Friday, December 18, 2009

Tom and Brenda: They be sober...even at the bar

Who says there's nothing good on TV?

Our own Sts. Tom and Brenda McCann are featured in this KMPH Channel 26 feature story on
"We Be Sober." They just happened to be at a company party at the Elbow Room Bar...not a place they usually hang out!

(Though I have video of Tom hanging at an even more shameful place here..see this secret video, skip to 6:50, click here!! Shhh!)

Watch the Channel 26 video of Tom and Brenda here.
They show up around 1:20. Tom has a killer smile, but they only used the interview with Brenda (:

Story here:

$30 Ride Home can Save you Thousands in DUI Fines

Monday, December 14, 2009


Wow Thanks Dave! I truly feel honored to possibly contribute to your blog.

My thoughts today are still on the miracles I saw last Friday night. I was invited by my nieces to their discipleship conference. Its called "The Threat". I sat next to my nieces friend and for some reason I was unable to speak the whole night to her. This is really weird since as you know I usually have something to say. Well apparently God did not want me to speak at that moment. This 15 year old girl needed to watch these teenagers as they spoke on what the world has to offer and what Jesus can do for your life. You see she was not a christian. Well at the end of the night she went up for prayer from my niece Danny who is also 15, and accepted the Lord. After that I had lots to say to her. It's was just a great reminder that you really must pay attention to that still small voice. If I had spoken before I was supposed to I may have intimidated this young girl. She would not have been able to hear and see the message that The Lord had for her. By watching my nieces she was able to see that other young people are willing to stand up for what they believe. Wow!!! So today I am just remembering that and how much I hope to always hear that still small voice and keep my mouth shut. By the way I am super proud of my nieces too. They are 18, 17, and 15 years old and what diciples they are. Thanks again Dave.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"...I believe in the Israelite"

Here is the U2 Christmas song we talked about today. This song is on a special Christmas album you can get for spending 15 clams @ St. Arbuck's..Starbucks donates a buck to the Global fund for each CD they give away.
Here below is a post pasted in from my blog about the song when it first came out last year:

With the delay of a promising new album until February (hopefully),
U2 fans were of course thrilled to hear that the boys had recorded a special song for release today (World AIDS day) with the launch of RED Wire Music
(video ab0ut the launch below):

But even I was taken aback at what it was.

First, U2 is not (with a few amazing exceptions) at their best at cover songs.
It is a cover of Greg Lake's (ELP) 1975 "I Believe in Father Christmas."

It was actually basically a new song for me.

The vibe of U2's version is great (Edge's chime etc), it's basically a prayer(like all songs they write or beg/borrow/steal/steal back) and hey, the lyrics even mention the Virgin Birth and heaven and hell...
and Bono's third favorite word (hallelujah) ...(:

Though it usually seen as an "anti-commercialism of Christmas song":

"I find it appalling when people say it's politically incorrect to talk about Christmas, you've got to talk about 'The Holiday Season.' Christmas was a time of family warmth and love. There was a feeling of forgiveness, acceptance. And I do believe in Father Christmas." -Lake
"People say it's antireligious...when in reality it was really objecting to the commerciality of Christmas.. it's about the joy of giving" -Lake, audio here

There is some debate over how much for (or against) Christ the original lyric it is. Many see it as disillusioned atheist's profession of hope without Christ. Some even see it as a Lake's way of confessing conversion to Christ:

"They sold me a dream of Christmas,
They sold me a silent night,
They told me a fairy story,
Till I believed in the Israelite.

Could it be that Bono has (in a similar "theological correction" sense as he did with "People Get Ready" see 10/6/05 post here) changed the original "till i believed in the Israelite" (the narrator is talked into believing) to "But I believed". Which changes...everything. No longer is the narrator lamenting being sold a bill of goods about Christmas/Christ, but celebrating belief in Christ in spite of the religious way "they" manipulated him into "believing."

LATER NOTE: As always, I should've checked Beth's blog first. I just found her post on facebook:

Beth is delighted at U2's completely reworking the theology of ELP's "Father Christmas" for their cover of it today, by only changing, wait for it.... *two words*.

ok ok it's been pointed out to me that a switch from past to present tense should count as a word. THREE words.
Oh, now I hear the other lyric tweak, Bono says "I believe," dropping the d, and the doubt.
...DELIGHTED, indeed! Thanks, Beth! She found more:

I had to smile in admiration at the very minor but very thoughtful lyric changes that turn Lake's text into something not just potentially, but authentically, U2ey. Did you catch them? "They sold me a Merry Christmas, they sold me a Silent Night, they sold me a fairy story..." is transmuted into something more like Popmart's "I wanted to meet God but they sold me religion" by one little shift: no longer did "they" keep selling "till I believed in the Israelite"; no, they can try to sell such holiday fantasies all they want "but I believe in the Israelite."

And the end of the original second verse, one assumes the implication is that the once-hopeful little boy awakes, exhausted and bleary-eyed, to witness his father dressed as Santa and realize the whole thing's a shuck ("I awoke with a yawn in the first light of dawn and saw him -- and through his disguise.") But U2 create a whole different feel by taking out that one little "and," so that the narrator now says that he watched in hope, woke at dawn, and "I saw him through his disguise." Another idea that we've heard many times before from this band.
Beth Maynard

Regrading the subtle, sneaky, subversive "through his disguise" change, catch Bono's subtle "holy smirk" as he is about to convert that line; he knows exactly what he's doing! the official version already, by clicking below; buy the song to support a good cause:
Click to watch

Inevitably, it's also on YouTube:

As is Lake's 1975 video, filmed in Israel:

..and his 1994 version:

ELP (and not just P) finally recorded the song as a group.
Here below Greg Lake and his co-writer are interviewed about the song.."it's about the sadness of a child discovering things aren't all they're cracked up to be..." Lake even talks about uh, hiring a stripper for the song:

As the song says:
"The Christmas we get, we deserve."

I dare to believe, though Bono didn't change that last line, in the U2 version, he didn't have to. It now means something completely different. It's not only the prophetic punchline now, it's a theology of grace....again.
Some wonder (see ELP review here) by his later lyrics and interviews if Lake even became a Christian

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holy Hamburgers, Batman

Eating a hamburger within view of the Temple Mount captures for me the sacredness of all of life. Munching on fries while within earshot of worshippers at the most sacred and contested real estate on

the planet..

Is that sacrilegious?

Hanging out and laughing with my son and Charlida ( far right, photo at top); it felt like we were just as much in God's presence and "at worship" as the
Muslims at the mosque;
Jews and Christians at the wall...

as we ate. It was what Wolfgang Simson calls a church "meating." Holy Church.

"Church buildings ARE sacred," Mark Driscoll says,

" everything else."

There is no secular...or spoon.
Or secular spoon, for that matter.
Or secular food to spoon...
Don't stone me, I am just paraphrasing Tozer:
Everything depends upon the state of our interior lives and our heart's
relation to God. The man that walks with God will see and know that for him
there is no strict line separating the sacred from the secular. ..The Apostle
Paul teaches that every simple act of our lives may be sacramental. "Whether
therefore ye eat...."
Eugene Peterson:

"It is common among people like us to look for ways to free ourselves from
the humdrum, escape as often as possible into ecstasy, devise ways to live
separated from the clamor of traffic and family, associate as far as possible
only with people of like mind, and engage in disciplines and ways of dress and
speech that set us apart from 'the others.' Scripture says:

Forget it."

("Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places", (p. 86)

Madeleine L’Engle:
"There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred; that is one of
the deepest messages of the Incarnation."
And Jesus:
By the way, since Rabbi Adam wants to know..and because it's a great spot,
the restaurant is The Quarter Cafe.. Check it out.

Also, someone has suggested that laughing when someone farts can be heartfelt worship...
(that did happen on the last Israel trip, but I won't mention any names...)
Every place I have set foot is holy ground.
The Temple Mount included.
The toilet included.

Even church buildings might count.
St. Jamie, in an amazing blog post found here, even found Jesus in the most "unlikely of places":
For another take on eating hamburgers in Israel, see this.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Porpoise-Driven Life

Dark Irish Gaithers Worshipping on Crack..something like that

Duhb is a worship band (uh, something like that..)
that comes out of ikon, the church (uh, something like that..)
that Peter Rollins is pastor (uh, something like that..) of.

Warning: this ain't the Gaithers (or Gaithers on crack, though it may sound like it)..and it isn't that other worship band from Ireland who have also used the "dubh" word..

PS..that word...of course..means 'dark'. Sounds like church and God to me:

Let's start with this 'darkness' thing - not the rock band, but the title and vibe of the CD. Was there a concious effort to create something different to the usual christian happy worship music?

Dubh pronounced Duv is Irish for Black (and not dark as the sleeve note states). But the title is intentional. like the cloud of unknowing, sometimes what we experience is the absence or darkness of God, certainly the inexplicable and unreasonable.

Re mood/vibe :It wasn`t a question of trying to be different, to be alternative to something other than happy tunes . Rather, the CD is a flawed attempt at trying to capture the spirit of an Ikon service: full of questions, fragmented, fragile. And contemplative. Still passionate but also incomplete. Its also important to note that our ikon services are all held in a dingy pub, with the bar open to all. Its hard to see in there sometimes !


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dessert with 2 Humble Christians

Join us for an informal, dessert-provided evening with two humble Christians....Christian Humble (real name) and wife Brittany..
This wonderful young couple will be joining us to share about their call to Dominican Republic. Come be inspired, learn how to help, pray for them and have them pray for you. Imagine being called to the mission field is times like these..but that call is a version of what most of you are going through is this season of shift..

We have know the Humbles for several years..Christian was raised up in our sister church in Oakdale, then took a leap of faith and moved to Kansas City to another sister church to intern.
Brittany has already lived in the DR, as her parents Rick and Carie (many of you know them...and some of you have been there, as Sonya and I have) are our missionaries there..

Don't miss this night..if you do, you'll have to keep hearing, "Man, you sure missed a great night."

More on the amazing work in Dominican here


539 W. Celeste,
Fresno, CA, USA Earth
just se of Palm/Bulllard, turn E on Morriss by the 7-11, R on Winchester, R on Celeste, 3rd house on left



Christian's Facebook

David Letterman and Sammy Davis Jr. Came to Our Church Today

Yes, we showed these two clips at the gathering today.
What dis these have to do w/anything? Maybe you had to be there
(something to do with Africa, and temple tantrums @Christmastime, isn't that obvious?
If you really wanna know, leave a comment below for scottispottis, he takes the best notes)
...........................but you should enjoy.
If it makes you feel better, we also showed this and this. (:

David Letterman works the McDonalds drive-thru.
Note: he did Taco Bell here

Archie Bunker meets Sammy Davis, Jr.:

Chris Seay on Advent Conspiracy in Liberia:

Chris Seay on Advent Conspiracy in Liberia

"Insanity of God" Showing for third day fresno!

Special Showing of The "Insanity of God" Day , June 4 for third day fresno. Special Day, Special Place! Invite a special f...