Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Reading List

34. Surprised By Hope (pb), by N.T. Wright
35. My Life With the Saints (hc), by James Martin, SJ
36. Empire of Ivory (ua), by Naomi Novik
37. A Cat on a Jingle Bell Rock (ua), by Lydia Adamson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cornerstone 2010 Review (#2)

Prologue #2

By the end of last year, we had firmed our Summer plans, and Cornerstone 2010 was included. I went ahead and made the hotel reservation (we are NOT campers, and I understand how that limits the true "festival experience") and bought the tickets.

Even though it was not a "surprise" to anyone that we were going, I decided to put the tickets under the Christmas tree as a family present. So I went to the Cornerstone website to print out the list of confirmed bands -- and was stoked to see that our family's favorite band, the Irish band Iona, would be playing! I saw Iona on their last US tour -- in 1997! That's thirteen years ago.

My daughter (18 yo) opened the present, and scanned the band list, and then her jaw dropped. And then she danced. And we all had a huge family hug! We were going to attend Cornerstone 2010 anyway, we had already made that choice, but our favorite band was going to be there. Icing on the cake.

So the stage was set -- we were all psyched.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cornerstone 2010 review (#1)


Since I became a Christian more than 25 years ago, the Christian music scene has always bene important to me. I have been to probably 10+ Christian music fests over the years, from Fishnet to Creation to Alive to Inner Seeds. But the grand-daddy of them all, Cornerstone, was always beyond me reach. Grographically, it was a challenge for me, and I admit I may have been a bit intimidated by the counter-culture vibe of the event. But as I matured and outgrew much of the standard evangelical culture, Cornerstone became progessively more intriguing to me.

I dipped my toes in the Cornerstone waters when they put out a mini-festival on the East Coast in the early 2000s. But it was not the "real" Cornerstone.

My family moved about 500 miles West, bringining western Illinois within a day's drive. I went to the real Cornerstone 2007 by myself, to "check it out" for the family and get a vibe for the place. It was wonderful, and it helped crystallize my thoughts on the "ancient future" movement, and give a context (and a label) to my feelings on the value of the early church and their practices. And of coruse, the music was great, too, including the reunion shows by Bloodgood and WhiteCross, and shows by the Violet Burning and Roe vs. Pritzl.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pascal on our wretchedness

Penses 192: "Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness."

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Happiness vs. Joy

From Walter Wangerin, Jr.:

"The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow. Happiness lives where sorrow is not. When sorrow arrives, happiness dies. It can't stand pain. Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief. Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope."