Archive for October, 2004

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Mugwump

October 16, 2004

It’s weird to have people ask me what political party I align myself with. I’ve been asked much as of late, seeing that it is an election year and I am of voting age and what not. If it has not been mentioned in on this blog anywhere yet, let it be mentioned now: I hate politics. Here is a quick impression of a presidential debate:

moderator asks question to candidate one.
candidate one responds for 90 seconds.
candidate two rebuttles for 30 seconds saying, “candidate number one is a liar.”
candidate one responds to the rebuttle with “candidate number two is a liar.”

moderator asks question to candidate two.
candidate two responds for 90 seconds.
candidate one rebuttles for 30 seconds saying, “candidate number two is a liar.”
candidate two responds to the rebuttle with “candidate number one is a liar.”

repeat for 90 minutes.

I get the Merriam-Webster word of the day emailed to me (like a real nerd). Today’s word is:

mugwump \MUG-wump\ noun

1 : a bolter from the Republican party in 1884
*2 : a person who is independent in politics or who remains undecided or neutral

Use in a sentence:

Jesus was such a mugwump.

There is really no good way to end this blog, seeing as though I have probably stirred up controversy again. Guess I’m a poor excuse for an American. What do you do when you are ambivelent?

am·biv·a·lence\noun

1. having two opposing feelings at the same time, or being uncertain about how you feel (ambivalent)
2. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
3. continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b : uncertainty as to which approach to follow
4. characterized by a mixture of opposite feelings or attitudes (ambivalent)

My definition of ambivalence:

A state in which the soul cannot settle on one thing. A state in which Adria Lenore Lambert lives daily.

Use in a sentence:

Adria is a mugwump (not at all indicating that she is the best representation of Jesus, which she is not).

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World On Fire

October 15, 2004

Musicians, writers and artists, those who really influence culture, should communicate something worthwhile to the larger public that they are reaching. They should speak words and ideas that are worthy of being heard and understood. The problem lies in who decides what IS worthy of being heard and understood. We all have people who we allow to speak into our lives. For me, I’ve let thousands of people speak into my life through music, television and film. Music is the medium that best allows my soul to resonate with that of the artist. Hopefully, I’ve only really paid attention to those musicians, especially songwriters, who do have something worthy to say. One such artist is Sarah McLachlan. More than her beautiful voice and haunting melodies, Sarah writes songs from a place of humility that are raw and honest.

Today, Sarah McLachlan showed up in the gym at my apartment complex. Well, not in the flesh, rather through VH1. At first I recognized the melody. It was a song called “World on Fire” from her Afterglow album, and it also just happened to be my favorite cut on that album. Lyrics please:

Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You’re not alone in these stories pages
The light has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I’ll try to hold it in
Yeah I’ll try to hold it in

The world is on fire, it’s more then I can handle
I’ll tap into the water, try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

I watch the heavens but I find no calling
Something I can do to change what’s coming
Stay close to me while the sky is falling
I don’t wanna be left alone, don’t wanna be alone

The world is on fire, it’s more then I can handle
I’ll tap into the water, try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

Hearts break, hearts mend, love still hurts
Visions clash, planes crash, still theres talk of
saving souls still cold is closing in on us

We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take the less we become
The fortune of one man means less for some

The world is on fire, its more then I can handle
I’ll tap into the water, try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

Since it was VH1 that I was watching, the video had come on. Basically the idea for the video was to take a normal budget that it takes to make a music video and distribute it to those in need around the world. I was stopped by the power of this video this morning. In the most powerful and humble way, Sarah communicated the urge to provide for our neighbors in need around the world, because they are a part of us, of the whole of humanity. She did this without angry protest, as many are accostom to here in the States. And why should she? She isn’t an angry American. She’s Canadian. And she is not just giving lip service to her convictions as many of us do. She is actually acting on them. Anyway, the video is beautiful and speaks loudly. Run your cursor over the title of this blog and click to watch the video.

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Of Sleepovers and Pranks

October 13, 2004

I’ve never been real fond of staying in places other than my own room in my own house, unless is was a hotel or a tent or something like that. I don’t know what it is about me. I was just never comfortable at someone else’s house. Slumber parties and sleepovers are generally a great part of every child’s growing up years. Unless, of course, you were the one who always fell asleep first and got the prank pulled on you, which I never understood why people thought pranks were funny anyway, even the most harmless ones. I’m still of the same mind about pranks and sleepovers.

An ironic thing happened to me today. I got invited to a sleepover and made a prank phone call to a guy I didn’t know. This is the story:

Today was my second day at work and I had the privilege of working with Hallie. Hallie is incredibly friendly and inclusive of all people, and I get the feeling that no one ever feels left out when she’s around. Hallie’s dark brown hair is dreadlocked and bleached blonde on the ends. She wears it in pigtails. I think the second thing Hallie said to me today was, “What are you doing tonight?” I replied with something not so profound but honest: “nothing,” and Hallie was incredibly happy about that. She proceeding to invite me to a slumber party that she was having at her house with some girls who were relatively new to the area. They were just going to hang out and have what she called “girl time”. I know this might not come as a surprise, but I’ve never been super great at that mysterious “girl time” thing. I’d rather be watching basketball and playing Trivial Pursuit than watching 16 Candles and painting my nails. When she invited me to come, three thoughts entered into my mind:

1. Oh man, I hate sleepovers

And

2. Oh man, I moved here to build relationships with people who don’t know God. This activity fits that description.

And

3. But I hate sleepovers.

Solution: I told Hallie I’d come hang out for a couple of hours, but I probably wouldn’t spend the night, which was cool with her. This decision in itself was a stretch, for I had to consciously decide to be social. No one would be there to help me out. No one said I had to go, save God. If I hadn’t gone I would be making excuses to God all day tomorrow about why I couldn’t go, and I would be doing the same to Hallie when I saw her at work on Thursday, which, by the way is lying. Excuses are just really bad lying, and I do it all the time, especially in my head. I think we just call telling lies “making excuses” so we don’t feel as bad about it later. So I found myself at Hallie and Bixby’s. Bixby is Hallie’s husband of 1 and half years. They are hippies. Now, to see some one wearing earthy clothes and dreadlocks and to label them as hippies is stereotypical. It wasn’t until looking at their bookshelves that I was able to come to this conclusion. The most interesting place in all households is the bookshelf. You can tell so much about people by what books they read, or by the fact that they don’t read books at all. Here are just a few words on some of the titles of books that I found: war, peace, vegan, social, dreadlocks. From what I could tell Hallie and Bixby are minimalists. They live on less so that others may have more and they are socially active on many fronts. Hallie described to me a group of people that meet in the park on Sunday mornings and distribute day old pastries and other goods from restaurants to homeless people. It’s called Food Not Bombs. That’s where Hallie had met most of the girls at the “slumber party”.

So I met the girls. Meeting people in large groups is not really a strong suit of mine. I feel very uncomfortable and as if everyone is watching me. Analyzing me. I do this because, let’s be honest, I do it to other people. I wonder, “What makes them interesting?” Even though it was only about 8 girls, I was feeling rather overwhelmed. Meeting 2 people at one time is generally my maximum for feeling comfortable. I know, I know, I’m a social wuss. But hey, maybe that is part of what makes me interesting.

We all sat on the hardwood floor in the living room and watched a movie on a small TV and VCR combo. After the movie I found a girl named April in the kitchen, doing the dishes. Now that is more my style. Find one person and then find out about them. April is from the northeast, either New Hampshire or Vermont. I can’t remember which. She and her boyfriend moved here 2 months ago. She is here to study music, Jazz in particular. She and her boyfriend have been together since March and things are going well for them. She has a brother that is 16 years younger than she is.

“So, why are you here?” is the hardest question to answer. “I’m here to start a church in the city” is vague and weird (again with the honesty). It is hard to tell people that you are a Christ follower, or Christian. I think it is probably like telling someone that you are gay. They automatically assume certain things about you and you can’t control that even though you really really want to. So, when April asked me the infamous question, I just came right out with it and let the chips fall where they may. She said that she thought that was cool, and seemed positive about the fact, but even I say things I don’t really mean. I immediately thought, “oh no, now she thinks I’m a flaming Republican.” Then the voice of reason said, “Adria, stop being ridiculous. She probably thinks that you are just an interesting person with an interesting story, just like you think of her.”

We proceeded back into the living room where the girls were anxious to make a prank phone call to the boys party that was happening at one of the other girl’s houses. When people are doing things like this, it isn’t the greatest idea to mention that you’ve done improv comedy before. I was chosen to make the phone call. I hate pranks. I’ve never made a prank phone call before. However, since I have this problem saying no and thought that this might somehow lead to the advancement of the Kingdom of God, I did it. I was Nadine (a name my old roommate use to use when she made prank calls at Taylor) with BellSouth calling to see if they were satisfied with their service and to ask a few survey questions. It went well. I kept a straight face, the guy bought it until I asked him what he was wearing, and the girls were very pleased.

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Everyone is a Musician

October 12, 2004

If you ever visit Los Angeles and a comment is made about someone writing a screenplay, you’re likely to hear someone immediately reply, “Everyone’s writing a screenplay.” Nashville is eerily similar. Everyone’s writing a song. Everyone’s a musician. Except me, I’m a barista. I make coffee for the musicians, the songwriters, the record execs and everyone trying to get near these people. I keep this town going. Arguably, I have the most important job in Nashville. Emphasis on the “arguably”.

Writing screenplays, making movies, writing songs, writing books, acting, singing, painting, dancing. The common denominator is that people everywhere have something they want to communicate. Each person chooses to communicate in a way that suits who they understand themselves to be and what form is best suited towards their talents. What would the world be like without these creative outlets for communication? Boring.

The world is speaking. Are we listening? Humanity is crying out from every corner of this world and our ears and hearts must be attentive to its voices. I’m endeavoring to hear the heart of the issues behind the voices. What people say and do—what they create, how they communicate—is a reflection of a deeper truth or a deeper passion that lies within them. I started a new job today at a coffee house (a real one, this ain’t no Starbucks), and I’m working with people who are champions of self-expression, whether through having tattoos or piercings, living a homosexual lifestyle, creating artistic expression or writing songs. I have a decision to make in my conversations with them. What will I choose to hear? Will it be the blaring noise of in your face political views or body art, or will I choose to hear a person? A human being that longs, just like I do, for a place to belong. A person who desperately desires, just like I do, to be loved because they are themselves. Because they have infinite value as God’s unique creation.

I’ve always wanted to be a musician, and I’ve almost succumbed to the fact that I really don’t have the talent for it. But I make music in other ways. I’ve made excellent music. I have also hit plenty of wrong notes, and I wonder what people heard when I’ve played the wrong notes. Did they hear a part of humanity in need of compassion and ridiculous love? Or did they here a mess? I happen to believe that music made in the melancholy and dark minor keys is more interesting than that which is written in the more bright major keys. Those are some of the most beautiful songs ever made. The people we’ve been trained to see and treat as different, dark and distasteful are truly the most interesting, and the songs of their lives harmonize beautifully with Jesus’ own song. Everyone’s a musician.

“Everyone is singing. We just want to be heard.”

–Patty Griffin [Top of the World]

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ˇViva Insurrecion!

October 12, 2004

Over a period of time spanning through the last several decades, the church in America has separated itself from the world. Self preservation has become the focus for the church and all its followers. A chasm has been created between the church’s original mission and it’s current day reality. It’s time the pendulum swung back to where it belongs. It’s time for God’s plan – advancing His Kingdom throughout the world and into the future – to become our reason for living.

There are certain cities around this country and the world where culture is shaped and then breathed out into the rest of the world. Nashville is one of those cities. As members of the Mosaic Global Insurrectionist Team, it is our mission to relocate ourselves to Nashville, infilitrate the cultural shaping entities by loving and serving, and begin to watch the Kingdom of God be advanced throughout the city, and the world.

Our mission is not survival. Our mission is not comfort. Our mission is to attack the spiritual front line, to see light exist where there was once darkness, one life at a time.

Mosaic Global Insurrectionist Team – Nashville.

Joshua Shanklin