Monthly Archives: July 2007

Paper Skin – Kendall Payne

A new album just came out that I’m really excited for. Kendall Payne is a way talented artist who’s getting better and better with each release.

A little history: Kendall “left” a major CCM label a while back because what they wanted from her was too manufactured and trite. Ergo, one can safely assume she’s the opposite of manufactured and trite. Right up there with Dan Haseltine in terms of working profound lyrics about faith into her art while keeping it from becoming the dreck that annoyingly attracts oodles of head-in-the clouds christianizers. I heard her on a demo CD back in high school, and liked her 1 song on it. I kinda forgot about her music for a few years. Then I saw Kendall open for Bebo Norman at a show in Waco, and I was hooked. Bought the album, Grown (her sophomore release), that evening during intermission. So keep an eye out for any of her shows in your area… one of the best I’ve been to, especially if you luck out with an acoustic set. Now Kendall’s third album has come out, Paper Skin. And judging from the track samples, it’s absolutely a work of art.

It’ll be on iTunes in a short while, but according to Kendall, you should buy the album through digstation.com because it pays better per song, while costing you the same. Hard copies can be obtained through cdbaby.

Album Download: Paper Skin – Kendall Payne

Kendall’s blog post on the album release

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Bruggeman revisited

First, w00t for Windows Live Writer. I’m typing this entry from seat 37B on Delta flight 1601 from Albuquerque to Atlanta. And what I see is exactly what the post will look like when uploaded to WordPress (hopefully later this evening). 

On that note, we’ll have to see what kind of chore it is to get wireless access on Purdue’s campus. I emailed them a few days ago, and they said my “department” needed to request guest logon passes for the network. No idea on what my department is… (Yay for red tape. Just like I never left the office). I really hope they do have something set up though. Lots of caring adults give up a week of work and/or vacation time to come be with all these sr. high students. It’d be nice if we got some accommodation to be able to stay in touch with the office or just be able to check our email in general. Life doesn’t just say,”Oh, you’re volunteering your time. How nice. I think I’ll just stop and wait for you to return! Doesn’t that sound like a neat plan?” You know what I mean…

Continuing to read through Bruggeman’s Prophetic Imagination. In a future post, I should describe the connections he made between Solomon’s regime and our current cultural situation, because it totally made sense to me. But I’m getting into a part of the book where I don’t see much resonance with our current situation. In this particular section, Bruggie is discussing grief. How the royal consciousness doesn’t want to acknowledge grief, doesn’t want to promote grieving, because this particular act it points to something not quite being right, points to a lack of order, points to the death of something, whether an idea or virtue or person or whatever. Grief reminds us that the dominant powers and structures don’t have it all under control.

I agree with Bruggeman in his assessment of our age as one of numbness. And a very legitimate part of the task of God’s messengers should be to bring us back in touch with a full spectrum of honest emotions in response to experiencing God’s reality. Bruggeman’s suggests Jeremiah as the “clearest model for prophetic imagination and ministry. He is a paradigm for those who address the numb and dying posture…” Ok, I get that. I guess where I lose Bruggeman is where he identifies Jeremiah as such because of the prophet’s response to Judah’s death.

Looking at my own context… Is the death of Christendom that came with the dawn of postmodernism the same as Israel’s demise? I keep coming back to the thought that as would-be prophetic voices, we should bring to public expression our “dread of endings,” the things that force us to confront our mortality as the created. Jeremiah’s actions are indeed good, but I have a hard time relating to or being inspired to prophetic ministry by drawing a connection between his and my contexts.

Ah, summer…

Since I’m in a more or less educational field, you might be tempted to think that my summers are pretty lackadaisical. Au contraire! It’s my job to entertain the students while their “August through May” educators take a break (ok, well hopefully I do more profound work than simply entertaining).

I really don’t want to make a post talking about work, but that’s about all that’s been going on recently, so I figure if I start typing about it, other more interesting things will surface.

So the Presbyterian Church has this big conference for sr. high students that they put on every three years. It has a really exciting name. Ready for it? … wait … waaaaait … waaaaait for it …

Triennium.

Leave it to the PCUSA to derive almost straight from Latin the name for a conference geared at high-schoolers. And they wonder why they continue to stand around scratching their heads on how to solve the problem of losing engagement with emerging generations… In no way am I poking fun at the name to advocate the use of “eXtreme” or some other tired youth-min cliche, but c’mon! Does anyone else see what I’m getting at?

I’ve inherited a ton of loose ends to tie up. You see, for Triennium, we do everything as a presbytery. For me, that means all the churches on the Western Slope. Thankfully this year’s Triennium contingent only has participants from two other towns, both down here in the southwestern part of the state. Back to the loose ends. There’s a person for each presbytery (jeez, how lame is it that I can’t think of anything else to type but explain the Triennium registration process?!?) who arranges all the travel and whatnot for the ‘delegates’ from a given presbytery. The person who was supposed to take care of all this stuff was (up until recently) my boss that I didn’t get along with. We really just had quite divergent ministry strategies, and I gather (s)he was not accustomed to someone “under” them fighting for ideas different than their own. So as a result, I haven’t been “in” on this whole process much. And now that his/her employment contract at our church has expired, I’m left to make sure the remaining details really are in order. We have two half-hour layovers on our way to Indiana. Blah. I’m tired an will finish this post later. —Draft saved July 13 —

—Draft continued July 17— We’re staying at a church in Albuquerque. Everyone is sleeping but I can’t. We will begin loading the cars and grab a quick breakfast in about 4 hours.

The moral of this story is that I haven’t blogged much because I was tying up all sorts of loose ends for our group to attend Triennium, and now I’ll be a non-blogger for this next week because we’ll actually be at Triennium.

Blessings.

Plan B

July 1st. Wheee! …right? Yeah, kinda cool that we’re over the hump. 6 out of 12 months have passed. I blinked a few seconds ago, I coulda sworn it was mid-April then. Oh well.

I’m not excited about Monday (technically today). Summer’s been fun, but I haven’t been paying attention to as much around me as I should have been. Or, maybe enough, but not the right things.

I (and many others around me) have been planning on me beginning my graduate work this Fall. The plan was to enroll at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, in Iowa. They have a great distance program that will allow me to keep my Durango life while I work on my M.Div. The thing is, since it is a distance program, it takes a bit longer. 5 years going full-steam every semester. And as much as I’m sure I’ll enjoy seminary just for all the great reading and discussion, earning my graduate degree holds significant practical importance. Down the road, formal ordination will allow a church to pay me a tax-exempt housing allowance on top of my salary. Now within the PC(USA), said ordination requires achievement of a Master’s degree. Moral of the story, ordination will make life a lot easier, in terms of raising a family and living expenses and all that.

Now, back to why the post is titled “Plan B.” I’ll know for sure in a few hours, but I have a hunch I may have missed the application deadline to enroll in Dubuque’s distance program for this Fall. If so, I’ll be kicking myself pretty hard. It was a simple date on the horizon, and I fill out applications well. I just would have had to make a note about July 2 sneaking up, and this would be a non-issue.

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