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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Session 1 w/ Dr. Os Guinness

Once again, thanks to Al Andrews & Porter's Call my head hurts, in a good way.

Some friends and I, as well as some other artists and music industry personalities were able to be a part of some learning sessions with Dr. Os Guinness yesterday morning. Wow! I have admired his work and have been inspired by him for several years now. This guy goes deep.

Os Guinness is an author and speaker who lives in the Washington DC area. Yes, he is the great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer. He was born in China during World War II where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.

Os has written or edited more than twenty books, including The America Hour, Time for Truth, The Call, Invitation to the Classics, and Long Journey Home. His newest book, Unspeakable: Facing up to evil in a world of genocide and terror.

Here are some take-aways from the 1st session. (I will not be able to unpack everything from this session or the next).

  • The Christian Right has been wrong in NOT showing love. They usually end up demoralizing others different than them.
  • Bertrand Russell once said, "Most Christians would rather die than think".
  • There is the "ABC mood" going on in modern culture; The Anything But Christian mood.
  • Everyone is speaking, but no one seems to be listening. There's incredible noise in our culture. We have cultural A.D.D.
  • Europe is suffering from Church and State separation. If the US continues on leaving it's roots, it will suffer the same outcome as Europe. Anything that separates from it's root cannot continue on a healthy path.
  • The "religious right" needs to rest from it's radical separation or the US is in trouble of a huge chasm being separated from others by demonizing them.
  • Leaders outweigh followers. You can't change the culture w/o changing it's leaders. We must have the actions and vision to be influencers. Where are most Catholics trained to go influence culture? New York or Washington D.C. Where are most Evangelicals trained to go influence culture? Wheaten, Colorado Springs, or Orlando. Fundelmentalism is a modern reaction and is NOT traced back to Jesus.

Sorry if some of this is not self explainitory. I encourage you to read as much of Dr. Guinness's work as you can.

I will be posting about the 2nd session (artists only) as well.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Relevant, In Our Own Language.

Relevant, In Our Own Language
By Chad Jarnagin

Ahh Christiandom. All things Christian. Christianese. Our own language. Could it be that maybe, when we try to be relevant that's when we become irrelevant? That is my fear for the church (note little"c"), and for me and my friends.

I have heard the word relevant a lot over the past few months. I have written about this topic before. Let's review.

rel?e?vant? [rel-uh-vuhnt]
bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent: a relevant remark.

For me, I would like to think that I really do just want to have a handle on pop culture, so maybe I can relate to certain people. BUT more than likely I just want to be cool, liked, valued, hip, or even popular. At the core of my being I can only hope that I want to be relevant b/c I want to truly connect with the matter at I wonder if Jesus ever sat in a room with his close followers and plotted out how they could be "relevant". I know the church does. I think that the heart is full of good motives, but if we just planned or plotted from living life, and making notes of how certain things make us feel and think, maybe that would be what is really effective. Not that we aren't effective at certain moments, b/c we can be. My concern is if we divert our attention away from real life circumstances, we can and WILL become irrelevant; for example to pretend that everything and everyone is okay is pretending that we aren't in need of a Savior.

We get hung up on issues Jesus never did or would. He was too busy telling stories that connected w/ real people. Stories that would lead to changing their lives. To this day I don't know anyone that doesn't like a good story (book, movie, or song). How simple. Is it still that simple today or do we complicate simple truths like loving each other?

We have an amazing story to tell. Let's just tell it. If we are real, and tell it in love, only then will it be relevant.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Luna Halo & Austin, TX

Austin is one of the coolest cities in North America. I have been there several times, but this past weekend we got around to some great food, music, and shopping. Some of our highlights included The Boat Yard and Chez Zee.

Austin didn't know what hit it when Luna Halo torn the stage up FRI night @ Stubb's. They didn't take the stage until after 1AM. I felt for the guys. They didn't get off the stage until 2AM, had to fly back to Nashville @ 5:30AM to play Buzzfest @ 1PM on SAT...then back to Austin to drive to Dallas. My boys have been on the road for 6 weeks straight!!!

HEAR ME NOW and LISTEN TO ME LATER. Luna Halo is one of the BEST BANDS on planet earth!!!! Check them out HERE. Don't wait for the BANDwagon.

Self-proclaimed to be the "live music capital of the world" Austin most definitely lives up to the hype everytime. We didn't get out of the Luna Halo show until 2:30AM and the city was still up and rockin'...probably pretty drunk, but still going. Cary and I had a girl pass out and fall into us as she does a face plant on the cement floor at Stubb's. Ouch. We did try to help her for the record. In case you were wondering Austin was said to be the 4th drunkest cities in the US. After hangin' there for a bit I can see why. Rock N Roll + college + 100 degrees + 1/2 price booze = 4th drunkest city in USA.

Stay weird Austin.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jesus Camp Film

Yet another film helping reinforce opinion and stereotypes of Christians and the sub-culture?

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's Jesus Camp film might raise some eyebrows when it releases.

"A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America that requires Christian youth to assume leadership roles in advocating the causes of their religious movement. Jesus Camp follows a group of young children to Pastor Becky Fischer's 'Kids on Fire Summer Camp', where kids are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God's army and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ. The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future."

Read a review HERE.

Jesusland By Ben Folds

I'm not much of a true Ben Folds fan, but this made me think.

See it HERE.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cincinnati Post Game

(Jen and I wowed by the fireworks show)

I now have my 18th National Anthem under my belt. We had a great time in Cincinnati FRI night. I love that city. I enjoyed some Skyline Chili as always. The Pirates beat the Reds 7-3. There was a crowd of a little over 30,000 at The Great American Ballpark on the Ohio River. After the game we saw one of the most amazing fireworks display that I have ever seen. WOW!

The Hyatt downtown was great as always. We got to "hang out" the the Pirates at Champs sports bar after the game. Fun times. (The smokestacks in right center field at The Ballpark)

(Chad on the jumbo-tron, or whatever it's called)

I'll be checking out the video footage to see if I can post it to You Tube.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


My boys from Luna Halo have an EP that just hit iTunes. It is tasty I must say. I am going to catch them while I am in Austin next FRI.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Baby Got Book

Just in case you have missed this somehow....

.....still as funny, sad, disturbing, funny again, as the first time I saw it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

AUG 18th Cincinnati Reds Game

This Friday, I will perform my 5th National Anthem for my hometown Cincinnati Reds. It's always a pretty sweet gig (& hobby) to be able to walk on the same field as future Hall Of Famers like Ken Griffey Jr and such. A couple of years ago, I sang about 10 ft. from Barry Bonds (yes, he was frikin' huge in person).

Hopefully we will have a few pics to put up on Monday or so.

If you are in the viewing area of FRI's game v.s. Pittsburgh, tune FSN at 7pm (EST) sharp to see if you can catch it.


(Pictured: Ken Griffey Jr)

Leeland CD Releases TODAY!

Today is the day that history will begin to be made in "Christian Music". Leeland's CD releases today! I will be getting several and giving them as gifts for the next few months...probably thru Christmas.

Nate did a great job posting that Leeland is Copeland, Coldplay, Keane, and Travis meet Jesus.

WARNING: You will ONLY dig this record if you enjoy good musical art. If you dig crap...this is not for you. :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Willow Creek Leadership Summit RECAP

It was a great Summit this year. I will NOT be elaborating too much one most of the session, so with that being said, here are some of my highlights...

Session 1 (Bill Hybels): Good session from Mr. Bill. Great start to the conference.

Session 2 (James Meeks): Amazing session by one of the only guys that I haven't heard of. This pastor from Chicago had some solid and hard things to say about growing churches.

Sessions 3 (Andy Stanley): This was one of my favorite sessions to sit in on this year. Focused Leadership. "If you are going to cheat anyone, cheat the church" he says as opposed to cheating your family as you work and plan your work ethic. Most of his text came from one of his latest books. I love this guy. ...Saying things that probably weren't the most popular things to be said at Willow Creek.

Session 4 (Peg Neuhauser): To be honest, I checked email & got on iChat. I'm sure she was great though. ;)

Session 5 (Ashish Nanda & Jim Collins): I don't have enough time to talk about how great this session was. BUT I will say that both men are some of the most witty from the conference. I felt like I was back in college for about 30 minutes. Jim's book "Good To Great", is one of my favorite leadership books from the past 5 years.

Session 6 (Interview w/ Bono):
Bono's interview with Bill Hybels from Ireland was very interesting. I felt like it was a great opportunity for many church leaders that would never pay much attention to a "political" rockstar like Bono. After hearing him, I am hoping that something might have clicked w/ some people. I have never thought of him as nothing more than a humanitarian using his profile and social status for good.

"I've never had a problem with Christ, but Christians I have. Christians seem strange. They can be very judgmental. They tend to judge people by surface problems. They have been preoccupied by the church. It's hard for us to grasp grace", Bono said "I'm much more interested in grace....I'm depending on it."

Bono said, "I want my music to do something positive, but I want to be honest and own up to my earthly confusions." He explained that he can't start with a lie, being the person he wants to be rather than who he actually won't ring true to people. He said he sees that a lot in gospel music. He suggested he's more of a blues guy. He wants to embrace the truth in his music...even if it's not perfect.

Bono said, "I am not Mother Teresa, but I have a head for the world's poor. You have to be strategic." It was cool to hear Bono acknowledge that he has been given a gift from God with his voice and help move people to action.

"Why do you think church leaders have been late to the party on this?" Says Hybels. Bono said the church has been historically behind the curve. Bringing up civil rights movement. "We're not talking about politics in a partisan way here," said Bono, "We're working with the left and the right."

Bono said "Christ won't let the Church walk away from the AIDS's His heart". He said he now has respect for the Church for awakening from a sleep in helping with AIDS and Africa. One of the only things that I didn't totally agree with Bono on was when he first talked about the church NOT caring about justice and humanitarian issues. I don't guess it is totally possible to know the whole history of the church. From what I recall, the church in general have done many great humanitarian things, be it small or large. BUT he made a GREAT point in regard to church presence in the political arenas.

Bono said, "Love thy neighbor is not advice. It's a command." In a global community, the poor and the disadvantaged in Africa are all of OUR neighbors. He went on to basically quote Matthew 25:45: "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

Bono's concluding challenge for church leaders was well put, ""Our purpose is to bring Heaven to Earth. The world is not a happy place for most people living in it. Bill, I'm convinced of the importance of the Church in building the infrastructure on facing some of the biggest problems in the world. If you're in America or Europe, make your people aware of the One campaign. Let's do this together. Let's put on the marching boots. Let's stand up for the least of these. This isn't a duty. It's an opportunity and an adventure" - Bono

Session 7 (Patrick Lencioni): Pat spoke from one of his latest books "Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars". This is a must read for any leader, as well as "Death By Meeting". Well done Pat.

DAY 3: I didn't attend, but some of the links below might have some posts on the day.
Session 8 (Wayne Cordeiro): Ok, I have heard nothing but AMAZING things about one of the only sessions that I had to miss. I am looking forward to seeing the DVD from this one. I have heard Wayne before, and so I know that it was going to be anointed.

Session 9 (Bill Hybels): I heard that Bill brought home a great closing message as well. Hate I had to miss it.

Don't ask me to comment on any music or drama from the Summit.

I am grateful to be a part of a community of faith at TPC that believes in building and raising up their people to be better leaders and more passionate followers of the Living God.

Several area bloggers have had some great posts about the Summit in way more detail than I could ever attempt. See a list of them below....

What If



Kari's Blog

Friday, August 11, 2006

Leadership Summit 06

We're a satellite location here at TPC Franklin for the Willow Creek Leadership Summit 06.

There were a couple of great sessions yesterday. Today, Jim Collins (Good To Great), Patrick Lencioni (Death By Meeting), and an interview with Bono. Should be pimp.

More to come.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Total Eclipse Of The Heart

You are welcome.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The X Games

If you didn't watch the X Games, you missed some amazing eye candy! They guys are unbelievable. History was made by none other than the freak Travis Pastrana. A complete DOUBLE backflip. See it below....

Talladega Nights...Ricky Bobby....

I laughed, and then I laughed. Oh yeah, I laughed some more, and then again.

It was like a bunch of "SNL" skits put into a flim. SOO many one liners I can't remember them all.

It sold out 7 shows in Cool Springs on SAT and over 47 million over the weekend.

If you want to laugh, you'll like this flick. One won't learn many life lessons, but you will have fun.

Shake and bake!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ohio State Starts At # 1....

This just seems right... My Buckeyes of THE Ohio State University will start the NCAA college football season ranked # 1, hopefully where they will finish.

Read more HERE.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Deafening Silence On Relevant Online...

I got word this afternoon that Relevant published another one of my articles online.

Go HERE to read it if you missed it HERE on *The Blogstar. Comments are a good thing if you go there to read.

Big ups to Rachel and Cameron's team at one of the best magazines out there.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

FILM: Transformers

When I went to see "Pirates" 2 weeks ago, I saw the trailer for Transformers. In the context of the previews, I wasn't feeling it, BUT I have to admit that I am interested. Go HERE to view the trailer and the site.

I'm sure you have heard about Spider-Man 3, and TMNT as well.

Entertainment....might not be at it's best, but hopefully fun.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

FILM: Rocky Balboa

Well, I have a confession. I was kind of excited when I saw this....for a minute.

Please click HERE .

Go to the Blog HERE. Yes, there's a blog.

Will you see Rocky go at it one last time?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

FILM: Children Of Men

Over the next couple of days, I'm going to point out some films coming up over the next several months.

I am SOOO looking forward to this film. September 29th Children Of Men opens everywhere.

The Sigur Ros song towards the end of the trailer is perfect!

Go see the trailer and site HERE.