Thursday, October 28, 2004


If you aren't in the Busch Gardens inner circle, you might need to be informed that gnus are called by the Dutch name 'wildebeast', which (strangely enough) translates to mean 'wild beast.' The creativity in this is astonishing. But that's not what I'm writing to tell you. I just think it's a fun way of saying news. Anyways, I'm going to add a news section to the website so as to keep from using this blog for boring informational stuff. But, until that blessed day, here we go.

I just finished a class on the Gospel hidden in the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky (if you don't know him, check him out definitely). Kudos to Father Stephen Freeman (St. Anne's Orthodox Church) for teaching and the world-famous Kenny Woodhull (New City Cafe) for setting the whole thing up. One of the things it taught me, is that the approach to the Gospel and my salvation that I have learned in church all my life is really scary. Not that it was taught wrong, but maybe I've learned it wrong. It's scary because I find myself sort of like Mrs. Turpin in Flannery O'Conner's Revelation, watching the drunkards, swindlers, and prostitutes go up to Heaven ahead of me, because I am a loveless and prideful person. Blessed are the meek for they will inheret the earth. I guess the only thing I sort of have going for me is 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.' And I'm only hoping for that one, I'm not certain that I do. And there's another thing - I spend a lot of time (either consciously or unconsciously) worried about going to heaven, as if my salvation is nothing but a ticket to get in the door. It's not about that, it's not about walking down golden streets and mansions and pearly gates and stupid concepts that we've come up with because we don't have words to describe God's presence. I guess we're not supposed to, since He didn't give us those words. He simply said 'I am.' That's it, and sometimes, I feel like Moses should have gone "I am....what? That's it, no adjective?!" But God said 'I am.' And thus we have this thing we simply know and sometimes understand to a degree that can only be described as indescribable. Funny like that, huh...

I've written some new stuff, so check it out in the 'Hay in the Needlestack' section if you haven't already. And I've finished Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco), so if you want to borrow it, and you're close enough to not call long distance, sure, that's fine. Time to pick up another book, and I can't decide which one. This is a good problem to have. I wrote several bad checks the other day, and when they bounced, I felt absolutely terrible about them. Especially because I had to talk with my parents about it. But God reminded me that, you know, if that's your only problem Adam, you've got it pretty darn good. And He's right.

Tonight, I felt prideful as I was at New City watching a girl play who went before me. I felt pride creeping up on me, so I asked God to take it out of me. On the way back to school, I just simply had the hardest time dealing with how stupid I am and how I think way too much about everything and how I'm not perfect, and how can I 'be better' and so forth. And I didn't understand and I questioned God on how He could do me that way. So He then reminded me that I ASKED FOR IT! Moral of the story: If you're gonna pray for God to heal some part of your spirit that isn't right, don't think He won't do it, and quickly. Remember the guy with the lizard on his shoulder in The Great Divorce. I'm glad He answers prayers.

Talk to you later.
'I got junk I gotta get accomplished.' - Bill Thompson (Evan Higgenbothem)

Friday, October 08, 2004

Fear and Growing in October

The merry month of October has come. It's proving to be one of the fullest months I've had so far. But most of the schedule-items are musical in nature, so it's not altogether bad. In fact, I'm rather enjoying it. It started out with getting to record for a promotional cd my church is doing to give to new members. I suppose that's something I would have used to hear and think of Concord or some other gi-normous church like that. But here I sit and I'm a member of a megachurch of sorts. And you know what, I wouldn't change it. It's not a bad thing by necessity - cause I can't number to you the succession of times where God has proven his presence to me when I've been spending time with that group of people. Anyways, I digress - we got to record the song that Andy and I got to write for the Disciple Now in Irmo, SC last year. Sometimes songs come over a period of time, sometimes it's work. This was the other kind however - the ones that seem to write themselves. We sat down knowing what we had to do and in about fifteen or twenty minutes, the whole thing was done. It was very obvious that God wanted that song written, because He did it.

You know, I used to think (and still do - I have become any less human) that I shouldn't give God credit for writing these songs that I call mine. I thought that would diminish me, little knowing that to diminish me is the complete intention of a Supreme Being that has my best interest at heart and is crazy about me. David says "my tongue is a pen in the hand of a skillful writer." (Psalm 45:1) So I hope I'm a little more okay with the idea now than not.

I also got to go to Andrew Peterson's recorded concert at New City Cafe (everybody I know seemed to be talking about it). It was the first time (and the only one so far) that I'd heard Andy Gullahorn, but I was really glad to get to share his music. Ben Shive did his usual magic on the music, and Jonathan and Amanda Noel opened (which I found out that they wrote the song "The Stone" or whatever it's called, I can't remember, that Jars of Clay did on the first City on a Hill record. It was a blast to hear them play it and sing with them).

Here's the big cheese of the whole thing. Andy and I got to go Bebo's concert to help out (we volunteered, but it was still really cool). We got to the church at 10am, and helped out with mostly sound/stage/lighting equipment before and after the concert. It was absolutely a blast, but my body is tired and beaten.

I guess I got a little more honest at songwriting last night. I don't so much think it's a thing of being 'good at it' as much as it is being honest. I still think it's some skill level, but not as much as I used to. You can be a skillful doctor with a poor bedside manner and nobody wants you to treat them. Anyways, I got to thinking about how fearful I am when Bebo was talking about the kids when he went to Africa that had AIDS and other things. I got to thinking about how many things I'm truly afraid of. It's not something I readily admit. I've got to go. Good to finally sit down and write to you again. The title has nothing to do with the Las Vegas movie. Stand up straight. Don't use crayons on walls without authorization.