Man, people get their knickers in a twist about worship music styles. The way folks got fired up about it on my blog last time, and the way they're going at it on IMonk's blog, you'd think somebody was insulting their mama! Maybe we ought to add "our tendency to be easily offended and self-righteous" to our list of confessions straight across Christendom for, oh say the next hundred years or so.
Speaking of people getting their knickers in a twist... Craig stirred up a bit of controversy over on his blog when he spoke out in critique of a woman preaching at the upcoming Anglican "Summer School" (remember, their seasons are opposite of ours). Well, really he didn't stir up controversy; he provoked a good discussion among a few of us, with some very rude anonymous commenters slinging mud and insults with both hands.
It's a small world. I just got a phone call from someone who saw my Staff Profile in the last Travelogue, and wondered if I knew his long-time friend who hails from my hometown of Sterling, Colorado. I do. (Dad, it's Arden Fennell -- I think that's spelled wrong, but I can't remember how to spell it.)
Timmy Brister is a smart dude. And this is turning into a Blog Roundup. Moving on... his series on "Blue-Collar Theology" should really be read by every small-town pastor or basically any pastor who desires to "raise the bottom shelf" for his congregation. But what really got me going this week was his explanation of Finney's "New Measures" as interpreted by modern "revivalists" (those are ironic quotes) and "evangelists" (also, ironic quotes). Boy, did it bring up some unpleasant memories! (Oh, and Wikipedia article on Finney if you're unfamiliar.)
I love my church. We had Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken at the 930 last night for a show, the first stop on their Ringing Bell Tour. Three things about the show. 1. Derek Webb has a strong prophetic voice, and it really showed last night: he's passionately critical of the American church's tendency to say that Christian=Evangelical=Conservative=Patriot=Republican . A few lines from one of his songs as an example:
Here are two great lies that I’ve heard:
“The day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die,”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class Republican,
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him.
My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man;
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood;
it's to a King & a Kingdom.
2. I don't think I ever saw a couple who were sweeter with each other on stage. That was refreshing. At one point, Derek said, "The best thing I get to do is to play in her band." 3. Sandra McCracken's contribution to modern hymn-singing = fantastic. She sang "Thy Mercy, My God," one of my favorite hymn arrangements in history, ever. Great Father of mercy, thy goodness I own, and the covenant love of thy crucified Son...
I'm baking two carrot cakes for the cakewalk on Saturday at our massive Fall Festival. For those of you who didn't grow up in the US, a cakewalk is a game (a bit like musical chairs) played at carnivals where contestants walk or dance around a numbered circle, accompanied by music, until the music stops. The number they're standing on corresponds to the cake they win! Anyway, my fridge is currently full of butter, carrots, and cream cheese. I'm pretty pumped to make the cakes... but I still need to get powdered sugar for the frosting and walnuts.
Funny story about walnuts. My dad is allergic to them (not deathly allergic, just enough to make his throat itch really badly and drive him crazy), so I grew up never eating them, except for the occasional black walnut from the tree in our front yard. It was such a habit for me to make quick-breads, cookies, etc., with only pecans even through college, and it wasn't until I moved into my first apartment when I came to Louisville that I started realizing -- hey, I'm not allergic to walnuts! I can actually eat them! And I like them! So walnuts became a much more common addition to my cooking.
Let's see... other random news. I'm getting my hair cut today, thanks in no small part to Mr. Jordan Buckley who graciously agreed to cover the phones (and work on sending out CD orders and press/blog releases) for me while I'm out. I'm thinking about this look. Or maybe this one? No, seriously, though, I'm actually thinking about getting it cut kinda like this.
Well, carry on, people. That's enough randomness for awhile.