Wednesday, November 30, 2005

video. U2. atlanta on the 19th. mmmm, good.

don't know if anyone is interested, but here's two tunes from the U2 show on Nov.19:
full video with good sound...

with or without you

bad - the finale

oh, and another pic:

the best day evah.

this morning was one of the best of my life.
without a doubt.

t.c. and i spent the morning listening to the heartbeat of our 3-inch-long-and-growing baby!
we have been a bit spooked, aprehensive, anxious, scared, you-name-it, because of the mutlitude of health problems that inhabit our families - and the prayer warriors have been running strong - but today, we feel nothing but joy.

there should probably be restricitions on how many whitby's there can be in the world, as we're a pretty strange bunch, but somehow we slipped past the procreation guards and have ourselves a swimmer!

everything looks healthy, and t.c. is feeling pretty good. now we just have to wait till june to meet her/him...
is it june yet?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

the methodist men of west blvd. know how to rock

i spent last night with my wife at the monthly gathering of the methodist men at the united methodist church that sits next to our house. it was their annual christmas program. there was barbecue, carol singing, prayer requests and a trio of senior lady singers. all-in-all, the same emeeting could have happened in 1968 - with no changes or difference.
there was no evidence of any technology, save for a microphone that probably dated to the mid-70's, and the youngest people in the room [besides my wife and me] were all pushing 70.
tami and i were there to play a few songs from the warehouse242-style of worship - a sort of exchange of methods. we did three very stripped-down and acoustic tunes that would be regulars in our worship environment. while they were pretty quiet tunes, it was obvious VERY quickly that we were waaaay outside the norm and comfort zone for these folks.
but that's where the surprises came. two big surprises. one that i could have anticipated, [therefore not a surprise, i guess], and one that really took me aback. seriously - the surprise was in the simplicity.
the first surprise: even though TC and i were offering tunes that were incredibly foreign to these 80-year-old christians, and they were completely unfamiliar with the format, there was an incredibly warm response. there were shaky feet tapping, heads nodding, and a woman in the back in tears. the response was not the polite accommodation that i had anticipated. there seemed to be an honest and earnest desire to engage. afterward, nearly every person there spent time with tc and me to express their appreciation and - more importantly - remark on some element of one of the specifics of the songs. these folks - that are my grandparents' age - truly connected to what we were doing, and seemed to understand the different style we work within.
the second surprise: as a christian who calls a very post-modern, emerging, first-church, rock'n'roll place my worship home, i have become a bit wrapped up in the thought that the post-modern movement is here to save the church for the future. shallow, i know. self-centered, for sure. real? hardly. the second surprise was that these old folks - folks that have been committed christians for longer than i've been alive - really invest in and enjoy their 1880's style of worship and gathering. this antiquated style that i have been sure is way out of date and completely irrelevant, is incredibly vibrant for them. the hymns of john wesley are every bit as living to them as the next incredible tune by david crowder is to me. they don't need to 'freshen' anything up. they have found God where he has shown himself to them - and they have felt no desire to twist that experience to fit something they are not.
i realize that this is really what we're trying to do, too. BUT, that we are only ONE element of the body. only ONE part of His coming and engaging us.
these 85-year-olds really rocked as they sang 'it is well'.
will we be able to say the same?

Monday, November 21, 2005

the second row U2 experience

so this is what it looks like to be in the second row of a U2 concert.
the weekend in atlanta was fantastic. we had general admission tix to see U2. my wife has never seen them live, and i have only seen them once, in spite of the fact that i have nearly 100 recordings of them in concert.
we weren't able to wait in line all day, so we were all prepared to stand way in the back of the GA section on the floor. we figured that they'd still be great "seats" and we would just soak in the experience. little did we know how cool the experience could get!!
all GA tix are scanned when you enter the arena for random selection of a few hundred fans to stand "in the elipse" - the best view in the house. the stage the U2 uses has a circular walkway that runs out from the main stage about 100 feet. inside that circle is a randomly-chosen group of people that get to see the whole show from the FRONT line.
the four of us went through the scanning process, and the three ahead of me were not selected for the eleipse. but my ticket scanned "V" for vertigo - i felt like Charlie finding the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
the V scan entitled me to take one person in the elipse with me, but an unbelievably sweet security guard heard us talking about how to meet up with our friends afterwards, and she managed to get them V wristbands, too!
so we wound up - ALL FOUR - in the elipse. it's standing-room-only in there, and we staked out our ground about three feet from the stage directly in front of the edge's side. you can see from the pic just how close we were!
the concert was great. they put on amazing show, and the music remains challenging, broad, glowing, and energizing.

can't wait to see them again here in charlotte.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

U2. Inside the Elipse. 2nd Row.
Just no way to describe the experience!

Friday, November 11, 2005

death by caffeine

sitting here in St.Arburck's, there's some irony to this, but, plain and simple - it's just funny.
looks like the coca-cola won't kill me today, but it just might tomorrow...
Death by Caffeine

Monday, November 07, 2005

how we get people there.

Over at Amanda's Spot, there's an interesting post on the search for truth as idolatry. It's never too late to hear a new good perspective - especially from someone who works with youth, who can very easily get caught up in the cult or idol of who Christ is, instead of the pursuit of the actual person.

Amanda writes:
"His way is narrow and foolish. His way is confusing...he tells you to pick up a sword but then you get in trouble for using it. His way is offensive...he tells you to eat his flesh; or to be more true to the Greek, to gnaw on his flesh. Jesus is not the logical conclusion."

As I've been plowing through my new role on the staff of my faith home, I've come into direct contact with so many incredible perspectives on how we seek God on a daily basis. How we actually try to find Him. How we try to touch Him. How we try to experience Him in a way we can understand.
And therein lies the beauty of a fully God MAN. A person. He - who is really beyond our scope in every way - found the simplest way for us to interact with Him. To find Him.

He is a person. And that is who we seek. The person is the path to Him. And that path can be so simple that is actually difficult to comprehend.

My question then becomes, how do we, as emerging, post-modern, neo-acts, first-church, whatever-you-wanna-callit communities answer the call to lead normal people - the folks who have no idea who He really is - to Him in a genuine and creative way? What does it look like?

I love the way that UBC in Waco uses its direct connection with great music - a true leading competency for them - to show people beauty.

What are the best examples you have seen?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

embrace the dork within [aka magic music]

i love my wife. there's TONS of reasons that contribute to making this a simple fact, but let me outline just one.
for my birthday, she bought me tix to see the david crowder band in greenville, nc. the show was last night, and even though we had to drive nine total hours [4.5 each way] to see it, i have never encountered a more profound music experience.

now don't get me wrong, i've got a pretty solid frame of experience. i'm not a part of the christian music ghetto that only has amy grant, steven curtis chapman, and stryper concerts as my point of reference. i've seen coldplay [X&Y], U2 [elevation], nickel creek, donnie & marie, and the original genesis live. i have been to the mountaintop of live music. i have walked away from shows before saying WOW, THAT WAS FRIGGIN AMAZING.

but last night, i learned a little bit about what is possible with music.

david crowder has gone to the essence of who he is, and has been built to be from step one. as my beloved younger brother has told me for years: "embrace the dork within." david crowder has done so, and he has turned it into magic.
if you've never heard his stuff, seek it out. before you trash the thought, give him a chance.

and always remember, in bluegrass, you clap on the chuck, not the boom, of the boom-chuck.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

the language of a broken rib

ok, I need to admit my rising obsession with the weblog community called metafilter. it's basically a big collection of people that think they know the answers to everyone else's questions - and are willing to offer it without any reservation [or research, often].

there's actually some really solid questions and answers on here, especially in terms of quick lernin' [philosophy] or pop culture [ringu] or plenty of tech stuff. solid answers that sometimes are even right!

but the aspect of this brain candy that really intrigues me is wrapped up pretty well in this post: how much does a broken rib hurt?. [watch out for flying language...]
in short, we can witness a group of people attempting to agree on what it feels like to have a broken rib, and also diagnose whether someone's rib is broken - over the internet. simply put, it's pretty impossible to actually compare how much something hurts among people that have no other knowledge of each other. the "how much does it hurt" [what does 'a lot' mean] or "what does it feel like" part of the conversation just devolves into an unsolvable volley of opinions - all of which are valid, but not all of which make sense or come from the same origin or background of experiences.

i work in the land of post-modern christianity, and i love every changing day. my actual job usually revolves around integrating creativity, music, art, design, and all types of madness, into engaging and relevant worship gatherings. there is simply nothing about my job that i don't love. BUT... i find it interesting how often i find myself in conversations that are, essentially, "broken rib" questions. we all understand the concept of pain, but we all have different experiences that define it for US - and it is nearly impossible to communicate or understand the other side.

we all approach faith, and our interaction/service, from different and wildly divergent backgrounds, and this shows up in the ways we define who we are in faith, and how we believe others should define our interaction. these conversations are beautiful, but can be incredibly tangled in humanity.

well, sometimes we probably just need answers like this: witty songs