Monday, December 01, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

i've decided to use the symbol:

(blog)

to replace "the blogosphere" in my writing.

i don't know exactly why it appeals to me so. i think i like the way the parenthases look. part of a greater sphere that we can't see. hinting at more unrevealed. kind of like... what you see isn't the whole story. there's more underneath.

plus i think it looks good as a symbol. to give this place, in my mind, more of a "whereness" about it. an authenticity about it. an identity, in my own mind. this crazy sewn together group of folks from all over the world. creating new paradigms and new cultures together that erase old boundaries. my head is really baking from overload on all of the infinite possibilities stretching out before us right now. and i need to do a little thing jimi hendrix used to talk about and "get my heart back together."

because as i look into the future as an individual and look at the world as it is now, i have to ask myself what kind of a world i want to be involved in. and as i feel the walls of corporate american commerce closing around me, trapping me in in the physical world, i am suddenly inspired to realize that with this "place", this (blog), i can stop shopping based on geographic convenience. i can talk with people and find out about great businesses i can support by purchasing what i need from them here. it could be across town, it could be across planet.

weird ideas like that. things that could have real potential at creating geunine alternative to popular modern society. in fact, i think if a group of folks from around the world tried, they could create their own global community supporting one another like that. hmmm. i don't know. just flickers. flashes.

sorry. i don't really know what to say. i just feel like i'm supposed to talk about this a tiny bit, as far as i understand it right now. (which is hardly at all)

then post this song:




then walk away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

abode: infinite possibilities part 2.

but i think we also have an even greater level of infinite possibilities, in the form of real life moments, by bringing the two worlds together.

theme nights? movie nights? game nights? service days? days or nights where we consent to engaging in the same activity IRL. think of the impact and unifying spirit of people all over the globe intentionally sharing in the same experience with one another AND those around them. no matter how seemingly small or insignificant the moment is. this is how the physical community is formed.

example: a movie night. start by utilizing the Kitchen to throw out an idea and organize an evening. on "such and such a day" we set up to watch the same movie in our own respective neck of the woods. and then we invite friends over. ("hey, want to come over and watch a movie tonight?") or aquaintences. or strangers. whether 1 or 100. let people bring what they wish, and simply use the "intentional" part of the gathering (watching a movie) as a springboard for social interaction. then let the spirit be free to produce something wonderful utilizing what has been brought together. by just gathering together to party by watching a movie, nothing more.

i have noticed that it doesn't matter if the others come under my roof with this same intentionality. when it is held firmly in MY heart, and they come freely under my roof, the air is thick with warmth, love, intimacy, sharing, and above all safety to be who you are in this moment, no questions asked. just loved. it changes people. it really does. me included.

then after said night, we can come together again in THIS place to share experiences, pictures, whatever... god orchestrated moments to encourage one another of our true citizenship in this human drama.

then the next time you have a party, invite the same people. invite new people if you wish. allow your other guests the freedom to invite other people they know who would love to come along. then the next time after that, you have a history built up and people start to get what you've got going on. maybe not all of the deep, heady, theological implications of what is going on. but enough of an instinctual understanding to recognize that the parties seem to be better when everyone brings a little something to share to enhance the gathering. and the more familiar people get with one another, the deeper the relationships and conversations become.

think of the further implications. if we organzied "service days", we could impact different sections of the whole world at once and not just be limited to our own locale. and the more people we find online, the bigger this thing can get and more world-wide-spread.

look at all the links to others' blogs on the side of your own blog. click one. then look at all of the links on their blog. click another of theirs. see how many more. do it again. and again. and again. until you're in a neighborhood you've never been in before. if you find someone, let them know. "hey, there's something cool going on you might be interested in."

this thing is HUGE. i'm not saying that everyone will feel this stir within them. but i am saying that enough will, that it is worth the engaging. it is worth the intentionality. i know more people than not are wanting to know how to impact this world in a genuine and tangible way. we've just been waiting for encouragement and organization. i believe the orchestrator has now provided us with both.

let's get it on.


abode: infinite possibilities part 1.

(if you are willing to put in a little more time, this clip is an excellent appetizer. if you are able, see it with your new eyes, and hear it with your new ears.)


it started just after i quit being a GM and became a "just a driver." the store i transferred to, being run by one of my best friends, was in the suburb to the farthest eastern most point of the meto area. as such, in getting there from where i live, the point i get on the freeway means i have to cross 3 lanes of traffic in about one mile to reach the left exit to the next freeway which then brings me out to work. a mile is no problem except for the fact that when you're traveling at 65-70MPH it gives you less than a minute to do so. i HATE freeway driving. it is so fast paced and aggressive it completely goes against my inner nature. let's just say i'm not a fan.

now i know that the whole "parking spot" view of god is highly mocked. but when this became my morning routine, i noticed something interesting happening. every day when i got on the freeway, there was an opening at the exact moment i entered that enabled me to cross all lanes of traffic smoothly at the exact speed i was traveling. cool enough. but this has happened 99% of the days that i have worked at this store. for 3 years. you might still think this is some random interesting coincidence, but the more i think about it, the more it has baked my brain.

i mean, EVERY DAY. i realized that for this moment to occur every day, that all the things that happen to me that morning, sometimes even the night before, affect what time i reach that opening every morning. but there it is. at just the right time. every day.

over time the vision and understanding grew bigger and deeper. the guy who cut me off and drove slow in front of me on the ramp. stopping to mail something off for my mom that she forgot. the timing of the stoplights that i hit. EVERY CAR THAT IS ON THE FREEWAY AT THAT MOMENT AND EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED TO THEM THAT MORNING AND ON THEIR WAY TO WORK. did they argue with their spouse and leave a little late? did they take an extra 15 seconds at a stop sign to let someone else into traffic? ALL of these things, every day, coming together in this one seemingly insignificant moment. insignificant except for one thing.

i notice. every day i notice.

now... having said all of this, what does this have to do with WHAT NEXT?
this:
it has increased my faith a hundredfold. not that god does this every day, but that he is able to contain all these myriad of free choices and weave them together to accomplish this every day. let me restate that this way...

my faith does not rest on the fact that god DOES it every day, but rather the simple fact that god is ABLE to do it. that he can coordinate such things in the moment. which, yes, brings about a brand new paradigm of viewing the world through the lens of "what's happening now." rather than feeling like you need to strive to run around and find "what next" as though you might miss it, it is a simple engaging in the moment, as you said sue, and being open to/flowing in what god has orchestrated.

OK! so all of that to now say that i believe we have been orchestrated. every person here, every voice. every circumstance that has brought us here. every conversation had, and relationship formed, and every personality type, and every talent brought to play this symphony of life in this moment. every person a beautiful instrument finely tuned for just this time in the neverending story as it keeps on rolling along.

there was a brief period of time when i would invite people over for a party and then come "here" to talk about it. to remind myself, and everyone else, that this is the balance that i saw in the earliest gatherings in the book of acts. it seemed to me that these people viewed their newfround freedom and faith as something to celebrate! so they would get together every evening and party together. "breaking bread from house to house." because that's what people did then when they got together to party back then. and the parties were so sweet that they would go out the next morning. and as they went about their daily duties, they would tell people, "hey, we're getting together tonight at a friend's house for dinner. i would LOVE it if you would come!" then those people would come and experience for themselves. and come back again. and in coming back, bring their friends. and so on and so on, it GREW.

i think that we could do this same thing now, encouraging one another across the globe. i see the strange circumstances that brought us all to this place, and i see the potentialities now available to us in the Kitchen.

check it. in my mind's eye i see the Kicthen as a "hub." a centralized place of gathering in this (blog) world for people to share needs, hugs, encouragement, songs, tears, joy, laughter, whatever... a constant affirmation that we are a different people and that it is okay. it is who we are meant to be.

a place where people can also find others with whom they really connect with, and have their own relationships and discussions on various personal pages and "rooms." a place where people can be found, invited, welcomed, and "plugged in" in a reasonably simple fashion. (however they are comfortable doing this, NO EXPECTATIONS!!!)

to be continued...

Monday, November 10, 2008

for your perusal.

here are the posts i have been able to whittle it down to. i'm trying hard to leave out ones i feel are somewhat extraneous, and not have too many here. because i actually would like you to read them and take them in if you're interested in the discussion. to give you a good idea of where my thoughts are at now, and how they got there, before i try to sort out a post of where i think we're at, and where i think we could head.

instead of titles, i'm going with dates.

August 10th, 2005
October 8th, 2005
December 19th, 2005
January 4th, 2006
Febrauary 28th, 2006
March 5th, 2006
April 8th, 2006
March 17th, 2007
July 12th, 2007
August 14th, 2007
June 17th, 2008
July 9th, 2008
July 17th, 2008
August 1st, 2008
August 6th, 2008
September 6th, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

who's with me?

it seems strange to revisit it now. to go back and look at the scant outline of thoughts brewing for over 3 years. moreso, being brought to the front burner for over 4 months now. i guess i'm not sure what to say, or that if i DO find out what to say, the implications and responsibilities frighten me. but after reading heather's posts on the subject recently, and knowing i am not alone in being tapped about this, i think now is the time to overlook fears and simply dive off the cliff once again, not knowing where we will land. i apologize for not speaking more forthrightly or openly about this until now. forgive me my silence.




for so long i have wanted a practical faith. a faith that was more than simply an amalgamation of words memorized and beliefs defined by another. not saying there is anything inherently wrong with being taught by another. at some point however, i just wanted something mroe than that. something i could call my own. more than just in the sense of intellectual beliefs held from systematizing scriptures into doctrinal structures that we believe "should work" when followed "in just this manner." the problem with that is more often than not these structures didn't work. but to acknowledge that was to simply ask for guilt and emotional pain in being told that the problem lie with me and not the structure built from "god's inerrant and authoritative word". but that's all water under the bridge now. that time in my life is past.

in the present, i find myself as a part of another group of people who love to talk. and that's wonderful. don't get me wrong, i love the transparency, vulnerability, openness, love, grace, and acceptance i find in this place, and that we share with one another as we hash out long held questions and crises of faith. in fact i believe it is good for us to talk about these things. but i don't want to be a part of another group that is all talk. the desire in my heart is to be part of a group whose faith continues to move outward into the world in practical ways.

i think it is extrememly signifigant that through whatever set of circumstances brought us here, we have now found each other. if it is just coincidence, it is one amazing set of coincidences that has brought us together. we live in an age where man can now talk openly all over the world and understand one another again. overriding the curse in genesis placed on humans at the tower of babel. according to the story, the curse was placed on humans because of what they were trying to accomplish. and when humans can completely communicate with each other, "nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them." (gen.11:6)

i think we can now take advantage of this. i think we can do something about the crisis of paradigm in the world in which we live. i believe we can work together to begin to reach out to our world in global ways unprecedented in all of human history up until now. i not only believe it is possible, i believe it is why i am here.

i honestly don't know where this ends but it feels right to me. as if this is what i was created for. it is strange and frightening not knowing where i am going. only seeing one step at a time. and some days/weeks/months/years just sitting at a red light, waiting for it to change to green. (thanks, happy.)

i know i'm not alone in this. i know i am not the only one the spirit is speaking these things to. and i think now, finally, it is time to begin speaking of such things and bringing our puzzle pieces we have been given together. our small loaves and fishes, if you will.

i have no idea where this is going to lead, because it is not me who's putting it together. if this doesn't resonate with you, or you haven't felt god's spirit moving these things in you, then this isn't for you. don't feel bad about it. but if you HAVE felt these stirrings in your spirit, sometimes for years, and are just now feeling them grow stronger, are still confused about it like me, but feel it has something to do with the people you've met online in the past few years, let's start the conversation. let's start trying to "put the pieces together" and find out where to go from here, together, with the spirit at the forefront.

i'm not exactly sure what has begun, but i'm committed to what's begun. as far as god wills it, and desires for me to be with you, you can count on me. i'm in it all the way.

who's with me?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

nursing



"The bonding of mother and child is a miraculous outpouring of unobstructed love channeled through the mortal coil. Nursing is the physical bond of nourishment. Mother is the first meal, the key to life. Bio-electromagnetic and psycho-spiritual bonds bring mother and child together."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

have you seen these before?




finally. children's music i can stand. you can even listen to samples for each album. very cool. check it out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i found this outside of my apartment this morning. beautiful.






for any who are inteested in this sort of thing, there is also a tiny zaavanco. update.

Monday, October 27, 2008

spiritual truths from unexpected sources

first off, this is not meant to induce nostalgia or make you say "i remember that!" as with so many other posts where i pull out some golden oldies. this is different.

i'm going through the weekly house cleaning routine. rowyn is following me around undoing most of what i've done. but we're listening to madonna's "immaculate collection", so it's all good, you know? we're singing and dancing and playing in between chores and having a good ol' time. then we sit down for lunch. as we're sitting there eating together, "papa don't preach" comes on. (i already have an interesting history with this song, as it was one of the first moments where the spirit manifested itself to me outside of a church service and left me wondering, what the hell are you doing bearing witness to kelly osbourne singing a madonna cover at the VMAs?)

but this time, some things came into focus for me about the story of this song and WHY god would want it out there and even bear witness to it. it is the story of a young teen girl who has, presumably, fallen into the exact kind of situation her father has warned her about getting into. what's interesting is that the only real character in the song is the girl. she is the only one giving narative. she's the only one we actually know anything about. but from what she says, we can glean a lot about this situation.

first off, although she HAS gone out and done something she knows her father didn't want her to do, instead of trying to lie about it, or keep it to herself, when she knows she's in over her head, she goes straight back to her father and offers him the truth. she tells him everything. what a right picture of our relationship with THE father. when we fuck up, instead of running away, he wants us to come to him and tell him about it. not so he can beat us up or heap on the guilt, but so he can help. and this is what she is doing. we don't get her father's response, but it makes me wonder...

what would the father's response be? if we view this as a picture of how god is with us when we fail, how would you expect or hope this fictional father would be? would he accept with loving arms and offer help? will he instead rage and belittle? will he offer help? will he be able to overlook what she has done in this single limited instance, and recognize the greater things at work in his daughter? such as the fact that not only did she come straight to daddy when she needed help, but that she has also decided that she wants to have her baby instead of aborting it or giving it away. you would HOPE that seeing how, even when making mistakes, his daughter is level-headed and concerned about doing right, would make a father proud.

but sometimes we can be self-righteous pricks about stuff, you know? how would i respond to my daughter if she offered such a vulnerable and honest heart cry to me?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

that voice


tami had just dropped by to visit for a spell. then we started talking. just as a natural matter of course, since sh had arrived so quickly from across town, we started talking about driving & safety. tami revealed that she never used to wear her seatbelt until one night, as a young teen, she was riding in a pick-up truck with another friend who was driving. a voice nudged her inside and said "put on your seatbelt". she did. less than a minute later, they crashed into a tree and the airbags didn't deploy. unless for that voice she would certainly have gone through the windshield and almost certainly died.

tami then revealed how that voice doesn't come often but it does come every once in a while and when it does she always obeys. and as a result of her obedience she has avoided terrible disaters on a few occasions. which then lead to my wife and i also revealing that we have had similar experiences with that voice. first off, that we have both experienced that voice, but also that when obeyed it has helped us to avoid something unpleasant.

the conversation was so open and vulnerable but yet amazing. i was tempted to record some of it for posting here. (how weird is that?) in the end, i figured it would be best to just let things play out naturally and relate the tale later. it seemed so strange that it would be something we all had experienced but had just never talked about before. btw, tami is by no means a christian, was never raised in the church, and doesn't really believe in any of it. yet apparently, she obeys that voice that voice each time it speaks to her.

so, since the three of us that night had had similar experiences, i bring the question to you... have you heard that voice? that voice that just cuts through the rest of the bullshit voices in a moment. not often, not all the time, but once in a while just cuts right to the heart of something or offers advice or help in a situation you may not even know is coming?

do you obey or just shake it off as being a crazy thought? or both depending on the day? what is YOUR experience with that voice?

Friday, October 17, 2008

a retrospective of parties

you know, i recognize this is a lot of pictures. and if you don't want to look at them, don't feel obligated. but i thought it would be nice to give a look back at many of the parties that have taken place that i haven't shared. since we started this, it has been one insane non-stop roller coaster. we have had good times and bad and MANY roadblocks. one of the most of which was my falling out with the IC. it damaged my faith in several ways and it really shouldn't have. but it did. and for a long time i was not as intentional about this as i think i should be. but what's done is done.

it is a very strange thing to invite people to your home for congregation and enjoyment. especially when several of the people have never met each other. but i have found that when the spirit is right, it doesn't matter. the place becomes filled with all of the fruits of the spirit as a natural matter of course. not ALWAYS, but often enough to make you go "hmmm... that's odd. these people are not normally like this." it is interesting to simply bring people here and when gathered together, witness the spirit work things out in them. or have them spill their most intimate secrets to be met with love and acceptance. or find a new friend. or any number of positive things. i know this fills a specific need within the younger post-christian generation of people who will NEVER set foot in a church outside of a the random holiday when begged by a parent. i still don't understand it very well, or if it is going to gel into something more in the future than what it is now, but i'm going to let god worry about that now. i'm just going to do what i know he wants me to do and that's invite people over and play games as a springboard for social interaction. but i have noticed, more recently, that when those hwo have met before gather, the games are needed less and the evening is filled more with direct conversation and interaction. which, to me, is good. and a sign that these young folks are growing.

now i bring this to you, my dear brothers and sisters to look upon and ask for your support. it is a hard going out here and at the very least we could really use your prayers. whatever gets laid on your heart. people, healing, space issues, wisdom, guidance, and courage. all of the above. that was one thing my IC leadership couldn't understand. i wasn't asking for permission or criticism to do this. i was simply alerting them to the fact that i had been genuinely SENT. i can't explain it shortly any better than that. i have been sent and i need to be at my post. and this is what my post is. so please, please pray for us. it will be much appreciated.

i hope you enjoy seeing some of the faces that have gathered together over the past 2.5 years.


















video

Monday, October 13, 2008

for your contemplation

"...greet no one on the way."

did you know this was one of the instructions that jesus gave his disciples when he sent them out? what do you think about that?

you're completely right, erin.

i HAVE had severe music on the brain lately. i don't know why, but i've been getting very nostalgic as of late for music from my youth. to "reconnect" with that time period of my life since music is the only thing i have left from that time period to connect with.

and, especially, i have been thinking about the form of music i was the most into in junior high. namely "glam metal" or "hair metal." i've simply been feeling things out, but now i'm coming to you all with a bonafide request. i deliver pizza for a living and i get to listen to LOTS and LOTS of music as loud as i want as i drive around. so i make myself many cd's for multiple listenings and enjoyment.

my newest project i have swirling around in my head is a series i call "glam chowder." and i need the names/songs of as many glam bands as you can think of! i don't want to miss anyone. so even the obscure bands like "enuff znuff" and "trixter" are welcome and wanted here. i don't want to miss anyone. let me know as many as you can think of, please. it's all appreciated!!!!!

thank you in advance for your help with this project.

we now return to our regularly scheduled programming...




this is in response to the question i posed a couple of months ago: WHAT NOW?! and since, it is a question i have heard echoed in several places.

most or many of you who come here on a moderately regular basis may not know this, but this blog was originally started to keep people up to date with the goings on of the things in my physical realm, as they pertain to what it is i feel god has for me to do. even the address of this blog reflects it. "somethingelsejtp" the J.T.P. actually stands for "join the party." at the time, i was just beginning to recognize the truth that tony campolo pointed out in his book of the same name "the kingdom of god is a party." this party is happening, all the time, in the here and now. and we're all of part of it, if we would only recognize.

i didn't know what else to do, but god kept reassuring me that this was the direction he wanted me to go, so we just began inviting people over for games and enjoyment and community. as this began to grow, my faith continued to grow as the moments were many that just, i don't know, helped me to believe. to believe that what i was doing was signifigant albeit completely different than what i had been taught. and in many ways, downright "blasphemous" and "heretical" against the mothership. (organized church)

for the next several months after, however, began a process in which the leadership of my CLB began to continually chip away and break me down. it was so hard. fighting near daily with the voices in my head screaming at me to "get back in line!" and "stop this foolishness that will lead you and all these people to hell!" but i couldn't stop. i was compelled. and it was growing. then came the time when the leadership's words began to cut, and cut deep. they actually began to cut the cords of my faith. in the end, after they had completely beat me and bruised me and crushed my faith, they left me for dead in an alley and have never come back since. which is good. but it left me with a lot of rehab and spiritual therapy that needed to happen before i could go on.

finally, i feel like i can do that. we have been having people over about once a month since. this is not to belittle that at all. but i think it's time to be a little more intentional about it again. to believe that what goes on here fulfills a need that just isn't being met for a great percentage of young people in a traditional church setting. and don't let me mislead you here. what happens here is not "house church" as so many would understand it. we don't have a "song time" or a "sermon time" or pre-planned discussions of a particular chapter of the bible or topic. we just invite people, they come, and we enjoy each other, whatever happens. we utilize games as a springboard for social interation and allow people to be themselves, whoever they are right now.

we are typically a motley bunch. but i love the fact that at one point or another, uproarious laughter generally happens. we DO have music going constantly, and there have been times where people have been moved to sing songs that play as a group. (i'll never forget the night that we all stopped what we were doing and sang "fuck her gently" by tenacious D. it was moving.) we have food and snacks. everyone generally brings a little something to throw in. and that's not to mention, that naturally, as a matter of course, god, and these young folks thoughts on god and the world, generally come up and get discussed.

which, if i'm not mistaking, has all the elements of a "classic church service." just not in any way that you would recognize it unless you were looking with inward eyes and not outward judgements. but even then, that's not what it's about. that's not my goal, nor do i feel like it should be. whenever i feel like i should be gearing up to "make this a church," things began to dim. they grow brighter when i say, "fuck it. the only thing i have been instructed to do is invite people over and party with them." because that's the truth. i couldn't believe it when i got my orders from the general, but this is where i've been stationed. and i should be at my post.

so, with full permission from guests to post these pictures, here is the night we had saturday. (i actually passed the camera around so we could record everyone's perspective) just a few people this time. one who has been around since the beginning, tami, and her boyfriend jake, and their good friend mandy. we played star wars monopoly for the first time in like a decade. and it was a very strange game like none other i have played before. the negotiations were much more complex than any i have witnessed before in said game. in fact, i captured one deal on film below, in which you see jake and erin embroiled in negotiations that lasted near 15 minutes. at the end of the deal, erin agreed to trade jake the last property he needed for a monopoly in exchange for (get this): cash, immunity from rent when she landed on that one space, and 50% of the proceeds from the other players who landed on the space. damn. now THAT'S negotiating! (there are a couple of pictures where i left the shutter open and you can see jake looking from erin, to his stuff, and back again. very cool.)

continue to think/pray about us. who knows where this is going, but it's about damn time we start heading that way again.







Monday, September 29, 2008

for shits and giggles

still having a toddler, who is still into everything, makes it tough to find the time for serious posting. hence the youtube fetish recently. which is not going to end today. but instead of music or heady film i decided to drop in a few of my favorite things for your viewing pleasure. i have been a stand-up comedy fanatic for over 20 years now. here is just a small sampling of my favorites. obviously there is more than a single visit's worth of watching here, but you'll have time to come back, if you so desire, before i move on. i'm taking the better part of the next two weeks off from my own blog to do mucho familia engagements as well as work. hopefully you find something to brighten your day and make you spit all over you screen! (extra points if you fall off your chair)


Brian Regan
















Louis CK















Flight Of The Conchords











Friday, September 26, 2008

Rahab's Kitchen



i'm not too sure what to say about this as i'm curious what it is going to grow into. but there is a new space, Rahab's Kitchen. i see it as the potential of a great gathering of people in n out just stopping by to say hello, vent over frustrating days and talk about more "real life" stuff than our regular religious deconstruction and theologizing. and that's for us veterans.

i also see the potential of a place of rest and healing and gentle encouragement for those young in their deconstruction. and perhaps we can help them to come out with fewer scars than those of us who did not have such a space in our early days.

but whatever it is to become, it will not be complete until YOU come over. so join us for a spell, won't you? it is open invite. you can come. anyone you want to invite can come. and if you have anything you would like to share, or would like to be made a permanent contributor, just let me know. then i'll have to figure out how to do something like that...

much love

i'm sorry, i just couldn't help myself.

honestly, other than the mellow morning CD's i play for the kids during our morning routine, i have been listening to nothing else all week. it has produced the strangest reaction in me. pure and utter excitement. for some reason, i want to drive down the street, album blaring, honking my horn and shouting, "they're back! they're really back! kill the fattened calf, our prodigals have returned home!"

i know metallica has been making albums slowly for the past 20 years, but none of them has even come close to measuring up to why i LOVED this band when i was in junior high and high school. they were the first genuine metal band(i.e. NOT "hair metal") that i heard and i fell in love instantly. their album ...and justice for all is one of my top 10 of all time. it came out in 1988. i have been waiting for a follow-up since then. it is finally here. and so i just had to share something. anything. so i thought i'd go with this one as i'm sure more than a couple of you out there could relate.

believe it or not, this is the second shortest song on the album.



BROKEN, BEAT, AND SCARRED





You Rise You Fall
You're Down Then You Rise Again
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
You Rise You Fall
You're Down Then You Rise Again
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
Rise Fall Down Rise Again
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
Rise Fall Down Rise Again
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
Through Black Days
Through Black Nights
Through Pitch Black Insides

Breaking Your Teeth On The Hard Life Coming
Show Your Scars
Cutting Your Feet On the Hard Earth Running
Show Your Scars
Breaking Your Life
Broken, Beat & Scarred
We Die Hard

The Dawn The Death
The Fight to the Final Breath
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
The Dawn The Death
The Fight to the Final Breath
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
Dawn Death Fight Final Breath
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
Dawn Death Fight Final Breath
What Don’t Kill You Will Make You More Strong
They Scratched Me
They Scraped Me
They Cut and Rape Me

Breaking Your Teeth On The Hard Life Coming
Show Your Scars
Cutting Your Feet On the Hard Earth Running
Show Your Scars
Breaking Your Life
Broken, Beat & Scarred
We Die Hard

Breaking Your Teeth On The Hard Life Coming
Show Your Scars
Cutting Your Feet On the Hard Earth Running
Show Your Scars
Bleeding Your Life In A Hard Luck Story
Show Your Scars
Spilling Your Blood In the Hot Sun's Glory
Show Your Scars

Breaking Your Life
Broken, Beat & Scarred
We Die Hard

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

hi.




this is me. this is what i look like when i take a picture of myself blogging and listening to metallica's new album. the kids are in bed. the wife is engrossed is one of her favorite movies. the store i work for is closed. this is how it is most days for me when i enter this space. i am pure bliss. often mrs. peres will tap me and ask me what i'm giggling about as i'm typing furiously, completely oblivious to the fact i'm doing it.

so i might rant, and i might rave, and i might shout for joy, or scream with frustrated rage. i might make light of the holy and praise the profane. but if you can handle it, then know that no matter what you share, it's all good from here. Always. you don't ever need to worry about "where is jON's heart at?" i know you're good people and i trust you. share whatever you feel without apology here. you've more than earned my trust and respect.

much love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

can i get an amen? holla!

this one's for the sistas

from mrs. peres



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

hands down the best existential rant about american politics i've ever heard given in only two minutes

ultimately this is the clip from waking life that i wanted to share. i just got distracted because when i went looking for it i realized they had the whole movie on youtube cut up into the various scenes, so i shared a couple of other faves along the way. i'm not sure if you've ever seen the film, but it is one of my favorites. very revolutionary at the time, it was shot entirely on digital film and then each frame was "painted over" so that it looks like living animation. each scene has a different theme and feel to it. plus it gives greater freedom for interesting things to happen. (i.e. someone is talking and their mouth starts sliding to the left or their eyes shift around their face or something just wanders through the background that wasn't in the original shot.)

this movie is well worth the viewing if you think watching people talk about existential philosophy is fun. i do. the movie isn't about politics as much as it is about our concepts of reality and the way in which we conduct our lives as human beings on a daily basis. and of course, politics happens to be one of the ways in which we conduct our daily business so it gets touched on.

if you're sick of american politics, if you think the debates between the two sides are silly because it is the whole system that is flawed and not just the party in charge, then this rant is for you. enjoy.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

greater things than these: the post






it was a little fuzzy at first. but then, it started coming in a little clearer. able to feed a crowd with naught but a few fish and some bread. able to heal an entire village in a single afternoon. able to cast out the dark demons that hold people prisoner. able to be whisked away from a place in the blink of an eye. able to raise a person from the dead.

this is the picture i got about a week ago. it suddenly clicked into place. and then it made me wonder, why doesn't this happen more frequently? why do we not live as heroes? not to blame us, or induce guilt with this age old question, but... is our faith really so weak?

for those true skeptics among us, who question the authenticity of the supernatural occurances and have a preference for more "natural" explanations, that is not the bent of this post. i have already heard true account, witnessed, and experienced too much true supernatural occurance to believe those explanations. if you have not, i am sorry. but your non-experience does not counteract my experience in this case. so i am starting from the place that these occurances happened in real time and space and were recorded for us faithfully and accurately.

my grandfather had a moment once, when my mother was still a child living at home, when they were very poor, and people strangely kept showing up at the home asking to share in their meal. all they had was one small bowl of noodles for their own family, but as each person came, they offered what they had and after something ridiculous like 13 people who "just happened" to stop by, the bowl was still not empty. true story. this happened in real time and space.

my father was planning suicide at age 18. he was driving his car towards a tree on the outskirts of the small town he lived in. the last thing he remembers seeing is the speedometer buried at 120 and closing his eyes seconds before impact only to open them and find himself in the middle of town at a red light. true story. this happened in real time and space.

from what i gather, according to the biblical accounts, we should be able to provide for a person's health. to keep them alive. food and healing. we should have mastery over the elements, or at the very least, water. walking on it. stopping it from falling from the sky. turning it into wine. this is just a short list, but when grouped together, i get a very different picture of those who "walk in the spirit" on a moment to moment basis from what has classically been taught.

where is the disconnect? what happened between then and now? jesus said that among this small list of things he did, we would also be able to do. but he also said that we would be able to do even greater things than these, because he was going to the father. well, he's now with the father. and i think, the question he put forth by jesus, "...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” resounds even more heavily today than it did back then.

recently, lorena commented at towards truth "Unfortunately, what Jesus supposedly did, his followers can't reproduce..." how true that statement is. but i don't think it is because it can't be done. i just think we don't know how. we haven't practiced. we don't have the faith. and real faith can make things that are not reality, reality. need an everyday example? take walking up the stairs in the dark. when you lose count, can't see that you're already on top, and take another step that is full of faith and expectation that there is another step, you take a step and slam your foot down on the floor in a manner that you cannot reproduce naturally. try it. no matter how many times you try to convince yourself there is a step and recreate the sensation, you can't do it because you don't truly believe. you don't have faith.

but at the same time, how are we to have faith? how can we believe in something we've never seen? i think it's fair to say we've never seen anyone walk on water. or feed and heal a village. so how do we have faith enough to accomplish these things? can we call them "abilities"? how do we have faith in these abilities, or "gifts", if we have no mentors or training grounds?

i mean, even if you've ever had the inkling twitch in you, no matter how small, to try to heal someone, have you ever actually given it a shot and walked up to someone in a wheel chair, grabbed their hand, pulled and said, "walk!" ? and did this with FULL CONFIDENCE AND EXPECTATION that it would happen? because i think that's the key element. especially for the big things. that's why, in my opinion, jesus clears the room before he raises the little girl from the dead. he needed the doubt out of the room so it could be filled with faith doing its work.

so what are the practical applications? where are the teachers and mentors? where are the training grounds? what are the "greater things than these" that were promised? how does this fit together with who we are? how does one discover these abilities and grow in them? and how does it affect you as you learn?

is anyone willing to be vulnerable and share experiences or say that they, at the very least, think they may have an ability so we might begin discussion towards a practical fulfillment? because i know i have abilities. and i would like to talk about it, with the hope of coming towards an understanding of practical application.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

in the sun

this is another song from my "epitaph." in terms of the story, i have been completely demoralized, confused, emotionally and spiritually beaten and abused, betrayed, bewildered... you name, i was in it deep. the darkest time of my life. that's where act I ends.

this is the first song on the 2nd CD. the beginning of act II. i hope you enjoy yet another song. i don't know about you, but if it catches me in the right mood, it makes me cry for obvious reasons. this one just hits too close to home. but in a good, healthy, and restorative way. to have a voice to hold me in that moment and offer comfort.




I picture you in the sun wondering what went wrong
And falling down on your knees asking for sympathy
And being caught in between all you wish for and all you seen
And trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in

May God's love be with you
Always
May God's love be with you

I know i would apologize if i could see your eyes
'Cause when you showed me myself i became someone else
But i was caught in between all you wish for and all you need
I picture you fast asleep
A nightmare comes
You can't keep awake

May God's love be with you
Always
May God's love be with you

'Cause if i find
If i find my own way
How much will i find
If i find
If i find my own way
How much will i find
You

I don't know anymore
What it's for
I'm not even sure
If there is anyone who is in the sun
Will you help me to understand
'Cause i been caught in between all I wish for and all I need
Maybe you're not even sure what it's for
Any more than me

May God's love be with you
Always
May God's love be with you

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

the church of what's happening now

since we discussed sia, it brought to mind one of my very favoritest songs in the whole big world. this is one of those songs that i hear and i wonder, "where did you get this information?" this song, more than any other, captures the exact essence and meaning of grace. as far as i'm concerned this is the greatest worship song ever written. and as far as i know, sia is not a christian by any means. it is a song i came by early in my deconstruction and it has brought me much comfort and strength. it helps me to recenter myself. i have even included it on the autobiographical 2 cd set that i have made to be played at my funeral. i really hope you enjoy this as much as i do.


(i completely apologize for the irrelevant video. please ignore it while listening. if i knew of a site that just did songs i could embed, i would use it.)





I want to change, to rearrange
What is going on
I need to change, I need to play
Like a five year old

I can't detach from the past and all of the pain
I need to learn, start from scratch begin again

Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day
Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day

So I'm going to eat one hundred sweets
I don't care if I get fat
And I'm going to speak one I won't censor me
I know I can take nothing back

And I'm going to jump I will unburden
I cannot go too deep
I will not run from bad things I've done
They're things I'll try not to repeat

Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day
Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day

Welcome to
The church of what's happening now
Head straight through
It costs nothing but change

Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day
Throw away yesterday
Today is a brand new day

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

waitress



come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch, but I don't care
she brought our food out on time
and wore a funky barrette in her hair

come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch but good enough
to leave some change,
everybody's good enough for some change

the girl's got family
she needs cash to buy aspirin for her pain,
everybody's good enough for some change
SOME FUCKING CHANGE!!!

come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch, but I don't care
she brought our food out on time
and wore a funky barrette in her hair

come on baby leave some change behind
she was a bitch but good enough
to leave some change,
everybody's good enough for some change

we all get the flu,
we all get aids
we've got to stick together after all,
everybody's good enough for some change,
SOME FUCKING CHANGE!!!

just because it feels so good to dance from the waist up and sing with headphones on

Sunday, August 24, 2008

waiting for my real life to begin




Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Friday, August 15, 2008

do we still believe?

do we still have our hope? that jesus is coming back? that one day god is going to put this right? or has that been pushed back into the realm of wishful thinking? a nice idea, but something rational and logical people can't get tied up in. that would be silly.

it has been on my heart to share this song for a long time. it seems like such a strange place to find these sentiments. it seems like such a strange thing for a man such as this to be calling for the kingdom. to be pleading for it. and praying for it. do we join in the prayers? are we more interested in seeing the kingdom manifested in all of its glory now? to just drop all of this human bullshit we call the "real world" and walk away? to "see it all go down?" would it bring us joy? as if the consummation of our desires? or would we disappointed that it has disrupted our schedules?

the thing that is so striking to me about this song is just how much it sounds like biblical prophecy. very OT as well as revelation. (rev 18 to be exact) but more than that, when i am very honest, how it echos the desires of my heart. please god, just flush it all away. i don't need to go to work one more day or pay one more bill or watch one more movie or listen to one more song or play one more game or drive one more mile or eat one more hamburger or smoke one more joint. not here anyway. if these things exist in any form in the next life, i would rather participate in them there. this world is a huge dead end and long ago it was rightly noted "all is futile. a striving after the wind."

what are we doing this for? do we even know where we're headed? do we overwork ourselves and damage our families for any purpose? do we really love these golden chains that much? are we working towards a device that can do it all? play music for me while i call someone and do my taxes and jerk me off at the same time? all the while the size of a postage stamp? and even if we do finally invent a machine that can do it all, what then?

i'm getting off course, now. i apologize.

i just don't need it. any of it. if i had a place to go, if i had an alternative, i would be there. but this time. this time. i think we may have run too far to get home. this time, when it goes down, i don't think anything in our own power can save us. which is why i'm waiting for everything to be put right. and doing what i can to live my life in moment to moment protest of the dominant paradigm, and freeing as many others minds as i can before it is too late.

(tool are big fans of strange and sometimes disturbing imagery. if you are not a fan of those things, you may wish to simply focus on the lyrics printed below while listening. i understand the song is lengthy, but i think it is well worth your time.)




Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

It's a
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Learn to swim.

Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
Fuck all his clones.
Fuck all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Learn to swim.

Fuck retro anything.
Fuck your tattoos.
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memory.

Learn to swim.

Fuck smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

Learn to swim.

Cuz I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom please flush it all away.
I wanna watch it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
suck it down.
flush it down.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

roots.

i have always been fascinated by thinking about the far reaching effects of the choices that people make. often i have marveled at how different things would look in our culture if we had never used slaves. apart from probably dying out early on, i wonder if we would have things like rap music. it is in this vein of thinking that these things came into focus for me. the far reaching effects of choices made, which, when added up, became something that no one at the time could have ever conceived.

if i knew more about spanish politics around 1492, i'm sure i could trace back causes further, but since columbus is so well known, i figure its as good a place to start as any.

columbus came and brought european politics with him. rather than recognize what was already happening in the land, they ignored the autonomy of the people already here, and claimed it for themselves. it is this contact that lead to further contact by other countries, namely england, who sent the first colonists over.


rather than trying to learn from the natives how to live in this "new" land, the colonists and european governments sought to subjegate and destroy them. ignoring the fact that we were the visitors and the land could not be "claimed" because it already had inhabitants. instead of trying to coexist in a symbiotic harmony with the land and begin a new story, we decided to bring the old story with us and try to recreate england here. (which seems stupid to me since it was england we were trying to escape. but that's another story.) as a result of not humbling ourselves and learning how to live here, we were almost wiped out. so when the first slave ships came, we were, unfortunately, all but too eager to justify taking that sort of "help."


which of course lead to harsh treatment of the slaves to keep them in line, adding to the pain and suffering already endured.

but this invariably lead to a style of music known as the "black" or "slave spiritual." songs of suffering coupled with a hope of deliverance. songs that tackled "dark" subject matter with unflinching honesty.

skip a couple of hundred years and this music morphed itself into what we would call the delta blues. i make mention of this man here, robert johnson, because he probably had more influence on future rock guitarists than any other. as legend would have it, he made a deal with the devil at the crossroads in order to be the best blues guitar player in the world.

it was right around this time, across the globe, that a man named adolf hitler rose to power in germany. there were several other factors that lead to what was titled "world war 2", but for our purposes here, hitler is the dominant figure.

as a result of hitler's leadership, germany attacked england. and one town, in specific, that was heavily bombed was birmingham, england. a steel town. a metal town.

the assault left the town in rubble, and left the people, eventually, to rebuild. of course, the war eventually ended, which brought about a surgence of newborn children often called "the baby boom." it is this generation of children who took the music that was begun in the blues, electrified it, and made it into the nefarious "rock n roll."

one morning, in a steel mill in birmingham, england, a young man by the name of tony iommi became permanently injured. on his last day of work (he was already quitting) he was kindly filling in for a friend on a machine he had never worked before. less than a half hour from the end of his shift, something went awry and the tips of two of his fingers on his fretboard hand were cut off. amazingly, he did not give up on his dream. his fashioned prosthetic tips for his fingers himself in order to keep playing. which invariably lead to him tuning down his guitar about a step and a half in order to make the strings looser and easier to play.


which lead to the droning, thick, booming sound that is contained within this record. written by young men playing music that was born out of misery, suffering, and pain. in a town that had been filled with misery, suffering, and pain. by a man who had endured misery, suffering, and pain to continue his art. all of this "dark" subject matter became reflected in this music and gave birth to something which, even then, they could not conceive of what it has become today. a music of catharsis for the misery, suffering, and pain in the world.