::27-28Feb03::

man, i can hardly believe the date i see before me . . .
where has the time gone? . . .
well, i had resolved to get back into reading for about 15 min a day . . .
in the morning when i first come into work . . .
yesterday . . .
and then it took me three and a half hours to get to work . . .
no such resolutions today . . .
i can take a hint . . .


"Dreaming, after God has spoken, shows that you don't trust Him." - O Chambers
i must say that after getting off to a slow start . . .
i have found My Utmost to His Highest . . .
quite astounding . . .
incredibly thought-provoking and challenging . . .


anyway . . .
file the rest of this as some more, random thoughts on Roaring Lambs . . .


one problem i have with Roaring Lambs . . .
is the convoluted use of the metaphor . . .
i mean, the premise is that we are lambs . . .
(sheep in God's flock) . . .
and some of us "roar" and influence the culture around us . . .
they, then are called lambs among wolves . . .
my problem is, wolves don't roar . . .
lions do. . .
i think i'd be okay if it were lambs among lions . . .
or howlimg lambs . . .
maybe it's just me . . .


if a lamb roars . . .
bleating lambs will generally not stick around . . .
lambs hear a roar and run . . .
that's a safety reaction built into the daily life of a lamb . . .
a roar generally means that a predator is coming to snatch you away . . .
and eat you . . .
so, generally lambs will not be happy if you walk among them and roar . . .
you basically freak them out . . .
and they don't know whether or not they should be scared . . .
so, i guess, to be all men to all men . . .
to be at peace with as many as possible . . .
a roaring lamb . . .
can't stick around the flock . . .
or at least can't roar among the flock . . .
the roaring must be done where it won't spook your flockmates . . .
although, this puts a roaring lamb in a precarious position . . .
with a foot in both camps, it is possible that neither will fully accept him . . .
that's pretty discouraging and draining . . .
then again, it is God who renews our strength, not our peers . . .


it is important to realize that when lambs roar . . .
they are still lambs . . .
they are not changing their identity at all . . .
they are simply speaking another language . . .
they are simply speaking to another culture . . .
they are still lambs . . .
they are still holy . . .
of course, here's where the metaphor mixup really falls apart . . .
if you're a lamb hanging out with wolves . . .
and you're roaring . . .
you're still not speaking the right language . . .
but i digress . . .


i think it's important to realize that there is a difference between being "set apart" and being separated . . .
Let's start with definitions . . .

Separate
to become divided or detached; withdraw; segregate; to become isolated from a mixture
Set Apart
to reserve to a particular use; to make noticeable or outstanding

God sets us apart as His holy children. He makes us outstanding. He gives us use and worth.

We seperate ourselves from the world when we think we had something to do with that. We didn't and we don't. When we think we are better than the world. We aren't.

We proclaim our faith and the world questions us. We don't have the answer or say to ourselves, "they don't/won't get it anyway. We turn our backs and talk amongst ourselves. We separate ourselves from society.

Sure there are walls up. But it's important to note that we put those walls there. Sure, the world may not like us. But it's because we told them they were beneath us, whether in words or actions. If we were truly acting in God's will, we would be outstanding. "Set apart" is not high society. You can't stand out in a crowd of peers. Christianity is not a club that only the "cool" people can join. It's not for the select few. It's for everyone.

We chastise critics for saying our "safe" music or movies aren't as good. We accuse them of being predjudiced. We write it off as fear of the "Jesus" in the lyrics. And we do the same thing to secular medium. We are predjudiced. We say their music or movies are no good, not based on technical merits, but based on the artist's spirituality. We are hypocrites.

It's time to stop.


::21Feb03::

man, sometimes life is so frustrating . . .
i can't really focus on what i have in mind to write at the moment . . .
so, here's something i posted somewhere else on the web that i think is worth repeating . . .
humble as i am . . .


     I've stayed on the sidelines of this Roaring Lambs "debate" for the most part. I wanted to set aside time to actually read the book (which i now have) and let it soak in conceptually (which i am) and then see how that fleshes out into real life. I am currently reading the follow-up book Lambs Among Wolves which gives examples of the latter. Anyway, i think it's important for everyone to realize that music is not going to save the masses . . . ever. Nor is journalism, movies, theatre, photography, or any of the arts. That's not what Briner says in Roaring Lambs, that's not what he says in Lambs Among Wolves, and if you think it is, you've totally missed the middle step (conceptual).

     The whole concept and point of being a "Roaring Lamb" (and i'll stick specifically with music as an example) is not to sing about God amidst the numerous secular songs that aren't about God. It's not about wearing a "Jesus Loves You" tee-shirt in your MTV video. The concept is relating to real people on a real level . . . gaining the right to be listened to. Sure, music can be touching and emotional. However, the majority of people who listen to the radio and even those who sing along, don't pay any attention to the lyrics. Seriously. For example, do you think millions of middle-class, white teenagers really hate their mothers to the extent of the lyrics in an Eminem song? That's not likely, but do they sing along? You betcha. I walk outta my front door and i hear the neighborhood kids singing it even when it's not on the radio or in their cd player. They don't really process what their singing along to. Of course it would be better if they were repeating the lyrics of a "Christian" song, but it's still not gonna save them.

     So, then comes the fleshing out of the concept.

What are we to actually do? "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . ." - Col 3:23, NIV.

For me, it always comes back to this. Do your best. Whatever you do. If you make music, make the best music you can. If you write, write the best, most relevant pieces. Putting forth our best, displaying the talent we have been blessed with in the best showcase, earns us respect among our peers. It causes people to want to know us. It encourages relationships. It begs the questions. It is in the personal relationships that God can really shine through us. He said "Love your neighbor" for a reason. Love is what saves, not music, not touching lyrics, just Love.


::19Feb03::

crap . . .
i just realized that i frittered away half the day already . . .
doing work . . .
ugh . . .


In Medias Res . . .
as a writer i was taught to always begin a story in medias res . . .
which basically in the middle of the action . . .
having never thought much about it . . .
i never tried to understand why . . .
i suppose it just made sense . . .
if you want people to read the entire piece . . .
throw some action up front . . .
grab their attention . . .
makes sense . . .
however, last night as i stood at the screen of my sliding glass back door . . .
having expletives hollered at me . . .
i realized . . .
it is in the heat of the moment that character is defined . . .
and thus, in a story, characters are defined . . .
the opening of a story should set up the story, define the characters, stuff like that . . .
anyway . . .


::13Feb03::

well . . .
i have been pretty busy . . .
but i'm gonna take my wife's advice and just write . . .
no proofing, no overthinking . . .
just write . . .


so, i've had a lot of drama go down at work . . .
over the last few weeks . . .
really irks me . . .
and i've commented that it seems that God is trying to push me out . . .
into a different place . . .
i have felt a strong urge to take my writing more seriously . . .
and i am exploring various options for doing just that . . .


so Project 86's latest album has caused quite a stir . . .
i hadn't realized it until i got it and started listening to it . . .
and visiting the websites and reading some reviews and such . . .
well, one website under p86's control contains some controversial/questionable materials . . .
therefore they are obviously not Christians (that's the conclusion that i read) . . .
having been criticized in such a manner myself . . .
i extend sympathies to p86 and encourage those who follow that line of reasoning . . .
to consider granting the benefit of the doubt before casting stones of accusations . . .
that's all i'll say about that . . .


so i redisigned five13design . . .
close to completing the redesign of TRu-dAT.music . . .
but i will not redesign this site . . .
at least not mow . . .
anyway . . .
i've been busy . . .
and now, i must go about my busyness . . .


okay, so you can't see this . . .
but i've had a line of commented code kicking around . . .
here for about a year now to remind me of something to write . . .
and it has yet to be effective . . .
maybe tomorrow . . .
maybe later tonight . . .


so, i've noticed a couple Biblical references on popular television shows lately . . .
very subtle and yet, i picked them up . . .
one was about being content to stay in Egypt . . .
or rather accepting that we would always be in Egypt . . .
the other was a bit more blatent . . .
but was a discussion of the prodigal son parable . . .
and the envious older brother . . .
and that there are parables with many meanings to be found in the "Good Book" . . .
interesting, if nothing else . . .
perhaps, the Bible is slowly becoming part of our new "pop" culture . . .