Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#3 on Noise Trade!!!

Late last night, my new album, BOXES & HUMAN FOG landed at #3 on Noise Trade!!! Thanks SO VERY MUCH to everyone that's helped move me to that position! If you haven't checked out the 3 tunes I've made available on NT, please go there now and take advantage - PAY WHAT YOU LIKE - $1, $3, $5, $100...whatever you like - & continue to SPREAD THE WORD!

Much peace & thanks!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Making Of...

Here's a quick video of the making of my brand new album, BOXES & HUMAN FOG.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Love Wins. (Chapter 2)

CHAPTER 2 - Here is the New There

I really enjoyed Bell's parenting idea of teaching your kids in such a way that they don't have to unlearn concepts, information, facts, etc.

Shouldn't that be how it is? Shouldn't that be the goal?

I find that what I grew up hearing and understanding inside the church has dramatically changed now that I have access and information regarding translations, language, and history.

Its frustrating that I find myself continuing to unlearn things because I know full well that all of my pastors growing up have solid backgrounds that have taught them extensive history and language (Greek & Hebrew), yet only taught portions of the stories. I feel as though I've learned only a fraction of what the scriptures have said; and cherry-picking a theology or ideology or denominational stand on any given scripture is manipulation and perversion.

So here's the question that will test this book (in my opinion)...

It's not going to come down to Bell's ideas and questions, rather we must ask if what he presents through scripture, history, and language/translation is accurate?

If it is, its something to be considered, learned, consumed, and re-taught.
If not, then he's propping up a certain idea or stance and working the words to fit his end game.

Thus far, I do not find a single contradictory piece of scripture, definition, or history that speaks to the later. I also see much of the anti-Bell-bloggers attacking concept rather than his evidence. If the evidence stands, what are we arguing about?

Thus far, people may not like what they read because it differs from what they've been told, but to ignore historical and biblical truth is dangerous!

On we go...

Chapter 2 discusses Heaven and the implications surrounding it. It questions the notion that Heaven is elsewhere. That leads us to the question of "who's in and who's out?" It is the subject that divides and often leads to an escapist theology and living; all the while disregarding the here and now (people, earth, etc.)

We find ourselves in this conundrum based on how we define words. (words matter!) "Eternal" comes from the Greek word "Aion" which was always a temporal period, age, era, and intense experience. But unlike the English meaning, it was not meant to mean forever (as we understand it). This obviously comes as a shock to most readers and is excellent fodder for discussion and debate.

This word is used over and over throughout scripture (Isaiah 2, 11, 25; Ezekiel 36; Amos 9; and so on...)

Bell explains it eloquently, that what and how we read "eternal" was NOW, "but rescued, transformed, and renewed" (34)...that in the age to come, "justice and mercy hold hands" (39). That's beautiful!

And if his translation is truthful, then this is at least something to be considered as truth. Why would it mean one thing a few thousand years ago, and something else today?

Then comes Jesus...

The talk is about keeping the commandments; that abiding by the law is the natural outpouring of living as God's image bearers. Jesus recognizes though, that we are sinners and thus this is impossible.

Insert Cross.

The Cross changed everything. It was a paradox (maybe wrapped in a riddle)...

It covers, it renews, its hopeful, beautiful, and saves; and did so through brutality, death, and disgust.

This seems to be where much of the criticism comes from regarding Bell...that he's dethroning Jesus. I read it as exactly the opposite, that only through Jesus and the Cross, comes salvation (whether you're aware of it or not - that the Cross just might be that big and grace filled).

Finally, with regards to Heaven, Bell discusses that the word is often used as a substitute for God (42). Again, if this is based on truth, then its hard to read the Kingdom of God as not being here on earth (and the age to come). He utilizes the Lord's Prayer as evidence as well as Revelation 21; that God's dwelling place is now and among the people.

He brings forth a great discussion (one I've never heard) in that Jesus spoke of transforming hearts so that we can handle heaven. He poses Rev. 20, 1 Cor. 3, Matt. 20 & 25 as evidence that the flames of heaven prepare us.

*I think there's probably a lot to discuss on this...again, its a fairly new concept to me.

The chapter ends wide open and beautifully and i'll end this post the same way.

There's heaven now, somewhere else.
There's heaven here, sometime else.
And then there's Jesus' invitation to heaven
in this moment,
in this place.


Please feel free to comment, debate, and converse (in a grace-filled manner). That is the point of this blog!

Grace & peace,

p.s. you can scroll down and join in the Chapter 1 discussion too!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today's Exchange.

Today, Cora and I had a little exchange that went like this (word-for-word):

ME - "Cora, would you come cuddle me?"
CORA - "Um, no, I don't care about that.
I need to fly to my earth."

And there you have it.


Here's some pics from the Chicago show on Friday night:

Peace & thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


When do kids start dreaming?

I ask, because for the last couple of nights, Cora has joined us in the middle of the night in an awkward state of confusion and concern...

Tuesday Night: "Mommy, there's crickets in my bed!"
Wednesday Night: "Mommy, there's bugs crawling in my bed!"

I assure you, her bed is bug-free. She's coming in mostly asleep too. Is she dreaming?

Its weird stuff...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LOVE WINS. (a chapter-by-chapter discussion)

I thought it would be appropriate and fun to go chapter-by-chapter through Rob Bell's newest book, Love Wins, and discuss it with you guys. It's received a lot of criticism. For a lot of folks, what he's proposing and writing about is grounds for heresy.

What this is NOT, is a place to call and label people and ideas heretical. That's not what I'm going for. I'm also not just trying to build up Bell or this book. Rather, I want to critically analyze the ideas and questions being proposed.

Ok, onto chapter 1...

Chapter 1 - What About the Flat Tire?

Bell does what he does best in Chapter 1, ask questions! He asks tons as it pertains to salvation.

How is one saved?
Is it a free gift?

That's what most evangelicals say, that the gift of salvation is free (its what has uniquely set Christianity apart from other more works-based faiths). But then we typically follow that phrase up with, "then all you have to do is..."

And this list is usually part (or all) of the following:
be baptized
say the sinners prayer
follow the commandments
serve, give, live like Christ, etc.

Bell goes through lots of scriptural examples of people being "saved" via numerous means. Belief, child bearing, baptism, who you know, marriage...the list goes on and on.

So apparently its not just one, form-fit, check this box and your in, method.

And even when Jesus is asked directly by a rich young man, he doesn't give him a straight answer. Jesus answers with more questions.

So is it a mystery?
Is it (salvation) only for some to know & obtain?
Just how powerful was the Cross?

I assume we'll get into those questions as we proceed.


That's what I gathered from Chapter 1. It lived up to Bell's preface - that it wasn't going to be anything new - that all of these ideas have been wrestled with and asked from the beginning of time.

I hope you'll engage and lets chat more about what's being said and the implications of its ideas and questions.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Review in Photos

We had another whirlwind weekend!

Travel and concerts...but alas, we also had a beautiful Saturday to go out and take advantage of the day, ( and snap a ton of pics).



Saturday, March 19, 2011

We drove.
We rocked.

We drove.

Thanks for the great show, Kansas City!

Next stop...Chicago.


Friday, March 18, 2011

New WAR ON WAR Merchandise...

Welp, the CD arrived yesterday and copies are leaving as soon as they got here. Thanks SO MUCH to all of you who pre-ordered the record - you helped tremendously jump start this newest project!

I'm also pumped to showcase the newest RC merchandise piece - Men's Vintage WAR ON WAR Ties. They are $10 each and come in an assortment of colors and designs. I've displayed a handful below. If you'd like to purchase one, please contact me and we'll make it happen!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bracket Idea...

I had this idea to make a separate NCAA bracket that put mascot vs. mascot. Animal versus weather versus man versus mythical creature versus anything else.

Unfortunately, Duke usually still wins. What beats a devil? There's no JC Superstar teams or Legions of Angels mascots.

Its kind of like a very detailed version of paper, rock, scissors.

But instead of paper you have tigers,
rocks you have boiler makers,
and scissors the orange men.

Thanks for indulging my randomness!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Sickness (& in health)

I've been down for the count since last Friday with an upper respiratory infection. That equals me moaning, shivering, dizzy, (4 days of) 103 temps, drenching my clothes in sweat, unstoppable coughing, and totally out of commission.

I'm a real knight in shining armor right now...

(me "not-faking" feeling cruddy)

But Kate has the whole, "in sickness and in health" thing down! She has babied me unbelievably this past week. 2 trips to the doctor, multiple trips to Walgreens, not to mention continue to love on our girlies. I hope she doesn't have to pull dual duties too much longer; that my meds will kick in and do the trick.

(kate "fake-eating" fake corn)

I lucked out with Kate!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cora's Prayer for Japan

Last night at dinner, Cora asked, "What is Japan?"

We told her it was a country that just had a very bad earthquake and floods.

Cora paused and said, "well we should pray for them."

Kate and I agreed, "we will tonight for bed."

Cora said, "no, right now."
(she of course was right, why put it off?)

So I asked her to pray, and it went like this...

Dear Japan,
Please help them to be safe

Please help them to be married

Please help Japan to get dry

And there ya have it!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An Amazing Show!

I'm humbled to have been able to play in Jeremy Larson's band along with Stacy DuPree (Eisley) and Darren King (MuteMath). Saturday night we played the Gillioz Theater to a sold out audience (1,200), and you could feel the anticipation and excitement in the room. I could go on and on, but I'll let the pics do the storytelling for now...


p.s. THANKS SO MUCH to all of the friend & family that made the 3 hour trek to come support the music/show/me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

They Reappear

I know it probably seems like I've had a ton of promotional posts recently, but I've got an album coming out in a week, and a really big show this weekend. So I apologize (sort of) for my excitement.

If you are within roadtrip mileage of Springfield, MO, then you need to make it to the Gillioz Theatre this Saturday for the Jeremy Larson, Stacy DuPree (Eisley), & Darren King (MuteMath) show! It's free and starts at 7PM.

I'm stoked to be playing violin for the entire night!

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How all creative artists need to follow in Bambi's footsteps

Last week, NPR ran a story discussing the Blue Ray release of Bambi. They went on to talk about the huge risks and creativity that surrounded the making of this little Disney gem. At the time, animation averaged somewhere between 13-30 seconds produced per day. Bambi was unleashing new artistry and creativity, that wanted to explore even more into surroundings, nature, and environment, but would also only produce 1 second of film per day.

Obviously, 'ole Walt took on the risk, and the film shows just how powerful following dreams, possibility, and passion can be.

Bambi was a financial loss at first. It just couldn't recoup the monies it dropped in making it come to life. They knew this going in though, and still pursued what needed to be done (for the art).

Today I see a lot of artists, bands, and other creative types throwing in the towel a few years after college (and if not by then, definately by my age). I guess passion can only go so far... But I hope anyone reading, this that may be in a situation of kissing a dream goodbye, might just hold onto your hopes and art, and continue to follow your passion. You might just create the next Bambi...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On a Boat with Cora...

Last night, Cora and I were pretending we were on a boat in the sea. She was asking what we should bring.

The list looked something like this: toys, dresses, Cinderella, cookies, then I suggested music...

Cora's reply, "oh ya, get your phone!"

My heart hurt. Phones don't equal music (thanks for nothing iPhone!)...but to a 3 year old, that's how she's heard the majority of her music. I then went into a (less than fun) lecture that music is from inside of us; our songs, voices, violins, guitars, drums, etc. She responded, "ya, so get your phone..."

I'll continue working on this ;-)


Monday, March 7, 2011

it ships in 1 week...

the new album ships in 1 week...

if you've already pre-ordered, THANKS SO SO VERY MUCH!!! if you haven't reserved your copy, you can do so now & here: BOXES & HUMAN FOG PRE-ORDER

Thanks & peace,

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Recent Photo Shoot w/ Ollie

Here's some cute pics from a recent photo shoot with Ollie. It was a nice day, she was in a great mood, and she had some amazing hair going on. Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What the Bell???

I'm once again not surprised by the poor behavior within the church, but this time its received much press and shows just how poor some of the leadership's discernment is.

I am of course speaking of the recent #robbell TWITTER war over his upcoming book, Love Wins.

From 1 tweet by a high profile leader/pastor in the church, the entire globe was brought into a nasty fight of divisions and exclusiveness.

So, I will not discuss the theological matters that were being fought. Rather, I will focus on the unfortunate effects of what happens when we forget to be grace-filled, and divide.

The Huffington Post said it best: "The fact that this controversy became the most dissected piece of news in the evangelical world at the same time the regime of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi was escalating violent attacks on its own people this weekend offers a sobering commentary on the priorities (and irrelevance) of too-many evangelical leaders."

In fact their entire article hit the nail on the head.

Once again the church is known for what it's against. In this case, opinion.

I'll read the book when it comes out, and make an educated post on its ideas and questions then (but regardless of what's written, I will not be threatened, or hurt, or feel the need to jump into character assassination on any camp). Until then, I'm not jumping to conclusions.


p.s. here's Rob Bell's PROMO VIDEO for Love Wins.