News for July 2011

Stuff I Wrote.

I just added a new page to the website: Writ

Though my website is primarily to promote my music and convince my Mom that being a performing songwriter is a real job, I thought I’d add some of my writing to it.  Because it’s also true that the singer/songwriter gig is not my only job.  I also write for Augsburg Fortress and Sparkhouse.  Yesterday I was putting away some comp copies of the most recent Spark curriculum I had contributed to and realized, “Holy cow, I’ve done a lot of writing!”  So I dumped out all the comp copies I could find and took this photo.  There are a couple things that aren’t in there like the Green Tree Game book that I can’t find and the Re:form Ancestors Anti-Workbook which will be coming out soon.   Writing for Augsburg has been and continues to be a great experience and discipline.  And it comes with editors.  I’m incredibly thankful for editors.

It’s also fun to play music in so many Lutheran churches where they’re also using curriculum that I wrote.  I always want to say creepy things like, “This is my first time here but I’ve been in your children’s classrooms all year long without them even knowing it!”

But I don’t say that and as a result I usually get paid.  And every now and again, asked back.  That’s the level of professionalism I try to maintain.

I’m starting to think this post could’ve used an editor.

Posted: July 18th, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: 3 Comments.

I forgot about part 3. Ooops.

So a month ago or so I blogged On The Making Of and On The Title.  Part 3 is On The Songs.  I meant to post that before going to Guatemala and realized I hadn’t.  So there’s like six of you out there who are totally ticked and feeling incomplete.  And then there’s the rest of you.  This is for you too.  But just so you know, these are snapshots of what I was thinking of when the songs were written.  The songs can mean something different to you.  That’s just fine.  The lyric police are on strike and no interpretations will be prosecuted.  Nor will when interpreters be persecuted.  Win win.  My fave.

This segment as well as On the Title and On the Making Of are all listed under Reform Follows Function on the Music Tab.

So here’s a look at the songs:

On The Songs:

All We Can Do. I wrote this for my wife’s ordination into the ministry of Word and Sacrament as a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She was ordained in her hometown in rural North Dakota. The congregation was full of pastors and farmers. Some draw life from the pulpit, some draw it from the dirt.

Heretics. Though by definition I’m not a big fan of heretics, by connotation I am. We need voices that challenge the church, push its buttons, and reform it.

Metanoia. It’s Greek for turn around or repent. My foreign language song. I’d like to thank Prof. Jastram for the tutelage.

Out On The Plains. I wrote this biking from Fargo to Grand Forks one warm August day. I’m pro farmer and I sing about it.

Heartache and All. After reading Woody Guthrie: A Life I was compelled by his life ending in hospitals that struggled to discern between his being sick or his being crazy. This is the era that Bob Dylan came around to visit. It’s a love song. Micah Taylor and I used to play this song a lot around the time we recorded the Rachel Kurtz CD, Fault Line.    (Now available as free download) Micah wrote Levee for that album and it later came back on For Crying Out Loud. I’m not sure who came up with that bouncy hammer on riff but it has served us both well.

Ephemera. Ticket stubs, bulletins, wedding invitations – stuff (usually paper) that in of itself is worthless but when we attach meaning to it it becomes priceless. In this case I’m singing about the letters Jodi and I wrote to each other in the early days of our courtship. She in Idaho, I in Minnesota. We’ve since moved to the same state.

Our Way Out. War. Not a fan. Soldiers. Some of them are my friends. It’s gray and heartbreaking. I’m done with being against things and creating polarizing arguments. I’m for peace and I’m for loving my neighbor and that’s a Truth that guides my prayers.

Take Your Time. Inspired by an interview I heard with MN actor Kevin Kling. In short he said, “When you can laugh at something it no longer controls you.” I see that when people are freed up to give away those things that once possessed them. In church circles we speak of treasure, talent, and time as the gifts we give. Give it away. Go ahead. Do that. You’ll laugh.

Redemption. I don’t believe the world’s going to crap. I don’t subscribe to the Left Behind/Rapture doom and destruction take on end times. It doesn’t jive with the bigger story we’re given in the Bible. The bigger story is that God is about one thing. Love. Love for us, the earth, and all that is in it. A love that heals and makes whole. A love that redeems. And we get to join in that redeeming work. And if it cleans up lakes and makes fishing a more successful venture… well that’s a nice bonus too.

Your Work In Me. The scales are always tipped on the side of grace. It’s not what I do, it’s what God has done, is doing, will do. You and I simply respond.

My My. The bridge on this song speaks to my dealings with depression, the verses to the hardship and frustration of living out one’s calling and the chorus is a reminder that when God created the world God didn’t say, It is perfect.” God said, “It is good.” That gives me great hope.

Posted: July 11th, 2011
Categories: music
Comments: 1 Comment.

Like Nate on Facebook

Purchase Reform Follows Function on iTunes