News for January 2012

Psalm 147

This Sunday I’m leading worship at Gustavus Adolphus.  As I was reading through the texts to choose songs I felt a pull towards this weeks Psalm.  I wrote this simple melody using verse 1 as the chorus and the remaining verses of the Psalm as the verses of the song.  Here’s a lead sheet.  If you’re interested in using it this Sunday please e-mail me and I’ll give you permission and ask for feedback.  I’ve also included a rough MP3 demo, so that if you’re like me and learn more quickly by hearing you’ve got that resource.  And since I had to make a ppt I included that too.  Enjoy!

Psalm 147 mp3

Psalm 147 pdf lead sheet

Psalm 147 ppt

Posted: January 31st, 2012
Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

life is a lovely mess

We all try to live the life we love, generally only to find that love is messy. And messy is hard to love.

I’m just finishing this book:

It’s fascinating but also a little scary because as it turns out I have a lot of stuff.

In the retrospection that comes free with every Minnesota winter I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to declutter. How to get rid of physical and emotional stuff. It’s messy.

Last week I met with a group from church and we talked about Mark 5:1-20 which falls neatly in the category of ‘odd stories in the Bible that don’t make a lot of sense.’ (To be fair, it’s a very long list.) In this story Jesus casts demons out of a man into a herd of pigs that then jump into the sea only to find that they are incapable of swimming so they drown. Meanwhile, back on land, the townsman formerly known as The Demoniac begs to follow Jesus rather than stay back in his hometown. But Jesus says no, you can’t come with me. Stay home. This is where I want you to tell the story of what has happened.

Jesus wasn’t offering an escape plan. Quite the opposite. That poor dude was stuck in the thick of things. My friend John summed it up as Jesus saying, “Here’s your life, now live it.” Jesus set him totally free to live a demon free life. He gets to live the life he loves only to realize that it’s going to get really messy really fast. But he does it. I’m guessing if the Newer Testament ever comes out we’ll find out he ends up loving that messy life of his.

One of the observations in the book “Stuff” is that ‘Objects carry the burden of responsibilities that include acquisition, use, care, storage, and disposal.’ (pg. 262) I look around my house and garage and I see all kinds of these things that carry that weight. I look inside me and I see it too. It’s not clear to me always which objects I want, which ones I need, which ones I can get rid of and which ones I’m afraid to touch.

We’ve all got junk to get rid of. And treasures too. What’s what is not always clear. But we feel the responsibilities of love and life and mess. And we live them. And in so doing learn to love messy as best we can.

Posted: January 23rd, 2012
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: 2 Comments.

On Again.

It’s like riding a bike.  Right?

I took about six weeks off of facebook and blogging.
Getting back into it is a bit sluggish.
Absence did not make the heart grow fonder.
It severed a few ties.  Not necessarily good or bad.
I’m still trying to figure out what to take away from it all.

Here are two observations, one personal one professional.  Though as a self employed performing songwriter part of my job is being a professional personal, so perhaps there’s not much of a distinction to be made.
Either way, here is thing one and thing two.
Thing 1:  I reduce day to day experience into status updates.
For example:  After a rough day of parenting I sum it up in my head as, “Parenting would be easy if it weren’t for children.”  Maybe the ability to assess and sum up our experience in a concise way is helpful.  Maybe FB is encouraging a higher level of self awareness. Maybe it glosses over deeper issues.  I’m not sure.  I’m just noticing.  I’ll admit there were a few lines I thought were such great status updates that I gave ’em to my wife and she used them while I was off facebook.  I’m not telling which ones.
Thing 2:  I cut people off.  Or myself off people.
When your job is dependent on the public’s presence and participation this is a really dumb move (not my first). I just had an outstanding week in the Seattle area playing one or two events a day.  Here’s one of the three pictures I took:

It was exhausting and exhilarating and incredibly under documented.  (Did I mention the 3 pictures?)  If this were a family vacation that would be okay.  But it’s my job.  And part of my job is telling people I have a job.  It gives me credibility.  (And an ego.)  If this is what I do (and it is) and if I think it’s legitimate (I do) and important (every family likes to eat) then I have to let the world know what’s going on and how you and I can support one another in doing what we believe we are created to do.

So when you see my massive media campaign dominating the interwebs keep in mind it’s just li’l old Nate realizing his humble calling.
Luddites be durned.  I’ve got a job to do.
And I get to do it thanks to folks like these:
The familes, Maas, Marsh, and Potsko, and the Houge contingency of varying surnames.
And for all of you wondering about the 3rd picture I took, it’s my family at Luther’s Table:
Posted: January 13th, 2012
Categories: travel
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Like Nate on Facebook

Purchase Reform Follows Function on iTunes