Monday, December 22, 2008

A. Bird

[For those who are wondering, this is not turning into a music blog. This post is as much of a thanks to Stephanie and Micall as it is an appreciation for Andrew Bird and his great musical talent.]

After Thursday night's awesome Bon Iver show, I didn't think my weekend would get too much more musical. But I was wrong.

At approximately 5 pm on Friday, I got an email from Stephanie, stating that she got some information from a friend of hers that Andrew Bird was playing a secret show at Ronny's in Logan Square. She couldn't verify the info, but her source seemed credible.

If any of you know me, I mean really know me, then you would know that many months ago, when I thought I would have to be leaving Chicago due to the lack of a job, my target date to leave this great city was the 4th of September. A Thursday. Who leaves on a Thursday? Well, it wasn't a randomly selected Thursday, but rather it was the Thursday after Andrew Bird played a free concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park. One of the more anticipated concerts that I had waited to see. It was the first and only time I had seen him.

However, this particular Friday Micall and I had planned to have our Christmas, go see the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights and have some time together. Alas, I would not see this show.

But upon mentioning this to Micall, she exclaimed, "Well, let's go! We can see the Zoo lights anytime."


Ronny's is a dive. A serious dive. One that sells PBR for $3 in cans (MSRP: $0.50). But as we waited through the sound check and starred through the glass door. Andrew Bird was sound checking his violin and whistle (his mouth). He played about an hour, mostly new stuff, and an old song that I hadn't heard before. It was great. And I was this close to him... Yeah that close. At one point, he couldn't find his shoulder pad thingy for his violin and I pointed it out to him. He head-nodded in gratitude. Yeah, I got a head-nod.

He has a new album coming out in January. Keep an eye out for it. And he's touring the US. He'll be in a city near you soon enough. Even Tulsa.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Chris has pointed out a great article by Alan Hirsch in Christianity Today's Leadership Journal that everyone should read. In the article, Hirsch rightly points out that missional theology applies to the whole life of the believer.

A missional theology is not content with mission being a church-based work. Rather, it applies to the whole life of every believer. Every disciple is to be an agent of the kingdom of God, and every disciple is to carry the mission of God into every sphere of life. We are all missionaries sent into a non-Christian culture.

Missional represents a significant shift in the way we think about the church. As the people of a missionary God, we ought to engage the world the same way he does—by going out rather than just reaching out. To obstruct this movement is to block God's purposes in and through his people. When the church is in mission, it is the true church.

In my current position, perhaps the most frustrating thing is that I am required to sit in an empty church building for approximately 30 hours a week. And while the word "missional" is continually described as what we are trying to accomplish, the fact of the matter is we are still expecting people to come to us. This is neither the way that God acted, nor expects us to act. Philippians 2:5b-8 reads,
Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
And John 1:9-10a, 14,
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And the commission he gave us? I think you know where I'm going: Matthew 28:19, 20,
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
But go read the article for yourself. And the Bible. And Kevin Cawley's Missional Church Beginner's Guide.

We'll talk after.

Don't call me.

I'll call you.

Photo Friday :: Bon Iver Edition

I made sure I remembered my camera this time. I was purposeful in doing so.

And what do I hear as I'm waiting outside to sell my extra ticket? "No Cameras." Dang it. And while I felt comfortable sneaking in a burrito, if my camera got confiscated, I would not have been happy.

On another note. People: if you're going to a concert and taking photos, please don't use your flash. Especially if you're in the balcony. It won't reach that far. It'll distract from the lighting that trained and paid professionals have set up already. Turn your ISO up on your camera and convert to black and white.

The music was great though and I bought my first vinyl. I feel this beginning to be a long downward spiral. But a warm sounding one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bon Iver

Last April I received a call from a good friend asking me if I wanted to go see Bon Iver that night. I had a lot going on, but the stuff that I had heard so far didn't blow me away. It kept bugging me to check him out so the next week I did and regretted having "a lot going on" ever since.

But he's back in Chicago this Thursday and I've had tickets for a couple months now. Sold out show at the Vic. And it better be a good one.

If you haven't heard of him, then you need to check him out. If you have his album already, then you need to check out his special recordings.

Skinny Love on Letterman:

For Emma, Forever Ago on La Blogotheque:

Flume on TheCurrent:

La Blogotheque's Bon Iver Search Results. The first and third results are the videos.

DayTrotter Sessions (Complete with free downloads)

MySpace Transmissions Audio (Again, free downloads!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reflections on Advent

Last night at Berwyn, the Women's Guild put on a Christmas Musicale; a Lessons and Carols service. Scripture and reflective readings were read. I was told I had 10 minutes for a sermon. That's normally a warm up for me-- or at least, I'd like it to be. This one came in at 11:45.

And the volume goes up to 11 also.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo Friday

Haven't gotten out too much lately, but here's some more from early November.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stewart & Colbert on Blagojevich

[The language may be offensive to some.]

Stewart puts it in layman's terms.

Colbert, well, Colbert is just bleeping gold.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


But these choices do not make matters whole-- the gospel does. Otherwise put, freedom is not an interior human capacity which needs but a homilectical push from time to time in order to function. Freedom is a consequence of the grace of God. Human freedom is therefore not a reservoir of capacity the preacher seeks to shape into a "decision for Christ" by means of a sermon. Human freedom is the capacity for choice that is generated by the gospel of Jesus Christ as proclaimed.
Eugene L. Lowry, The Homiletical Plot, p. 83.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Photo Friday

He wants to marry her.

She thinks he's funny.

He has a girl's name.

She does too.

June 20th, 2009, she'll have his name.

He'll still have his name.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Buechner on Advent

The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you've never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart…The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
-Frederick Buechner