Well, apparently I've been inspired the last few days. And I guess I really have. This past week I found a really cool new place to read and drink coffee (They just opened on Thursday and I've been there 4/5 days that they've been open). The coffeehouse is called Black and Brew and it is located in downtown Lakeland, just off of Munn Park. Saturday night I went there to hear the group, well...half of the group, Pemberley. The girls of Pemberley played an acoustic set and they were really great. So inspiring, in fact that I pulled out my little journal and finished one song that I had started like months ago and wrote another. No music yet, just lyrics. Then Sunday I went to church at Trinity Presbyterian again. **side note**
**The last two weeks I have gone to Trinity Presbyterian with my friends, the Medinas. I needed some time off from singing in the Praise Band at First Methodist and have been wanting to go there anyway. I have really felt the need to not be up in front, worried about how my performance is and what people are thinking when I should be focusing on one thing and ONE thing only - GOD. I wrote this to a friend in an email last week:
And as far as everything goes with praise band, yeah...I'm just burnt out. I feel like I'm there for the wrong reasons. I think that part of it stems from trying to learn everything in such a short amount of time. We are more focused on the musicality and the performance quality than the fact that we are worshipping. At least, that's the way I've been feeling about it. That coupled with people coming up to me after the service and telling me what a great job I did. I don't want to be up there to do a great job. I want to be up there to lead them into a time of worship, where it doesn't matter what anyone else around them is doing and most importantly, what the people in front are doing. I think the most worshipful leading experience I've had is our college Vespers service. There were no lights on, just enough to see our music up on the stage and even then, it was mostly candlelight. The idea was that we weren't the focus. The words and the offering up of the words were.
So, that's where I am with that. I'm still not sure how long of a break I'm taking or if it will turn out to be a permanent one.**
So, back to Trinity. I've had some really interesting connections since I went the first week. We were reading from 1 John 2:28-3:10 that week. I really got a lot out of the verses, as well as the process of looking at the verses that the pastor used during the sermon. Then Wednesday, Kim was leading Bible Study and taught on 1 John 4:4. The reason that she chose that verse was because her youth pastor had prayed that verse for her back when she was in 7th grade and it has stuck with her these 15 or so years. Well, that youth pastor is now the pastor at Trinity. Yeah. Exactly. Anyway, church was really a worshipful experience this week as well, which is a pretty big change for me. But the thing that I was really looking forward to was Sunday night...
Sunday night I went to Orlando to see Don Miller speak. Don Miller has written the books Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Searching for God Knows What, Through Painted Deserts : Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road, and has a new book out - To Own a Dragon: Reflections On Growing Up Without A Father. I'll admit that I've only read "Blue Like Jazz" so far, but I loved it. He was speaking at a church that my friend Erik has been to a few times. (Erik and I grew up in Miami together. I've known him since my sr. year of high school...fun guy) The funny thing is that I've been to the church too, for a Derek Webb show about a year ago. It's also right down the street from my mom's office. So anyway, I go to the church and I find Erik and his friend and a few of her friends. We all sit on the front row, stage left. There end up being two available seats in the row just to the right of me. A girl comes up and asks if they're taken. We say no and she tells the person on the phone where she is and says she'll see her in a minute. Then her friend walks up and we just stare at each other for about a minute. Her friend is Heather Uhle. Heather and I have known each other since kindergarten and grew up at church together. We were on youth council and pretty much were at every youth event together. I haven't seen her since our old youth director, Andrea, got married almost 5 years ago and even then it was a "hi", "bye" kind of a situation. Apparently, that is her church! She teaches kindergarten and works with middle school girls at church. I looked at her and told her that she was Andrea! (our old youth director) I could not believe that I ran into her. Well, of course, we couldn't exactly catch up then since Don was about to speak!
Don's talk was on Evangelism and he really had a lot of great things to say. I'm not going to go into all of them on here, especially because a lot of things are things that he touches on in "Blue Like Jazz". It was nice to hear some of the stories with all of the rest of the details. He's just such a real person. He talked to us as if he was talking a friend, bluntly and honestly. After he gave his talk, he did a Q & A session. This was fun. After that was over I talked with Heather a bit more, but it was getting late and I had to get home. On my way home I stopped at a Denny's off the interstate. While I was waiting for my Original Grand Slam, I had to run back out to the car to get my journal because more lyrics were popping into my head. Seriously! I know! I was so hungry at that point that I pretty much scarfed everything on my plate. Except my bacon, which I took 2 or 3 bites of when I realized that the rest of it wasn't cooked all the way. I didn't think anything of this until Monday morning when I woke up sick. That's right, folks - I had food poisoning yesterday. Fabulous way to start the week. I was supposed to go into work at 4 and work until closing at 9:30. I ended up just going in from 8-9:30. Good times. Today I am feeling better. Speaking of work, though, I should wrap this up since I'm opening in the morning and it's getting late. I'm glad that I finally got all this down in written form. It's been swimming in my head for too long. I know that there are things that I've missed. I'll have to come back to them tomorrow. But for now-
Grace & Peace!!!