Friday, April 29, 2005

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog...

My plans for actually getting back on track and posting on a moderately regular basis got napalmed on Monday, when I received an email from a friend of mine whose father died in a tragic, tragic accident on Sunday.

I immediately cancelled the classes I teach, and headed out the door. To Tupelo, MS.

If anyone's ever planning on making a 700+-mile-round-trip journey in 48 hours...don't. Or if you do, take lots of cool tunes.

So -- once I get caught up on the 200+ emails sitting in my Inbox...I'll be back.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Yes, people WILL buy anything

Where else can you find the live One Bad Pig at Cornerstone CD?


Friday, April 22, 2005

[note: this is the actual text from an email I sent to a friend earlier today; names and all that identifying crap has been changed or deleted to protect the infamous]


Among the 658 things that have been brewing in my mind and soul since -- well, before my trip to Nashville for the ACPA convention, but they've kicked into over drive after that -- is exactly what kind of contribution *am* I making at Compass...namely, in this case, on Wednesday nights.

You don't know (...yet...) the sordid tales and heartbreaks of my life, especially in regards to my walk with God. As difficult as it may be for you to believe this, at one time I was considering going into the ministry full-time, doing sort of what you do -- youth ministry, although I have a real passion and desire to work with the "older" kids (high school/college/fresh outta). Why I'm *not* doing that is a tale best told in person, so I'll save that one.

Long story short about the Compass/W@7 Sonny-soul-searching issues: you can never know how much I have fallen in love with this family. Never. Man, there are days when I just want to cry tears of happiness when I think about how full my soul is when I interact with everyone there. I've NEVER been involved with any organization -- secular or sacred, for lack of a better comparison -- like Compass. The only comparison I've been able to use to describe it to other people is one that I'm sure I've mentioned to you: this has to be what the early church (like, in Paul's day) was like. We're a group of believers, of friends, making meaningful contributions to each other's lives, and we all pitch in to make the environment at Compass a welcome, learning, and LOVING environment for everyone -- from the "regulars" to the people we hope we don't freak out too much the first time they visit.

And because of this -- as well as because of who I am -- dude, I want to be involved. I want to be involved on any and every level I can be. If that means spending a Saturday tossing crap out of the back be it. If that means nailing trees to a be it. If that means going to be it.

I want to do as much as I can, every time I can, in every way I can simply because (a) it's giving back to people who have given me so much; (b) we're kinda sorta commanded to do so, and (c) it's me. It's my personality. It's my passion, my drive, and my calling (for want of a better term).

For the last few weeks, I've been...concerned...about me Wednesday nights. As in, am I really doing ANYTHING worthwhile by being there? I'm not the most gregarious -- I leave that to you (and Ashley to a degree). In fact, when I'm around uber-extroverts, even though I am an extrovert, my introverted nature comes to the front, because I don't want to send the people we're around into sensory overload.

I've worried that I'm not saying the right thing (if I indeed say anything worthwhile. I've worried that these kids -- that I love and have come to look forward to seeing -- just think I'm the odd old guy who hangs out to recapture his youth (which was so long ago, "recapturing" is impossible ). I've worried that I'm not contributing anything worthwhile at all...that I'm just background noise, a decoration, or at worse, a hindrance.

-- and no, I don't know why or where that comes from; self-identity and issues of worth have always been a struggle with me. Again...Sonny's back story is interesting and should be a freakin' mini-series on Bravo or something.

But...darn that PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE thing we're studying...that goes and throws my theory of how much I suck and how useless I am into a woodchopper and it shows me how much a total load of crap my issues are. In fact, the "extended study" stuff in the back of the notebook we all have (props up to Kelly for this) had the passage from I Cor 12 in it for this week -- the on about how we're the hands, feet, ears, etc. of the body, and how each body part is dependent upon the other.

So, that got me to thinking -- maybe I'm the spleen or appendix in the body of Christ: it's there, doing its job, and if it was gone, the body would be lessened. maybe I'm not really a spleen, but I refuse to give myself the comparison of a butt cheek or something.

Trust me -- I'm not typing all this to seek an ego boost ('cause that would be completely against WHY we/I do the things at the church -- this so ain't for my glory). Nor am I looking for any kind of a validation that I contribute anything/worthwhile to W@7 or Compass in general.

Again: this is just one of the MANY things on my mind as of late. I'm undergoing some major soul-searching issues.

For fun and annoyment: for all your Sonny-centered angsty pleasure.


It's all about the Love...

Patrick Love is on campus today, promoting and hosting a discussion on his new book. We were all expected to read this tome and come to the discussion this afternoon.

I think I'll accidentally trip and sever an artery or something. I tried reading the book, but it was about as exciting as insightful and enjoyable as watching moss grow. Plus, the "rethinking" in the title is a bit misleading -- it's more like "regurgitating old ideas and trying to make them sound kewl and fresh, yo."


Thursday, April 21, 2005

O How the Mighty Have Fallen...

I swear, I'm just going to start resetting all my clocks to 1985 or something.

the choir (them's what inspired the name of my site) have a new album out, and -- well, it's quite the welcome change in my CD player. It's also quite telling that as of late, my nostalgia kick has jumped up about 76 notches: I'm listening to older music, or newer albums by older artists -- it you've not yet bought Drunkard's Prayer from Over the Rhine, you should be ashamed of yourself as a human, scratch that: you're NOT human if you don't own this CD. Go redeem what remains of your soul and buy this. You'll thank me. If you don't thank me, you have no taste, no couth, and you probably have chronic bad breath to boot.

Back to topic: why have I been looking back at my past so much? Part of it might have to do with the fact that most of my colleagues think I'm going through a midlife crisis (at 34, if I'm in my mid-life, I'm cashing in my saving account tonight and flying to LA for the kicks of it). Part of it might have to do with the fact that -- frighteningly enough -- Athens has renewed my spirit, rejuvenated ME (the "ME" me, not just the "Sonny" outer shell of me). Part of it might be that I have been enjoying reading some very cool books as of late (click on each highlighted word to see the shameless plugging I engage in).

Part of it might be that -- again, at the ripe old age of 34 -- I am wondering exactly what the crap I'm doing here, why have I squandered (not wasted) so much time doing things that don't matter, and...what the crap am I supposed to do with me, really?

I'm questioning what I want to be when I grow up.

Lord, help me...I might want to leave this field.