Tuesday, January 26, 2010

blessed are the meek

Last night we all went to the bowling alley. Monday's $1 dollar bowling = packed house. There was only one guy running the whole process, and he was swamped. Somehow in the craziness of signing up our group of 12, only 7 of us unknowingly didn't pay. So half way through our second game, it just stopped working because we reached our limit. We then realized which 4 of us didn't pay, and they went back and paid. Problem solved right? Well, somehow it wasn't, and the manger told us we had to pay for 3 more games to be able to finish our second game.

I passed this info along to everyone, and nobody made sense of it. So Iain and I went back up to the manager to argue with him about this. Let’s just say the argument got a little heated, something about us leaving and never coming back here. I walked away, and Iain stayed still talking to him.

2 minutes later Iain walked up with a grin saying the manager decided to turn the lane back on, something he said was impossible if we didn't pay again. So what happened in that 2 minute time frame?

Well, Iain started to walk away when he started feeling bad for the guy. It was obvious that he was over-worked and really stressed out. Iain walked back, and said he was sorry for being frustrated, and that he understood he was stressed out. The manager then asked to shake his hand, and then spurted out that he would turn the game back on, something that was impossible just a minute ago.

So we finished our game, and as we were walking out, the manager handed Iain two coupon books, EACH with 10 free bowling games in it. That's 20 free bowling games!

I feel like Iain and I both walked away that night learning something. The verse from the beatitudes rang in our ears.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Now Iain and I didn't exactly feel meek in that moment. Our tempers flared, and we weren't very Christ-like in the moment at all. All it took was a brief acknowledgment of the man's hard night, and his mood completely shifted. When Iain did this, he wasn't trying to sweet talk his way to a free game. All he did was realize that the man was having a hard night. Nothing more. And people can spot genuineness so easily.

Iain said something to me about learning to respond in the opposite spirit to others we come in contact with. The more frustrated people get, the more of an opportunity we have to show grace and mercy to others. It’s the joy of walking as God's sons and daughters, extending His love through our lives. And maybe you'll even get blessed with 20 free games of bowling:)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

morning worship at the Habitation

This morning we lead worship at the Habitation. It was crazy-awesome fun....a highlight was singing about being undignified, and then the whole room going crazy, dancing and shouting. There's something about losing our cares with what people think about us, and just letting the passion inside us well up and come out.

And i learned something this morning....the term "lead worship" sometimes isn't appropriate. Today, the people at the Habitation led worship. Their hunger and passion so moved us, and all we did was put a melody and a rhythm to what was happening in the room. I love that. It’s pretty much what I love most about playing drums…when I look out at everyone’s faces, and just see so much passion, love, and adoration going straight to the Father.
Oh, and on a side note, you should all go to my facebook profile and watch the “dusty road” video from the Square Room concert the other month. This video is just hair-raising, in the best sort of way…God’s presence was so thick that night, and this song just captures so much of what’s in our hearts. I pray that this song will call the God’s wandering sons and daughters back to Him!

and check out www.youtube.com/unitedpursuitband - sweet new video from the Bijou concert this past summer.

Back to the studio…time for a night recording session with Andrea Carr and the gang. Good times.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back in the house

Its 7pm, and they start coming. 55 young people packed into one house sitting cross-legged, cramped but free. The hall-way is lined with worshippers; the kitchen is our overflow room. This is our community worship experience dubbed the “LoveWar.” Tuesday night is a time to experience the beautiful presence of our savior-God, space to hear His voice and encounter His heart. Tuesday night we see the body of Christ assemble in a simple, yet profound way. Almost two years ago, we started meeting in our house (dubbed the Banks house) with a handful of our community. We started a once a month extended worship time called the BURN. This time was a magnet for many of God’s hungry ones, and within months we packed out the house on Friday nights with upwards of 75 people for multiple churches around the city. The BURN is all about vertical worship between us and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But here’s the amazing thing…when we receive the love from the Father, it draws us together. The joy of being loved by God can’t be contained in vertical worship alone. Community is born.

So we started meeting on Tuesday nights. Worship was infused with community; simply coming together to seek God together, to lift each other up in prayer. It was never about the numbers, but our group of 20 or so soon took off when a few high-school students started coming. I watched the tipping point principle in action, and when one “connector” type person came, many more followed. Our group progressively became more diverse as college students mingled with high school students, even beginning to draw adults to see what was happening. Once we hit 60 or so, we simply just couldn’t fit. So we moved to a large church building. BUT something wasn’t the same. The family vibe was traded with a “meeting” type feel. We’re not into meetings. There are so many meetings, but few true community experiences. So it was back to the Banks house for us.

And that brings us back to last night. Tuesday night we moved back to the Banks house. And with 55 people, there isn’t much room to grow. What are we going to do? Well, I’m not sure. We can envision huge worship nights with hundreds of youth in the city, revival breaking out, bringing refreshing to the weary and love to the outcasts. We would need a big venue for that. But as for now, we’re in the house. And I love it. Last night a sound erupted from our house. It was the gospel in song, pure chorus of praise from our hearts. “Heal me, Oh Lord, and I will be healed. Save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” (Jer. 17:14) – We’re back in the house. God is our captain, and He steers the ship. Where to next?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Mr. Expert"

Today I heard something that made my heart drop. Actually, it was wasn’t said. CNN in was blaring in my headphones as I was jogging on a treadmill, and an “expert” in youth education came on discussing why high-school dropout rates are increasing at an alarming rate. The basis on the discussion was if these dropout rates could be decreased, then more youth would enter the work place, adding more growth to the economy. If the adult motivation to help make sure children finish school is so they can contribute the economy, then I would like to say we have a problem. But that wasn’t what really bothered me the most. “What can be done to reduce high-school drop outs?” That was the question posed in the interview. “More support.” That was the experts answer. He went on to name mentors, teachers, after-school programs, anything and everything, all except one word….parents. This expert tipped toed around the word “parents” like it was an evil curse. Nothing was said about family. Nothing was said about how it’s the responsibility of parents to raise their children. Nothing.

Our economy is breaking down, and economists are starting point at the incredible drop of youth entering the workplace. So who’s the blame? School’s get a bad rap. “We need more funding.” “Where are all the mentors? Where’s the money for more after school programs?” Avoidance of the family structure being THE crucial factor in children growing up and succeeding in our society made my heart drop. I was on mile 3 jogging, and this time the usual drone of noise in my headphones was clear as day to me. I heard the educational expert’s words. But I heard these words for what they are…nothing more than a soggy band-aid attempting to cover up the gaping wounds inflicted by the breakdown of marriage and family, the disconnection of love and legacy, the feeble attempt to fix the problem without dealing with the cause. Real love must return to our land. People fall in love. They create life. They protect life. And they live for another generation. Oh, and Mr. Expert, maybe then our economy will recover…