Busy Boy am I

I know I’ve all but abandoned this blog. I may revive it in a month or so, but I’ve been buy with other online projects.

The latest is my music site. Yesterday I released a free 6-song live EP. Here’s the link:

www.joegildermusic.com

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Three Years Ago Today…

this beautiful girl walked down the aisle to me.

pam

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My New Website

If you’re into music and recording, then you’ll like this. If not, feel free to mosey on.

I haven’t posted on this blog in a while. I’ve been working on a new website. Go check it out!

www.homestudiocorner.com

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“Treadin’ Water”

I just posted a new song to the songwriting podcast. You can check it out here

I actually wrote a new song yesterday that oughta be up there soon. Today I have the day off, so I plan to have a brunch date with Pam, and then do some more recording!!

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Early Bird “8” – Engaging the Culture

To refresh, here is the challenge I gave myself last week. Seven days of getting up at 6 am and posting on the blog by 6:30. Well, it wasn’t an utter failure, but it wasn’t exactly a mind-blowing success. As you can see, I completely forgot to even post anything yesterday, hence the extra day “8.” And so, the challenge ends on a rather awkward, inharmonious note.

This morning I had breakfast with a friend, and that beats blogging any day. I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately, both community within the Church and how the Church should be engaging the community around it. Why are the two so separated? Why is the Church so far removed from the culture? I think a big part of it is that the Church has failed to successfully engage the culture. Christians have their own everything – radio stations, record labels, music award shows, private schools, sports programs, parties, support groups, bookstores – to name a few. I’m not going to go into a big dissertation on the topic, because I don’t have any answers. Should we get rid of anything and everything “Christian”? Nope. But I do think we need to think about why we seem to try so hard to distinguish between “Christian” and secular. A buddy of mine thinks it’s the dumbest thing in the world that Christian music and country music have their own awards shows. He makes a good point. Is their music not good enough to win awards if there was only one big awards show? Do they need to separate themselves from the rest of the culture and give themselves an awards show in order to feel validated?

I find it interesting that everything needs a label. If you’re a Christian, you should listen to Christian music. If you’re a Christian musician, you should only write and play worship songs. Please show me where that is in the Bible. Please. If anything, Scripture encourages us to take our faith into popular culture, not to retreat from the culture, keeping our faith a secret. God doesn’t change us so that we can be a part of some exclusive club. He makes us able to be both in the world, yet not of the world.

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Early Bird Day 6 – Religion

Okay, so maybe I should have made the Early Bird Challenge a “weekday only” challenge. Or maybe I shouldn’t have done the challenge over a weekend that Pam and I were traveling. Either way, I still posted every day, and that’s an accomplishment.

It was really good to hang out down in Kentucky this weekend. Brian’s sermon was about the Sabbath. It was refreshing. The Pharisees were all about keeping the Sabbath, but they had no concept behind the purpose of the Sabbath.

It’s the same with the religious folk of today. I know plenty of non-Christians and atheists who are so turned off by the religious people they encounter. Religion has become, too a lot of people, a set of rules to follow, a code of conduct. If you simply read the Bible, you’ll see a completely different story. Just read the book of Mark. Jesus was constantly picking fights with the Pharisees, the religious leaders. They simply didn’t get it. God gave us the law not so we’ll live by the book. He gave us the law to expose the sin that’s already there in our lives.

I’m broken. I was broken before I read the law, and now I, through the law, am simply made aware of my brokenness. No amount of “religiosity” can change that. Jesus came to make that right, to atone for that which I couldn’t do. To heal the broken. To save us from religion.

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Early Bird Day 5 – “Remember the Sabbath…”

Before you all start casting stones, remember the 4th Commandment.

I didn’t hit my blog deadline this morning. I was actually up around 6:00, but Pam is having some issues with her neck, so I was tending to that. Anyway, after that, I figured “it’s Sunday, I’m in a sweet hotel room in Kentucky, I’m going to do the biblical thing and go back to sleep.”  : )

I do have a topic for today, however. We drove down to Kentucky yesterday to visit some friends of ours, Brian and Fritz, and their families. Brian was one of our pastors back in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Fritz was our RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) campus minister. Two years ago they moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky to start a church and a corresponding RUF ministry. We came down for the weekend to visit with them and see how things are going.

Over dinner last night, they talked some about their philosophy of ministry. One major goal they have is to be the church, rather than simply have a church. They’re not focused on having a big building and a huge congregation as soon as possible. Their focus is on developing a community of believers committed to and driven by the Gospel. They want to engage and be a part of the community here in Bowling Green. They don’t have the typical goals you expect from a church plant, and it’s so refreshing to just hear them talk about it.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on their church. We plan to worship with them tonight. Fun times.

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