Tuesday, August 30, 2011

rooted. PART II

Yesterday I wrote this:
At our foundation we are rooted as a new creation, yet we resist things newly creative...

Today I'd like to focus on the resistance to change that is pervasive in our culture, and how that resistance speaks volumes to the disbelief and unwillingness to participate as individuals and communities named: new creation.

Think about our music industry...it puts out what can sell, which is rarely (if ever) blowing people away with its creativity. Instead what is considered "mainstream" is easy to get into and participate in, because it requires very little imagination. Its 3 1/2 minutes of 3 or 4 chords in the format of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, chorus. Those outside the mainstream are the ones taking risks (often times at the cost of their overall success). Often times you'll see a band from outside the mainstream water down their creativity, only to be bought up by the masses. However, what was lost was that unique creative, change, of art.

In technology and fashion we have what's called: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. This is the practice of examining the pace at which things newly creative are adopted and used by the public. But the general public is slow. There is a very small minority of individuals that fall into the first 2 categories.

Change is uncomfortable. But why?

I believe it is because we don't truly believe the idea that we are rooted as new creation. Other wise, creating and adopting change would be the standard - it would be the common thread that unites us.

In politics, we play the game of one step forward and two steps back. When things are unclear and uncomfortable change is proposed, the opposition rebuts, "we need a return to _________ politics" (fill in the blank with what ever political predecessor you like).

In film and tv, it seems like the remake is king these days. In an industry filled with some of the most creative people out there, we have allowed the general public (resistance to change) dictate the art that is out there.

Within the church, change is even more scarce. The people gathered together to proclaim themselves rooted as a new creation, are sadly some of the most resistant to change and experience things newly creative.

How is this possible?

Because we say this truth without even considering its implications, and without ever considering living it and expressing it in our own lives.

If we truly believe that we are new creations, created in the image of God, with the unique ability to create, how is it we seem to resist it at every level?

More tomorrow...


Monday, August 29, 2011


At our foundation we are rooted as a new creation, yet we resist things newly creative...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Created To...

Here's something I couldn't help but share...yet another example of people living EXACTLY as they were uniquely created to live...


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bye Bye Steve

Steve Jobs stepped down yesterday as CEO of Apple. So I thought it only appropriate to thank him for his enormous contribution to the music industry and overall artistry.

That's right, the music industry.

iTunes changed EVERYTHING!
The labels didn't (and still don't) know how to work like they did before the days of iTunes.

But what I want to focus on is how iTunes made us better song writers and producers.
Or it at least forced our hands...

Before iTunes, in the day and age when we went to the record store to buy a physical CD, (most albums) would have 2-3 top notch songs and the rest was mediocre and/or filler tunes.
*[there are VERY FEW albums that I listen to straight through without skipping a track or two]

iTunes essentially made every song a single. That's how we purchase them now. Filler tunes now will be unheard songs, and potentially millions of 99 cent downloads lost. And since consumer is still king (even Jobs can't change that), our song writing has been forced to put out an album of potential singles.

Jobs forced the hands of the artists to forget about the track 4 and 5, 11 and 12 that served to fill time and space (a lot of the time).

So Mr. Jobs, thanks for your contribution to the music industry, to artists, and to me personally.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

what's going on.

Its been a while since we've just chatted.
Not about a specific subject, but just about what's going on...

Last Thursday I did a photo shoot for an upcoming #SongsForJoplin showcase in LA (that's what the pic is from)

Last Friday morning I had a dentist appointment.
No cavities.
30 years and I'm still cavity free. Woot!

After that however, I went to the doctor to get my throat looked at.
I'd had a really sore throat for about a week and it was difficult to swallow; much less eat and sing.
I thought maybe I had strep.
Well, I didn't have strep...I had 9 ulcers in my throat.
So that's nice :-(

Oh, and how do they treat throat ulcers?
With steroids.

I'm also wrapping up a recording/producing project with a talented up-and-coming singer/songwriter (i'll post a song later).
And tonight I started a new recording/producing job with a great country band, Harmony Grove.

Oh yeah, Kate and I also got memberships to the YMCA.
So that's about it. We're on the road to buff-ness.

I hope everyone is great!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Too Big, Too Fast...

Cora's growing up.
She's getting too big, too fast.

This week we enrolled her in several activities for the fall:
dance, soccer, & violin.

Today its these 3, tomorrow we'll be picking majors and filing out scholarship forms :-(


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Church Bell Calls

(c) 2010 Ross Christopher

We've trained our lives
To be in the cast
To perfect the character's role
We know the lines and staging calls
For the one hour play

The church bell calls
The actors guild
The theatre fills its pews
Week after week
A casting calls
And we don't give a damn

Onto makeup and wardrobe
Our masks are sealed
The lights have all gone down
The theatre sits silent, still
'Till the lights come up
And we take our seats

The church bell calls
The actors guild
The theatre fills its pews
Week after week
A casting calls
And we don't give a damn

Stand and sit
Smile and nod
It's in the script
Memorize and recite
Its just what we do
It's what we've always done

The church bell calls
The actors guild
The theatre fills its pews
Week after week
A casting calls
And we don't give a damn

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Borders = the Church (sort of)

I loved going into Borders bookstores, perusing books, magazines, and CDs. There was a two year stretch where I toured and performed at a lot of the Borders stores across the Midwest. But those days are over. Borders is closing (or rather, CLOSED).

And why devote a post to its closing?

Because I see a direct correlation between Borders and the Church...

Borders didn't close because it was selling the wrong books and CDs. It didn't close because the coffee bar wasn't as good as its competitor. Borders closed because it lost the battle of language.

Culture moved in the way(s) it communicated (if only by a small percentage) and Borders didn't speak the language. It lagged in its ability to communicate, and now its closed because of its obsolescence.

Okay, delete Borders and insert Church.

For years now we have been provided data and sobering statistics regarding the future of the Church.

It's dwindling. Church attendance is primarily generational and familial. So what's wrong with that? The generational drop and departure from the Church is nearing 90%. The family is getting exponentially smaller, and a generational approach will not last.

So, am I saying the Church will die?

Because the Church is not defined by fancy buildings, stained glass windows, contemporary services, or traditional liturgies. The Church is a movement that cannot be defined by brick and mortar.

HOWEVER, I believe the future will look vastly different than what comes to mind today. It will look vastly different because the language has changed. And just like Borders, the Church has lagged in the language game.

Though Borders closed, people will continue to read books (though the format may change, and change again). Borders was simply the brick and mortar behind literary and artistic distribution.

The Church that emerges (I believe) will be a healthier and more vibrant force that is about living the gospel through relationships, justice, and grace.

Many will say that the Church died. But the Church can't die.
Buildings can. Styles can. Denominations can. But the Church will not.

The Church was birthed by 12, and we must never forget that.

Let's use Borders as a cultural lesson that language, pace, and context is of vast importance. The vibrance of the local church will be defined by its ability to speak the same language of its city.

The future of the Church will be in creating culture, not merely responding to it. And for that, I am hopeful!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


That is all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011



It's Monday.

It's hard to get going after a LONG weekend.

So take 55 seconds, watch this, and be inspired for another week..


Saturday, August 13, 2011


I wrapped up this REMIX for MuteMath's newest single, ODD SOUL.

ODD SOUL (Orchestra) REMIX by rosschristopher


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Here's another track/video [WAR ON WAR] from my album, BOXES AND HUMAN FOG...

War on War
© 2010 Ross Christopher Donaldson

So it seems we grow as fighters
Peace haters and war charmers
Early on we learn the lies
And over time the innocent dies

I’m declaring a war on war
‘Cause war’s a dirty whore
Who soldiers on to break and bleed
And kills humanity

We’re built for dying
As if we’re lying
That peace is an option
Because it’s always an option

I’m declaring a war on war
‘Cause war’s a dirty whore
Who soldiers on to break and bleed
And kills humanity

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Here's another track from my album, BOXES AND HUMAN FOG, for your viewing/listening pleasure...URGENCY

© 2008 Ross Christopher Donaldson


I saw the sun
Give birth to the day
And this could be the one

Like mimicking Paul's cry
Or storming England's shore
Yeah, this could be the one


So here we are again
Living the day
This could be the one for me



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Doubt Brings Hope

I'm going to be making several posts with tracks from my newest album, BOXES AND HUMAN FOG. Please feel free to pass them around to your friends, families, Facebook people, etc...


Doubt Brings Us Hope
© 2010 Ross Christopher

(Verse 1)
It’s black and white
One way’s right
It makes them sleep better

Cause if they’re wrong
Then I am right
Leading out of fright

Doubt brings hope
Hope brings love
Love brings faith
And faith leads to doubt

(Verse 2)
You’ve made Him a tiny god
With boxes and human fog
Can’t handle the blurry

You say there’s one way
To hell with another day
‘Cause doubt is the killer

Doubt brings hope
Hope brings love
Love brings faith
And faith leads to doubt


Monday, August 8, 2011

Peach of a Weekend...

That's right, the weekend was grand...we took the girls to a peach farm and picked away...millions of peaches, peaches for me!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Recent Radio Spot on 88.1FM KDHX

If you listen to 88.1 KDHX in St Louis, then you've probably heard this (a lot). If not, then check it out HERE!

We talk songwriting, playing live, and more...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Folsom Prison

Here's a video snippet from Saturday's show at The Gramophone in St. Louis...enjoy!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Debt, Money, & its Future Legitimacy...

Welp, congress passed a bill to raise the US debt ceiling, so all is right in the world! Or perhaps not. I'm no economist or congressman, but the entire system seems like a fabrication with nothing solid or backing that resembles any sort of reality.

For example, last Thursday CNN made THIS one of the headlines with regards to solving our problems with raising the debt ceiling. Essentially it proposed that the Treasury could mint two ONE TRILLION DOLLAR COINS that we could then take loans against. How can we just print without anything tangible to back it up? The coins aren't really worth a trillion each...unless there's a really expensive metal that hasn't made the periodic table yet.

I understood the minting process when we were backed by a gold standard, but these days, that is long gone. Money seems to be an idea, almost an afterthought, and I question its future legitimacy.

To top that, how does the US gain global financial confidence by raising the amount of debt we can incur, without ever paying it off? (this isn't the first time we've done this - and the vote is estimated to only last us through Thanksgiving!)

How will we ever stop this exponential debt crisis without making significant cuts? I understand that we may have to even cut really good things. But a few years ago, Kate and I decided we were tired of having debt, so we made a budget, stopped doing some of the things we "needed" to do, and have now been debt free for several years. This is how it works in real life! And now our chains are gone, and that feels good.

Right now, Kate and I are hoping to take a European vacation for our 10 year anniversary, which is coming up. That's a really good thing! BUT, if our budget becomes too tight, we can't do these really good things, we have to take care of our budget, and will have to put it off until it makes sense financially. That's how the world operates in reality - good things are put on hold when there's no money to back it up. Unless of course you can print trillion dollar coins...


Monday, August 1, 2011


If you were there, you saw this...
If you weren't, you didn't...