Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lessons from the BBQ

Incredibly gorgeous day here in Atlanta, GA.  I don't know what the temp is, but feels like the high may have been around 80 degrees.  Mostly sunny, so every once in a while you get the big cloud exposing a cooler breeze.  Sarah asked if I wanted to perform the first barbeque of the year.  I enthusiastically obliged and figured I'd teach Daniel how to prepare a charcoal grill.  Something every 2 year old should know. 

After stacking the perfect pyramid of Kingston briquettes and igniting them with an over abundance of Kingston lighter fluid (no, I'm not sponsored by Kingston) we lit the powpow (2-year old for "fire") and let the charcoals burn!  The pyramid, for those of you who don't know, creates a shape where the charcoal briquettes become their own little oven, trapping a lot of the heat inside.  By the time the flame extinguishes, the briquettes continue to heat each other and after about 15 minutes, even without a flame, all of the briquettes are white hot!  My Dad taught me all this. 

About 5 minutes after the flame died, I placed the top rack in its place, I guess just to see if it still fit...it did...and when I removed it, I knocked over my pyramid, scattering the charcoal in all directions...I ran inside to grab some tongs so I could re-stack them.  If they stayed spread out, they'd cool and never get white hot.  I'd have to re-ignite them then.   I'm explaining all this to Daniel while he watched from a safe distance of 2 feet.  "If the charcoals don't stay close together, they won't stay hot anymore, they need to stay close together and then they'll stay warm."

Sometimes it takes listening to yourself making things very simple for a child to grasp to understand why Jesus explained theology through simple stories.  In reassembling the pyramid, I was struck by the need for community.  By the danger of being alone.  Iron sharpening Iron.  It is not good that man be alone.  There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.   I am an introvert: I recharge when I'm alone...or even when I'm just with my family, but I can't ignore the fact that I greatly benefit from spending time with brothers and sisters in Christ who can not only encourage me, walk beside me and lead me, but maybe there's someone out there who needs me to help keep their fire burning.   By keeping myself on the outskirts, I'm not only helping their fire die out...but I myself will soon become too cold to be of any use.  

...time to flip the chicken.   

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Warren Ohio Concert

Last night's show in Warren, Ohio was crazy fun.  Well, maybe not crazy...but a lot of fun.  This is only the 2nd time I'd done a solo show (with no one else on stage playing along), and while the whole thing lasted just over 2 hours, time seemed to fly.   The place was packed (thanks Paul Armitage for incredible promotion!) and we worshiped together, whether we sang familiar songs or listened to new ones.   Thank you, Ohio, for an incredible evening.  I was blessed to be able to worship with you and hang out in a giant living room, per se. 

Let's do it again sometime. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passion Week

I'm trying to read through the Book of John this week.  I like to read books (of the Bible) in one sitting when possible, although with a couple kids, that's tough.  But I've read through 13 chapters so far today, and while many, Many things seem to jump out at you, when you read straight through, one in particular caught my attention.  Jesus makes no bones about Who He Is.   Which I found undeniably fascinating, because I hear it said so much (like on the History Channel) how Jesus simply wanted to be seen as a very good man and nothing else.

These people clearly never read the book of John.  

Jesus, at least from John's prospective, seems to weave it into every conversation He has with anybody.  Multiple times, people try to stone Jesus, but He slips away, because it wasn't God's time.  Amazing book, truly.  

I plan to finish reading it now, if I can, and since I'm home taking care of Sarah and the boys, I may watch The Passion of the Christ tomorrow night instead of Maundy Thursday services...not as entertainment: it's just not that kind of movie.  (I remember seeing it in the theatre and finding the purchase of popcorn...bothersome?)  

God bless this weekend, and however you commemorate this weekend, make sure you do it in remembrance of Him. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Eddie's Got An Attic

The show last night in Atlanta was quite different than what I'm used to doing.  It was held at Eddie's Attic, a local hot spot that I am ashamed to say I've never been to.  Rock For Justice was the name of the event and the plan was to sell tickets and tables in order to raise money to help stop sex trafficking within the city of Atlanta.  Over $10,000 was raised!  

My longtime friends Ryan Van Kirk and Brian Duffy (my current bass player) have formed a band, written a few great songs and recorded them with Dan Hannon.  They'd just started their set when I walked in the back of the vibey, trendy room, packed with people on a sold out evening, a bar in the middle, tables all around, people standing, sitting, eating, drinking and shushing themselves silent while the lineup of singer songwriters played their 15 minutes each.   In between each set, Garrett Moore, one of the artists and a staple there at Eddie's, MC'd the event and gave the crowd snippets of info on the reason we were there and updates on the amount of money raised in addition to ticket sales. 

I was honored to play last and was given a little flexibility because of that.  So I squeezed 5 songs into about 17 minutes.  It felt like 10.   I played 2 new songs then went backward in time:

Take Over
Ever After (a song a parent would sing to their child about the truth behind fairy tales)
Give Me Words To Speak (with the crowd supplying the Na-Na's so beautifully)
Watch Over Me
My Savior My God

Thanks to Pamela for helping me with my hair and makeup (she showed up after it was sold out, but helped me actually find the place, so I got her and her friend Betsy in, as long as they agreed to do my "hair and makeup"  ...then we decided that I wouldn't use any.)

Check out some of the line up!