Jon Foreman of Switchfoot just released a solo EP. It's comprised of six songs that were more mellow than what the band usually plays. There will be a release to correspond with each season. You can find Fall here for only $5. (HT: Daley Hake)
One of the many comments I have heard from Ron and/or Robb concerning the Symphonic vision. Maybe they should add a list of this and similar comments to the website that express the heart of Symphonic?
I am often frustrated by the fact that I am good at several things but great at nothing. Maybe to be great is to be divine. In my mortality, I should stop pursuing greatness and pursue God's greatness.
My family fell in love with Sarah McLachlan's CD Wintersong last year. We are not big Christmas music people, so we were excited to find a holiday disc that we all love. Her cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" quickly became the most requested song in our house. When we decided to put up our tree yesterday, we knew we had a new Christmas tradition when everybody wanted to know where the Sarah Mac CD was.
I opened my e-mail Friday to discover that friend and fellow church planter Ben Arment had an article published via Catalyst. In case you don't get that newsletter, here's the link.
Robb and I attended our state-wide denominational meeting last week. I felt a bit like an alien in such a traditional setting. I was very uncomfortable and out of place, but it ended up being a great reminder of how at home I am at Symphonic. I am so enmeshed in my own church community that I sometimes forget to be thankful for it.
I can't get the Mute Math line "we all break the same" out of my mind. I have heard that song countless times before without really hearing it. It has been echoing in my head as a constant encouragement and source of inspiration.
This is a horrible photo taken by me of an amazing piece of art by Tess Livolsi Amoroso that was entered in the wonder art show. When I first laid my eyes on it, I was completely taken with the image of the person unfolding from the sunflower and blooming. It really spoke to me. When Tess arrived today to retrieve her art, we chatted briefly. She thanked us immensely for doing the art shows and gave me "Sunflower." I was stunned! (Okay, truth be told, I am still giddy excited.)
We have received such an outpouring of thanks from local artists as a result of the art shows. Last week, Annie Moon (another wonder participant) created a work of art as a gift for Symphonic using our vision statement: Love God. Love Others. Prove it. We set out with the desire to serve artists, but in the process, it is me that has been blessed by the response.
Ron just got published in Leadership Magazine (his second appearance there). How awesome! Here's an excerpt, but you need to read the whole article here.
"An interesting consequence of holding our meetings in a "real world" setting is the way it made us rethink communication. In a typical church space, everything points toward one thing. The architecture of the room and the order of service bring one voice into focus. In our church, 50 percent of the people are facing away from you before you start to speak. They have to get up and move their chairs in order to see. There is no elevated place to stand. It is hard to ignore people who are this close. You really see them.
It changed the character of how we spoke. It was natural to move around because you couldn't see everyone as they sat behind columns or other people. It also seemed normal to speak with people rather than just to them. Questions that would be rhetorical in a traditional church setting were actually answered because the people hearing the question were so close. It seemed silly not to hear their answers. And their answers were interesting!"
Wow! What a long blogging hiatus it's been. I didn't even remember how to sign in to TypePad. I am prone to being a work-a-holic which easily translated to being a blog-a-holic. Hence the need for a blogging break. Balance is something that can elude me, and I have to be intentional about it. Next step: cut back on the number of blogs in my feedreader. How many blogs do you read? Do you have any guidelines regarding how much time to spend blogging?
I have one more admission to make. I just completed my writing workshop, and it was incredibly freeing for me. No expectations. No judgment. For someone in ministry circles, this felt like a gift. My church community is not the type to impose typical pastor's wife stereotypes on me; that is not what I am referring to. Writing fiction allowed me to break free of the worry about how I would be perceived, how my church would be perceived, whether my language would be offensive to people who don't know Christ, etc. Maybe all that worry is just my own neurosis and shouldn't even enter into the blog process. Or maybe that is the fundamental difference between fiction and non-fiction.