not only was it three times more expensive and better than my old one, but it was a direct answer to prayer and necessity for Summit.

Back to my beloved Saab, being squished to undriveable status, my claim was actually resolved quite quickly in spite of the person who hit me giving bogus information and disappearing into the night. All I know is I got the money for my car, and the authorities are now trying to track her down. My prayers for money were still not answered, because now I was going to have to take the $3100 I got for my Saab and try to find a new vehicle and still attempt to pay my other bills. Not three days later, my sister called me telling me that a professor at Cascade College was selling her old car for $650. On the way up to a wedding I was in that weekend (see...I've been in a LOT of weddings) I was dropping off Kori's cousin's car that she was returning after her cousin, who has been stationed in Japan for the past 3 years for the Navy, was returning back to the States and is being stationed in Whidbey Island, where my brother happens to be a youth minister at a church. I stopped in Portland to look at the car for sale and here is what i found: a silver 1991 Geo Prizm with 191,000+ miles on it, except the engine was actually only 3 years old with about 60,000 miles, with many of the parts being replaced along with that engine. She lowered her price to $550 and I bought it on the spot, to pick it up on the way back home to Salem, and leaving me with $2500 to pay bills and continue with this work in Salem I've jumped into.

My prayers continue to be answered. They may take days or years, but they still are answered, and not necessarily even close to what I expect them to be. All I can say is God is faithful and can do anything, so be careful what you pray for, you may just get it and lose everything in the process!

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ ~Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My New Friend, Bebo Norman

Ok, so all I did is see Bebo Norman play a small live acoustic concert at the Cascade College All-School Retreat. We're not best friends, but I still got to meet him and whatnot. Don't be hatin', he's a cool guy and his music is good.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I Guess We Must Be Careful What We Say

Apparently people have been fired for blogging about their jobs and workplace. One flight attendant was fired for posting a suggestive picture about herself in her work uniform. So what are the limits of free speech?

Fired For Blogging

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Saab Hath Been Crushed

Some kind lady recently moved here from Tennessee and decided to turn left into me from a parking lot as I traveled down the street yesterday. See for yourself: