Becoming otherworldly

I discovered a new television channel the other night. There was nothing new on my DVR and my Netflix account wasn’t working properly, so I was stuck having to search through commercial filled  TV channels to find something to watch. It was a rough night…and also  the epitome of ‘first world problems.’ Eventually, though, I stumbled across  the AXS TV channel. It’s a channel that usually goes unnoticed, tucked away past my usual television stomping ground of ESPN, A& E and the History Channel. Turns out, the AXS channel shows concerts and other music-inspired media. Not too bad of a discovery. And it just so happened that at nine o’clock on a Sunday evening an older John Mayer concert was on. For those who know me, this is a beautiful discovery analogous to finding a substantial balance left on a Starbucks gift card.

John Mayer inspired a previous blog post of mine because, well, I love him. (Actually, I love his music… not him per say) It’s true. I am a big a fan of his and he said something on AXS TV that was captivating. John was describing a musician’s journey and shared that musicians as a lot are all about continuity. There is this continuation among st musicians where you can pick out their sound and style and connect it to people who’ve gone before them. John mentioned his music is heavily influenced by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Hendrix. According to John, he was drawn to these two in particular because their guitar playing was ‘otherworldly.’ There was something about the way they not only played their instruments, but embodied the musical experience that to him was life-changing. John believed Stevie and Jimmy were two quiet souls who tapped into this alternate existence and he had them to thank for his current sound. In his mind they became otherworldly.

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Unsurpassable Worth

We recently had some friends come to our youth group and share an incredible story they’ve been telling. A few years ago they started an organization called Povertees. They make cool t-shirts with pockets they sew on them–then they use the funds from the shirts to help and assist people living on the streets of downtown LA. They’ve been at it a few years now, and they are still making shirts, but there is more going on than just sewing pockets. As their story shares, they believe in ‘life sewn together.’  It wasn’t just about making a shirt or even helping people; instead, it became about hanging out with their friends in LA. They made shirts so their friends could eat; they raised money so opportunities could be created for their friends. This group became about loving people not because they were a project or even because Jesus would love them. Rather, they made trips to LA and created t-shirts because they began living life together. And that is beautiful.

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God is for you

I said goodbye to a friend the other day who is moving out of California. We had this incredible conversation too. It was one of those good, heart to heart, deep outpouring of kindred spirits talks. The kind of dialogue you think only exists in movies where writers meticulously edit over and over again until it’s just right. Well, that might be stretching it, but it was a good conversation nonetheless. My friend reminded me of an important truth I think I had forgotten. “God is always for you,” he said.

I thought more about his statement after we parted ways. God is for you. Ever notice how you live differently when you think differently about God? Theology is never merely theoretical. The truth is, our lives change when our theology influences how we live. Believing God is for us has the power to do just that.

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The Bread Man

I met the bread man a few months back. Never heard of him? I hadn’t either until he pulled up outside of our church in his van full of carbs. His name is John and he lives in our city. I liked him immediately. He wears black and white tweed pants and blue blocker sun glasses. He drives a rusty brown astro van with no benches and a cracked windshield. The reason there are no benches in his van is so he can fill it with bread. Go figure. Every once in a while, John gets a call from Vons. I’m not sure why they call him or how he got this gig, but every month or so Vons calls John. They tell him they have a pickup for him. John then drives his rusty brown astro van to Vons and fills it with bread. Lot’s of bread.