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"Worship Me, for only this great gift can set you free from the killing love of self, and prick your fear with valiant courage to fly in hope through moments of despair. Worship will remind you that no man knows completeness in himself. Worship will teach you to speak your name, when you've forgotten who you are. Worship, therefore, at those midnights when the stars hide. Worship in the storms till love makes thunder whimper and grow quiet and listen to your whispered hymns. Worship and be free." -- Calvin Miller
[..52 songs in 52 weeks..]
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[..archive..]

:: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 ::

I'm not quite dead!

Hey everyone... it's amazing how not having comments working on the site has completely eliminated my desire to write anything. I am in the process of getting them back up and running. Apparantly a few enetation users have had their comments disappear for some reason and they are in the process of getting them back up and running. I would hope to have them working again within the week. I was actually considering switching to another comment provider but man... the thought of losing all those comments is almost unbearable. Anyway, as soon as those are up and working, I'll get back to blogging a bit more regularly.


:: greg 1:46 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, December 20, 2004 ::

Wha???

I can't figure this out but my comments are gone... can't figure out how to get them back. Any ideas? Oh wait, you can't comment!

:: greg 10:59 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, December 13, 2004 ::

Live from New City...


Just in case there's anyone who has listened to my songs who would actually like to see me sing one, here's a couple of videos of two songs from my show at New City the other night.

Connor's Lullaby Live @ New City Cafe
Talkin' Church of the Future Blues Live @ New City Cafe

:: greg 1:31 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, December 11, 2004 ::

This is HILARIOUS!

If you're like me, you think Nickelback is the worst band in the history of music. I mean, I have NEVER heard a band suck like these guys. Nothing personal, they're just horrible. And now... there's proof!

Listen to THIS! Someone has taken two of their "hits" and played them together (you get one in the left speaker and one in the right). They are not modified in any way. What you will hear is that they are the EXACT same song! I mean, completely the same in every way except for the words. The chords... the tempo... the structure. Amazing. and funny.

:: greg 8:41 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, December 09, 2004 ::

Concert Friday night...

If you're not busy Friday night and live in or near the area and are looking for something to do, I'm playing a show at the New City Cafe. This is kind of a "wrap-up" show for my 52 songs project... I'll be playing several of those as well as some new ones. I've got a 5 piece band backing me up... should be a lot of fun. It's $5.00 at the door.

Geez, that was painful... I hate promoting myself!

:: greg 8:22 PM [+] ::
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Funny line...



Heard a funny line on "Family Guy" the other night... don't watch that show a lot but I probably should.

Kid at table: There's a message in my alpha-bits... they're saying "Ooooooooo"
Dad: Son, those are Cheerios.


:: greg 1:45 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, December 06, 2004 ::

Andrew Peterson

Our church hosted Andrew Peterson and his band this past Saturday for one of their Christmas concerts. I don't have a lot to say about it but it was really stinkin' good. The band was Andrew, Andy Osenga from the Normals and Caedmon's Call, Laura Story, Gabe Scott, Ben Shive, and Marcus something from Siler's Bald.

You should do yourself a favor and buy Andrew's Christmas CD called "Behold the Lamb of God". It is literally the best, most creative Christmas record I've ever heard. Simply fantastic.

They ended the first part of the show with a cover of Rich Mullins' song "The Color Green". I've got a Real Video file of that performance you can watch here. Forgive the lousy camera work and less than perfect sound. I was so busy working the show that I had to just grab a camera and film one song while standing in the back. Still, thought some of you might enjoy it anyway.

:: greg 8:40 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, December 02, 2004 ::

A Christmas Song

WHERE HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS ARE- MUSIC AND LYRICS: BILL MALLONEE

The angels sang the sweetest song, that echoing refrain
The shepherds were up to something, or else drunk again
There probably wasn’t any snow on the ground at the time
Although the cards depict that sorta thing complete with warm and fuzzy rhyme

And the stable’s neat and tidy And the hygiene is 5 stars
And the planet, it spins lonely as I step out of this bar

CHORUS:
And the Birth of births was like a death
Under that hallowed star
And every Father seems to know
where His sons and daughters are

Some are lost in shopping malls, Some on battlefields
Some are lost in suburbs, Some on Capital Hill
Some are lost on terminal wards Or in a nursing home
Some are lost in I PODs, More or less alone

But whatever the co-ordinates On this map of shame
whether close or faraway We’re lost just the same

CHORUS:
And the Birth of births was like a death
Under that hallowed star
And every Father knows and cares
where His sons and daughters are

you may wake up confused with the ache that’s in your heart
doesn’t matter if you got there by choice or got there by default
And every birth comes with tears And with youth there comes a cost
And sometimes you just grow up In the shadow of a cross

Where you take on more than you could know
And more than I’d ever wanna say
And I put you there once a long time ago
And again everyday

CHORUS:
And the Birth of births was like a death
Under that hallowed star
Cause every Father knows and cares
where His sons and daughters are

:: greg 7:32 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, November 22, 2004 ::

Meant to live for so much more...

Mpeg (29 MB)

Meant to Live - Here is a video we used recently in The Well. Using the Switchfoot song "Meant to Live" as well as a montage of media images, this video could work well to set up or conclude any talk that centers around the things that are really important in life. This video shows good examples of some things that are not. We shortened the song significantly... (it's now less than 2 minutes long). The motion video clips in this are part of Highway Video's Elements series... something I highly recommend for video editors. Great stuff.


:: greg 10:36 AM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, November 21, 2004 ::

Cobwebs be Vanquished!

Got around to cleaning up the place a bit today... got rid of some old links, added some new ones. Welcome real live preacher and Jon Reid. Real Life Preacher is a blog I've read for awhile now... I just finished his book and it is unreal. He says things I feel in a way I could never say them. Truly a gifted writer. Jon is a friend from Soliton sessions and an all around cool guy. Check both of them out.

Also updated the quote of the now... I'll try to make that actually stay somewhat current. I also decided to get rid of the Tagboard I had. It was causing pop-up ads on my website and we just can't have that now can we? No, we can't, for pop-up ads truly doth suck. Seriously.

I've got some new videos to share that I'll be uploading in the next couple of days. Stay tuned... this should be a more lively place for the next little bit... until I get burned out again. :)

:: greg 7:18 PM [+] ::
...

How we talked about the Prophets...

So it's been awhile since I've shared any ideas for worship... I know there are a fair amount of you who have used this site for that in the past. I'll try and do better about sharing some of the things we have done in our services. We have a lot of creative people around here with a lot of good ideas worth sharing.

So far this year, in our Wednesday night alt.worship (I use that term very loosely) service, we've been going through the Bible one character at a time. We've had a night on Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Esther, Samson, Elijah, Jeremiah, and two nights on David. Today, I'll share with you a neat way we set up our upcoming weeks on the prophets.

We opened the night by doing a little bit of teaching about what the role of the prophets were in scripture. You could do this however you want. After a couple of minutes, we said "We'd like to give you a visual image of the prophets." At that point, we played the video clip from the movie "Say Anything" where John Cusack is outside the window, holding up the boombox playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." Classic Scene. It illustrates very well the idea of the prophets calling the Israelites back to God. The girl in the movie's response is also striking in that she just lies there... she doesn't get up, she doesn't go to the window, she just stays in the bed, listening but not responding.

As the video played, we had a guy come out with a boombox, holding it over his head. He stood on stage but said nothing. I pretended to ignore him. I taught a few more minutes on the prophets (again, you could do this however you want). As I finished, I walked off stage. Then the guy with the boombox reached up and pressed play on his CD which then played the song "Will You Not Listen" by Michael Card. You can download an MP3 of that song right here.

That was our transition into worship. After worship and a message, we ended the service by having the boombox guy come back out, this time playing Michael Card's "Barocha" which you can download here.

Obviously, you would need to fill in some of the blanks here, but this metaphor worked well to set up the prophets for us. We had a girl create a piece of mixed-media art in the room using the picture of Cusack and the radio as well. I'll try and post a picture of that tomorrow... it turned out pretty cool.

:: greg 10:22 AM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, November 20, 2004 ::

This is the way that it happened...

I got an email a few days ago that asked a question I knew was coming... I've known it for awhile. I've dreaded hearing the question and now that it's been asked, I'm dreading answering it even more.

Greg, why don't you write on your blog anymore?

Well, let me tell you a little story of how it all happened.

One day, Greg was in his office at church working on a brand new post for his flashy new website, emergingminister. This particular post was a rather thorough analysis of the use of slide projectors in postmodern worship services and how one could acquire them cheaply, operate them safely, and in so doing, save souls. A quick knock on the door followed by the handle turning startled Greg and he quickly minimized his blogger window and maximized his powerpoint window so it would look like he was doing something that actually had to do with his job. But it was too late.

What was that you were looking at?

Nothing, just a website.

Emerging minister? Cool. I'll check that out.

It's just some lame website.

Sounds interesting.

I held my breath... he left the room. The next morning, I knew what was coming.

Greg... why didn't you tell me that YOU are the emergingminister? That website is really cool.

Well, I didn't really want to make a big deal out of it... I'm still working on it... it's nothing really.

Well, I thought it was pretty good. I sent a link to a few people, is that okay?

Uh... you did wha... uh... ummm... sure, that's fine. gulp.

Immediately Greg began to think back over every single word he had ever written on his website... and it wasn't pretty. Oh man... what if someone reads that post about Christian bookstores... oh crap... what if they find out that I... oh sweet Lord... what if they read about !!! I'm screwed.

But he left it alone. He thought about changing some things... but he figured, nah... no one will really read that much. Nobody will say anything. Besides, only a few people even know about it. What's the harm. It's not like I'm dropping f-bombs a mile a minute like the real live preacher or something. It will be okay.

And it was... no one really ever said anything bad. Mostly just things like "I saw your website" or "Hey Greg, I didn't know you knew how to make websites.". Greg figured the worst was over and decided to move on...

But he couldn't. More and more people started reading about the emergingminister, which was a good thing in theory. The problem was, it was more and more people he knew. People from town. People from life. People from church. This was a problem.

At first, he tried to ignore it by posting about generalalities. "I saw this movie... I went to this concert... My little boy crawled... I'm tired... I wrote a song..." But Greg knew that this wasn't going to fly... that's not why he started a blog... that's not why people were reading. Where is the struggle? Where is the wrestling? Where is the journey? Where is the drama???

Here is where we leave this story because in real life, the emergingminister's new baby actually is crying his brains out in his crib.

If there are any other ministers out there, I'd like to hear your stories... what did you do when the people at church found your website? How did you change if at all?

Pray for me my friends. I want to keep writing... I want to keep telling my story and sharing it with you, but I am afraid. And for this, I am ashamed.


:: greg 8:52 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 ::

My new bumper sticker...



I'm getting some bumper stickers printed up just for fun... if you're a fan of the film "Napoleon Dynamite", you get the joke. If you'd like one, email me at emergingminister@aol.com and I'll let you know how you can get one. They're flippin' sweet!

:: greg 11:41 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, October 31, 2004 ::

Fascinating story...

This is an amazing story... Man 1, Bank 0. Thanks to Jamie for the link.

:: greg 2:32 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 ::

Must read

Okay, everyone needs to read the first comment under the last post (Wrapping up and Moving on). If you were someone who commented on my 52 songs project, or regularly read the comments, this is really funny.

:: greg 8:55 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, October 18, 2004 ::

Wrapping up and Moving on

Some final thoughts on the 52 songs project:

My five favorite songs: Connor's Lullaby, Heavenly Descent, Are you out there Tonight, Talkin' Church of the Future Blues, Be the Body

My five least favorite songs:Forgiveness for Everyone, The Year, Shadow of a Doubt, Bottom of a Broken Heart, Exception.

Grade point average: Jeph Hurst was kind enough to give a letter grade to almost all of my songs. I came out with a 3.14 which is okay... not as good as I did in high school but he's a tough critic so I'll take it. He offered a lot of good constructive criticism and wasn't shy to say when a song was lacking. I agreed with him most of (not all of) the time. Thanks Jeph, for taking the time.

Thanks to all the musicians including Scott Bradford, Jeph Hurst, Danny Rosenbalm, Brent Conner, Sandy Garrett, Dane Kinser, John Sailers, and Beki Hemingway.

The future... I'm working now on taking my writing to the next step. I've been working with a couple of publishing people in Nashville who are very optimistic about my music and feel like there may a future for me in songwriting. Is it a long shot? Yep... just not as long as it would be otherwise. It was really quite miraculous how my music came into the hands of these folks, but they are industry veterans who know what they're doing, and I trust that if there's anything to be done, they'll get it done. I won't lie... it would be nice to get paid to do this, but for now, that's a hope in the back of my mind. I'll just see what happens with the last year's work and take a little time away from writing. If nothing else, I think I've earned that.

Thank you for listening folks. We now return this blog to its regulary scheduled programming.

:: greg 11:05 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, October 14, 2004 ::

52 Songs in 52 Weeks

Last October 16th, I posted songs #1 ("Are you out there Tonight") and #2 ("Meaningless") which began a project in which I wanted to write / record 52 songs in 52 weeks. Well, exactly 364 days later, today on October 15th, I present you with songs #47, #48, #49, #50, #51, and #52. This completes the 52 songs in 52 weeks project. I even threw in a couple of bonus songs too... you can find those on the left menu bar on the 52 songs page.

I'll have some thoughts tomorrow on the completion of this project. I'll share what I've learned, some things going on with my music, and some facts no one cares about (which is my favorite? which is my least favorite?). But that's going to have to wait... it's 1:35 AM and I am going to sleep!

:: greg 10:30 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, October 10, 2004 ::

Okay... I'm gonna make a run at it

The "finish" date for the 52 songs in 52 weeks project is Friday, October 22nd. That is the conclusion of the 52nd week. So, by that count, I have 12 more days. I'm gonna make a run at finishing this thing.

Like I said a couple of weeks ago... the songs are written, it's just a matter of finding time to record them. At this point, I'm just going to shoot for bare-bones recordings here... no drums... no bells and whistles. Just guitars or pianos and voices for the last 6 songs. If I screw up, so be it. So, if you kind folks are willing to forgive a lack of polish and just let the songs stand on their own, for better or worse, I'll give this thing a shot. I really have come too far to just bail on it at this point. What would that say about me as a person?

Oh, by the way. I played the William Shatner album for my wife today. Her response? "You like this? This is a joke, right? You don't really like this, do you? Get real. I'm turning this off... this is some sort of torture. Why do you hate me?"

:: greg 10:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, October 08, 2004 ::

A candidate for album of the year... seriously.



Okay, don't laugh... but I got the new CD from William Shatner called "Has Been" and it is really, really good. Seriously. You may have heard some of his goofy stuff from the sixties and this is in some ways like that, but totally different too. First, what you need to know is that Ben Folds produced the whole thing and played all over it. In many ways, it sounds like a spoken word Ben Folds record. Next you need to know that it features great guests like Aimee Mann, Joe Jackson, Henry Rollins, and more. Finally, you need to know that it is actually quite powerful poetry. Songs like "That's me Trying" about trying to reconnect with a daughter after years and years are moving while others like "I can't get behind that" are downright hilarious. Another winner is "Real" with Brad Paisley. You may think I'm nuts, but seriously... check this one out. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't believed I liked an album by William Shatner.

:: greg 9:14 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, September 30, 2004 ::

Latest Reads...


"Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller
"Speaking my Mind" by Tony Campolo
"The Gospel According to Disney" by Mark Pinsky
"Paul for Everyone" by Tom Wright
"A Generous Orthodoxy" by Brian McLaren


Some comments on the above. The new Donald Miller picks up about where "Blue Like Jazz" left off... funny but profound... light reading but deep thinking. I have to qualify my raves for Miller here... he and I see the world in much the same way and I agree already with many of his viewpoints. That said, he is such a gifted writer and in my opinion, in 20 years, we will talking about him as one of the great Christian authors of this century so far. That may be optimistic but we'll see. I am not far into this book yet... just got it in the mail today but so far, it's great.

The Campolo book is great if you like Tony's stuff. We're reading this in our Tuesday morning discussion group "Eyes Wide Open" right now. We just had our first discussion on it last week and it was a great talk. Tony can push the envelope pretty far sometimes but I really respect the way he does that in a humble way, always reminding the reader that he is not the be all end all. If you're looking for some progressive thoughts on such topics as just war theory, women in ministry, homosexuality, and other hot button issues, check out this book.

The Gospel According to Disney is pretty good but I didn't enjoy it as much as The Gospel According to the Simpsons. Probably because I'm not as interested in Disney stuff as I am the Simpsons. Still, there are some interesting insights here and Pinsky is gifted at finding the holy in unusual places. Worth a read if you're a Disney fan.

Paul for Everyone is basically a commentary on 4 of Paul's letters, written by the brilliant Tom Wright. This has a definite British perspective which is quite refreshing. Not necessarily a great book for casual reading, but if you're looking for some fresh commentary on Paul's letters, this book takes some interesting angles on things I hadn't thought of before. Enjoyed it.

McLaren's new one is interesting... I'm starting to find his stuff to be hit or miss. I guess the problem is that I regard his book "A New Kind of Christian" to be among the most influential books I've ever read... I suppose everything else is destined to fall a bit short. This one has it's moments for sure. Several of the chapters are worth the price of the book, but this one also tended to bore me a bit too. But, he covers a lot of ground in this one and perhaps that is okay. The parts I liked, I liked a lot. The parts I didn't, I tended to just have to push through. Your mileage may vary.

What good books have you been reading?

:: greg 11:14 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 ::

Failure... sort of

I am abandoning the 52 songs project for the time being. Thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging and helpful throughout... I appreciate every word. I say failure sort of because I actually am finished... I've written through to the end. It's just the recording that I've been slow on and I just don't have the time right now to work on it. To do so right now would mean to sacrifice time with my family and I'm not willing to do that anymore. I will eventually record the last 6 songs and when I do, I will post them for folks to listen to. I just don't know when that will be. The project was supposed to end the second week of October... I'm pretty sure it won't be before then.

So, it's failure only in the sense that I won't have this all available for public consumption in the allotted 52 weeks. It doesn't bother me though... I'm over it already. Honestly, it feels like a bit of a weight lifted, to be free of the self-imposed demands of the project.


:: greg 8:23 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 ::

Home from Soliton

First things first... the true highlight of the trip was that I saw Fonzie play softball. Everything else comes in a distant second. If you want to see a bunch of really great pictures, check out Jon Reid's excellent collection of pictures from Soliton. I didn't take as many pictures as I hoped to but Jon was a freak with his camera and I'm grateful for it. Here are some random thoughts and observations from my experiences in California...

Lesson #1 - Hospitality. They fed us dinner every night at Soliton and I was so amazed at the artistry, passion, and flat out WORSHIP that went into the preparation of food. I always thought we did meals right down here in the south... man... we could learn a few things from the good folks at the Bridge communities. They gave us their absolute best and it was incredible. Made us feel so welcomed and important. It really hit me pretty hard that for all the programs, studies, and events I am a part of at church, the best outreach is probably just opening my home and sharing a really great meal with people. I guess I knew that already but this was a great reminder.

LanguageI learned some new lingo in California... some good stuff. For example... if I said to you "I'm very excited to have you staying at my house for a week." the California translation would be "I'm stoked that you have come to do life in my space." Also... "Let's all join hands for prayer" becomes "Hey, grab some skin." Good stuff.

Conference highlights... - Spencer Burke's workshop on "Salvation - opt in or opt out and other heresies I think I believe." Spencer basically took the position that almost everyone is going to heaven, regardless of faith. Now, I disagree with that but his arguments were compelling and fresh and it really stirred up some heated, passionate debate. I don't think Spencer really believed everything he said... I think he was playing devil's advocate but it was 90 minutes of the more interesting conversation we had. Erwin McManus was also a highlight, sharing stories of how he kind of "tricks" people into coming to his church by telling them it's a party and they should come. David Ruis leading worship was also an unexpected surprise... I was counting on "Every Move I Make" over and over until I puked but it was very, very good (and fortunately, that song didn't make an appearance).

Movies!We watched several movies and the one I would recommend the highest is Napoleon Dynamite. You MUST SEE THIS MOVIE. Absolutely hilarious... I think this is one that people will be quoting for years. My favorite line? "I caught you a delicious bass." Also saw Donnie Darko (what the crap is this about???), Garden State, and Hero.

Malibu Also got to spend a great day at Pepperdine University in Malibu with Adam Baron. What a spectacularly beautiful place... Adam is kind of a modern day Forrest Gump in that he seems to have a lot of brushes with greatness. He knows Frederick Buechner personally and has crossed paths with all kinds of noteable people. Just while we were with him for 24 hours we ran into the entire cast of Happy Days and also Juliette Lewis. Adam is a great guy... if you're reading this Adam, you should blog!

More thoughts later... gotta go to work!

:: greg 3:04 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 ::

Hills that is...

So the fish out of water have arrived. Me and my pasty white skin feels a bit out of place among all these California types but I'm sure I'll find my way over the course of the next week. Spent today in Santa Barbara walking around downtown... it's a beautiful place with a great downtown area. I'm writing now from the Bridge Communities in Ventura... very very cool place. The least churchy church I've ever been inside and I'm sure they wouldn't call themselves a church at all. I'll try to take some pictures. Amazing use of art and creativity in creating a very comfortable space for worship here. Lots of artist / ultra creative types running around... still feel a bit out of place and not sure why. I know in a lot of ways I am an "ultra creative" type but for whatever reason, I never feel as "cool" as the stereotype. Oh, because I'm not. But that's my issue to get over this week before I retreat back to the deep south. :) Seriously though, I do feel like a fish out of water here big time and my hope is that it doesn't interfere with my ability to learn / contribute to the conversation here this week. I'm also missing my family a good deal... hard to be away from my wife and son for this long.

I'll update often this week. I'm sure my mind will be filled up with lots of things that I'll need to exhale...

:: greg 3:58 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, September 04, 2004 ::

California... now that's postmodern!

Heading off to Ventura, CA for the Soliton Sessions first thing Monday morning. Quite excited... looking forward to meeting some of the names behind the blogs I've enjoyed reading over the past year. Anyway, I don't have a laptop but I'll blog if I can get on a computer while I'm out there. I'm guessing that won't be a problem. Everyone is so cool out there, they just walk around with their Powerbooks and I think the entire state is a WIFI hotspot. Right?

In other news, last night, I went to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert. It ruled on every level. It was a very fun night with lots of costume changes and great use of video (including the entire audience reciting in unison with Stanley Spudowski "drink from the FIREHOSE!!!"). Great fun! I recommend it. Er, if you like Weird Al.

:: greg 3:44 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, August 19, 2004 ::

Two New Songs!

Songs #45 and #46 are both up on my 52 songs in 52 weeks page. I normally just post one a week but as we near the end, I'm just going to put them up as I finish them. I recorded both of these this afternoon and kind of like the idea of having them online as quickly as possible.

On a personal side note, those of you who have been listening to this music over the past year, if you have a minute, I would appreciate your prayers. There are some neat things happening with my music that I can't really talk about but it could turn out to be something really cool or it could turn out to be nothing at all. I've not been pursuing anything in writing these songs other than to see if I could do it. It may turn into something more... it may not. Please pray for God's will to be done in this situation above my own. I'm sorry, I wish I could say more but I can't. I appreciate so much all of you who have taken the time to listen, comment, email, and share. It's been a good year.

:: greg 5:49 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, August 15, 2004 ::

Remember awhile back...

When I asked you folks to help me write a song about cheese in the Christian sub-culture. Well, I didn't end of using any of your stuff (thanks to the two who submitted ideas... you know who you are). Thank you so much for taking the time to send it though... it did provide some laughter and a springboard for some ideas. Listen to Song #44 "Bumper Sticker" here.

:: greg 6:15 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 ::

Dorked Out

Well, I've officially gone and dorked out completely with the purchase of an Apple Ipod. I'd been thinking about getting one for a long time and a few weeks ago I played with one in a CompUSA and just couldn't get the coolness of this thing out of my head. So, I caved and bought one. Some would say that this is "cool". Not I... I would say that I am now a dork. A techno-dork perhaps, but a dork nonetheless.

Still, this thing is pretty stinkin' unbelievable. I used to work in radio (where you get a LOT of free stuff) so I have about 1500 CDs in my collection. It blows my mind that this little thing that fits in my pocket will hold every last song I own... nearly 10,000 at this point. I got the 40GB model and ordered it from Apple directly. Ordered it Saturday night, had it Tuesday morning by 9:00, shipped from China. Impressive. If you're thinking of getting one of these, I'd say go for it... it sounds great, works great, and hey, you can be a dork like me.

:: greg 2:15 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, August 06, 2004 ::

This is just sick

Well, it seems the abortion debate has just hit a new low point. look here if you want to be angered.

:: greg 8:54 PM [+] ::
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Song #43 blah blah blah...

Go to the usual place to do the usual thing... or don't.

:: greg 8:40 PM [+] ::
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Lots going on...

Sorry for the silence... we've had a lot going on both at home and at work. I'll get back to more regular posting soon. August is a really crazy month for me as we get prepared for the big fall kickoff at church. This year is especially hectic as we are going through staff additions and a few other new wrinkles at church. Also my wife is going back to work next week which if you think of it, could stand to be lifted up in prayer. She's edgy about it and very sad about losing all that time with our son.

Anyway, I'll be back to more regular posting soon and I'll have a new song online by this evening... not that anyone seems to be listening. I think I have officially numbed everyone down. About the last 6 or 7 have only received comments from KT (thanks KT!). No worries though... at this point, I'm gonna finish even if no one is listening and those who are listening think that I suck. I've got up through 44 recorded and I think I have all the way through 50 written so the end is very near.

:: greg 6:47 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 ::

New song online

Song #42 is now online. It's a remake of the old hymn "Rock of Ages" and it features some really sweet acoustic guitar playing from Dane Kinser of Dane and Taylor. Scott also layed down some really cool drums. You can listen to the song right here.

:: greg 7:32 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, July 24, 2004 ::

Name that Service

If you were starting an alt.worship service, what would you call it? We want it to have cross-generational appeal. We want it to be catchy without being cheesy. We want it to be cool without sounding too hard like we're trying to be cool. Make sense?

Our service for the past five years has been called "Wednesday at the Well" which has served us nicely but alas, it's time for a change.

I'm not opposed to using a name someone else is already using (nothing new under the sun...). Some names that I like are: Graceland, Grace, New community, Axis, River's Edge, Deeper Walk, The Gathering.

So... what good names have you heard or thought of? Any ideas?

Oh yeah, also, new song up on the 52 songs page as well. Check it out if you're bored.

:: greg 12:34 PM [+] ::
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Back from Vacation

Whuzzup hippies? Back from a week at the beach and feeling pretty relaxed. It was a really great time and good to just simply "be" for a week. Watched "Cold Mountain", "Mystic River", and "Runaway Jury" and really liked all three. Read "How to be Good" by Nick Hornby (good but not his best) and "Speaking my Mind" by Tony Campolo (excellent but provocative).

:: greg 12:33 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, July 17, 2004 ::

Vacation

Leaving tomorrow for a week in St. Augustine, Florida. I'm not taking a computer so no blogging for me. For your listening pleasure, I've posted Song #40 on my 52 songs in 52 weeks page.

:: greg 7:24 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, July 12, 2004 ::

Help me dream...

I'm trying to work this month on brainstorming what we are going to do for our Well service this year. One idea I've had is that each night would focus on a different person from the Bible in a creative way. Not "let me tell you the story of Moses" but "let me show you the story of Moses and why it is important and why it matters now and let me show it to you in a way that will engage all of your senses and captivate you and make it come to life." This is where you come in... any ideas on people we could base a night on and what kind of thematic things we could do with that? Have any of you done this? For example... on a night about David we could all get down to our underpants and dance... no, just kidding. Bad example. But surely there are good ones. Any thoughts?

:: greg 8:49 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, July 09, 2004 ::

You must watch this video!

Check this amazing video out... it's Spiderman 2 in Legos. Watch it here!

:: greg 6:25 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, July 08, 2004 ::

Song #39 is now online.

Check out song #39 "Highway Song" now on my 52 songs in 52 weeks page. It's got piano, bass, and real live drums played by a real live drummer. I've been working pretty quickly in the studio the last two weeks and have up through song #44 recorded and mixed. Songs #45 and #46 are both about halfway done. After that, just six more to go.

:: greg 9:02 PM [+] ::
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New Videos Online!

Mpeg (58 MB) | Streaming Real Media
Bobble Head Theater - Episode Eight - Due to unfortunate budget cuts, the Bobble-Head gang is unable to produce a new episode. So, they take a look back at some of their favorite memories, plus a few new ones. This episode served as a year end wrap up for our young adult service.

Mpeg (88 MB) | Streaming Real Media
Wishy and Washy - Episode 3A - Meet Wishy and Washy! Common house sponges who reinact Bible stories! Hooray! In this episode, Wishy and Washy are ordered to worship pop star Madame Wink by a crazed lunatic farmer. Will they worship Madame Wink or will they be cast into the sinister toaster of doom?

Mpeg (60 MB) | Streaming Real Media
Wishy and Washy - Episode 3B - See the exciting conclusion of the adventures of Wishy and Washy! What will happen? How will it end? I just can't take it!

Streaming Real Media (17MB)

Opening Announcement Loop - This is a ten minute announcement loop we run prior to our Sunday morning church services. This particular one was for the week of July 4th, 2004. We create a new ten minute video every week full of announcements, trivia questions, humor, clips of events that took place during the week at the church, etc. The premise is for it to be similar to what you would see before a movie in the theaters (like "The Twenty" for those of you who have that). I post this just for you to look at and get ideas. If you would like graphic templates to use in your software, email me!


:: greg 10:25 AM [+] ::
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Cool web site

Check out The Revealer to track religion (all religions) in the press. Some interesting stuff.

:: greg 10:23 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 ::

Latest Reads...


"Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris
"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
"Wicked" by Gregory Macguire
"Reimagining Spiritual Formation" by Doug Pagitt
"The Man Comes Around: The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash" by Dave Urbanski
"The Church in Emerging Culture" edited by Leonard Sweet

What good books have you read lately?

:: greg 11:37 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 ::

What do you think of this Billboard?

Here is a prominent billboard ad in Knoxville right now: On the right is a picture of the new Dobson book "Marriage Under Fire: Why we must win this War". To the left is the following text: "Take a Stand! The New Civil War... Available now at *** Christian Bookstore.

I'll go first. This ad disgusts me to the point that if I can help it, so help me I will never shop at this store again. What in the world does "The New Civil War" mean? Are we supposed to put on grey coats, grab muskets and go shoot homosexuals? Perhaps I should go grab a box of flour and some water and mix up some hard tack in case I get hungry later. Let's set up the Andersonville prison again. I mean, what the crap! "The new civil war"????? I about wrecked my car...

There are churches who are making progress reaching out to the gay community, letting them know that not all Christians hate them. There are churches loving Aids patients, inviting homosexuals to attend their church and learn about Jesus, etc. There are Christians in this city who are speaking the truth in love without having to water it down. It's possible. But then this crap happens... Billboards being slapped up all over town reminding the gay community that we are in a war. Fantastic. That REALLY helps things guys.

Perhaps the folks at this store should be reminded that in the "old" Civil War, Christians in the south (like us) defended slavery to the death holding a Bible in front of them the whole time. We were wrong in that Civil war... and if this is the way we're going to handle this issue, we're wrong now as well.

But hey, that's just me. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


:: greg 9:33 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, June 27, 2004 ::

Songs #37 and #38 are now online

Check out songs #37 (Winter) and #38 (Even More) now on my 52 songs in 52 weeks page. Fourteen songs to go by October 15th.

:: greg 7:22 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, June 25, 2004 ::

The Mayday Mystery

This is a really amazing story and thanks to Jamie for the link. First go read this article. Then go look at this website. There have been full page ads placed in the University of Arizona student newspaper every May 1st for over 20 years now. Each ad is filled with clues that seem to indicate the existence of a secret society / counterculture organization. About 7 years ago, one of the editors of the newspaper started to archive these ads and went back and found them dating back twenty years. His website is now dedicated to unraveling the mystery of this secret society which refers to itself only as "The Orphanage". They have contacted him and even sent him money to help him in his search. one email told him: "When you find the door, you will be welcomed in." I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff... I really hope he unravels the mystery. Looking at the pages, it's WAY over my head but interesting nonetheless.

:: greg 10:49 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 ::

Song #36 is now online

Check out song #36 - "Bottom of a Broken Heart". It's up now on my 52 songs in 52 weeks page.

:: greg 8:30 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 ::

Who wants to go to Cali?

I'm planning on going to The Soliton Sessions September 7th - 11th this year. It's limited to only 200 and registration starts July 1st. I'd love to meet some other bloggers at this event... Jared Williams of The Searching might have some more detailed information coming soon over on his site.

:: greg 8:26 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, June 21, 2004 ::

Help me Write a Song!!!

Okay... I'm asking for help here. I've got a semi-complete lyric to a kind of humorous song about Christian sub-culture annoyances (bumper stickers / t-shirts / etc). I think some of you guys out there who are equally annoyed and funny creative types could probably come up with some good stuff to make this a pretty decent song. I've got the music pretty much down. If you're interested in helping, send me an email and I'll send you the lyrics I have so far. The song is called "Bumper Sticker".

:: greg 10:41 AM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, June 20, 2004 ::

Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the show at New City Cafe Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. I know there were a handful of folks who read this site sometimes who came... please know I really appreciate you being there.

It was also great to meet Dane and Taylor. Check out their website and music... if you like acoustic guitars played exceptionally well, these guys are great. They sound a lot like Phil Keaggy but aren't a rip-off.. they have their own style. They do mostly acoustic instrumental duets. Really great stuff!

:: greg 3:12 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 ::

Song #35 is now online

Two in one week for ya... song #35 is now up. It's called "North Carolina, 1987". I'm really happy with this one... perhaps not the best written song I've done but I think it's the best recorded of all of them (with the exception of "be the body"). And it's got some hammered dulcimer on it which is always fun. Enjoy.

:: greg 7:18 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 ::

Great Googily-Moogily Part 3

Hilarious. Someone just googled my site using "Beth Moore Bible Study Stuff is Crap!"

:: greg 1:32 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, June 14, 2004 ::

Song #34 is Online

Go to my 52 songs in 52 weeks page to hear song #34 "The Black Keys" now. I am now 2/3 of the way there... 18 songs to go.

:: greg 5:46 PM [+] ::
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