Jason In Real Life
So Prometheus comes out today. This is one of my favorite mythologies in film. The Alien creature as originally introduced by Ridley Scott will always be the 2nd best villain ever in moviedom. And I mean that in a good way. (If you’re wondering, Darth Vadar is #1). I have seen the Alien movies dozens of times. So needless to say, I am really looking forward to seeing it.
In any event, I had a friend (and a Strongarm fan) email me about some ideas of God and the origins of human life that Prometheus seems to delve in to. He had some great questions which is why I want to hit on the ideas briefly here.
“From what I have read, this movie will explore the idea that God may not have been our Creator, but “aliens” or extraterrestrials did. What do you think of that?”
This is a great question. Sure, there were a few other things he said, but this was the important part. This question also alludes to many other interesting thoughts as well, which is why I wanted to post the highlights of mt response to him.
>The idea of aliens seeding life on earth, is nothing new.
Even Richard Dawkins (the famous atheist) thinks that may be the case. Which is interesting considering atheists pride themselves on disavowing foolish theories and obvious ‘myths’ for what is scientifically able to be proven (often called a philosophy of Naturalism). Go figure. In fact, X-Files hammered this point all the time. Part of the reason I loved it so much. I LOVE sci-fi.
Do I think that is what happen? No. Not even close.
I suppose I am ‘narrow-minded’. I do believe in the Genesis account. There is much to be said on that–understanding Hebrew narrative, poetry, oral tradition, etc.–but as for the major events and spiritual truths, I hold them to be absolute. Here is a great message on understanding the meaning behind the genesis account by a Christian philosopher, John Rankin, I hold in high regard.
I think the question comes because often people will feel that they are limiting God for thinking we are the only life (like us) in the universe. It is often characterized as small minded or even selfish. As if ALL THIS is only for little old me?
This idea does not ‘limit’ God or the possibilities in a way that demeans him. On the contrary. It does the opposite.
Often people think it arrogant to think that God created all the universe with only us in mind–as if it is merely a painting for us to look at. In many ways it is, it represents his majesty and ability. And let’s not forget what it took for him to create it all: simply speaking it.
By his mere word it was all birthed into existence. In reality, it’s no big deal for him–to create us and all the universe. It’s as if it took him 5 minutes of his time, which is eternal and infinite.
>And in reality, to think otherwise is actually what limits him and not vice versa.
Why? Because we are confining God the measures of our understanding.
He loves us enough to make all this for us. It expresses his nature, power, and glory. And it keeps life interesting and beautiful for us as we learn and explore it all.
Just my 2 cents.
Enjoy the film! I’m seeing it in 3D at 10:30 AM tomorrow!
Okay, just one more day of narcissism. Monday I posted some highlights from our road trip to Nashville and the Stand Together Fest. Here is footage that VENIA posted of the show last weekend when I performed “The Call” with them. It’s way better quality than my Flip video. Enjoy!
*Below is an excerpt from my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. I thought this would be good due to my involvement with Stand Together Fest last weekend and I talk about my band Strongarm.
I was in a band called Strongarm. Psalm 89 in the Bible inspired the name. It talks about God delivering his people with his strong arm. Our name also had a double meaning as an indirect reference to Jesus. But mainly I picked it because it sounded tough.
Musically, we called ourselves hardcore. The style fell somewhere between metal and punk rock. Like punk, it was outspoken and raw. Like metal, it was heavy and a little more polished. Either way, if you heard Strongarm, you’d probably wonder what the heck we were saying and why we were so mad. The style was passionate, aggressive, and cleansing. I loved it. I still do.
I was the lead singer, but I can’t really sing. So I was the screamer. I also wrote the lyrics. In fact, I wrote 15 of the 19 songs that are out there. But who’s counting? And I ran most of our business affairs. By the time I quit, we’d recorded a full-length album, released a few singles on seven-inch vinyl records, shot a music video, and done several small tours. There’s still a bunch of our merchandise floating around online auctions, if you’re interested.
I learned a lot in the band. Overall, it was a great experience. Though I quit in 1996, I still get a few emails a month from avid fans. I’m always complimented and honored by their well wishes.
When our first album, Atonement, came out, we did something out of character. We did a tour of Christian venues. The opportunity came up, so we took it for the quick exposure to support the record. There were a lot of memories, like the last show of the tour when we stood around and shared how much we hated each other before going on stage. Did I mention we were all Christians?
We brought along a friend named Tom. He volunteered to be our roadie, helping us with extra muscle. This gave him an opportunity to travel the country for free. He didn’t believe what we believed, but he was an amazing guy. We really liked him, and he liked our band. We also hoped the experience might have a positive influence on him. It influenced him all right.
One show in particular stands out. It was in Memphis. We arrived and were greeted by the promoter, who told us he’d received a call from our previous stop. They called to advise him that we weren’t “Christian” enough. They recommended he cancel the show.
You see, our friend Tom had an underground magazine (called a zine). He hoped to promote it and make contacts on the tour. There was some slightly coarse language in it, but it wasn’t a huge deal to us. It really wasn’t any worse than what is on primetime television. We just asked him to hand it out on his own time and not from behind our merchandise table.
Anyway, a parent got hold of one of the zines and went ballistic. So, we were horrified when we arrived in Memphis to accusations that our band promoted filth and pornography. At the time, we felt the parent’s reaction was unwarranted. Tom felt terrible about jeopardizing our tour. We felt bad for him. But something even worse had happened.
This hit Tom hard. He just wasn’t the same after that. He learned something about Christians. He learned to hate them. It’s something I’ve always struggled with, because there always seems to be some type of fallout when they’re around. The deeper issue was that Tom, like many, decided to stay away from Jesus. I don’t know where Tom is today, but in the grand scheme of things, I wonder if it would have been better if he hadn’t toured with us.
Nothing has discouraged me more in my desire to follow Jesus and know God than my observations of those who call themselves “Christians.” They make it so easy to hate them. They can be crazy, annoying, judgmental, and hypocritical.
Even worse, I regret that each of those words also represents me personally, to some degree.
So last weekend there was a music fest called Stand Together Fest (by the way, that is the title of a Strongarm song). I got asked to do a cover of “Trials” by Strongarm with Debtor and to sing “The Call” with VENIA (it was the 2nd to last show ever). So I took the whole family. My kids loved it.
PS-It’s been 17 years since I did “Trials” so don’t be too hard on the old man!
So I’m going to Nashville today to Stand Together Fest. I’ll be doing an old Strongarm song Trials with an awesome band called Debtor and doing the song I wrote with Venia entitled The Call. Looking forward to Roadtrippin’ with the family.
Anyway, just for fun here is the worst guitar solo EVAR! You gotta make to the end:
A lot of people have the day off today so nothing serious around here. Just some highlights from taking our kids to Monster Jam this weekend. The funny part is that we told them we were taking them to “The Georgia State Flower Show”. The only bummer is, this wasn’t a dirt track. Those shows are BIG money. One day perhaps…
One of the best. Thank you Sparky!
This is what happened a couple years ago on Christmas morning. Gotta love it!
Now that may sound stupid to you. But most of us who’ve grown-up in America were told there’s Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, and Jesus. We teach kids they’re all real, but they’re not all real.
Eventually our kids will be okay with Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy being cute little white lies, while accepting Jesus and God as completely legit—right?
Not really. At least I don’t think so, and it’s something I talk about in my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. So Santa is something that my wife and I have spoken about in depth, because ultimately we want to be honest with out children.
Will we tell our kids about Santa?
More importantly, will Santa be the one who gives them their gifts?
On a humorous side-note, it’s funny how many atheists (and some agnostics) have railed me over the years for teaching my kids about Jesus and God—something that can’t be proven. You know, they want to wait to introduce ideas of faith and religion to their kids when they’re old enough to decide for themselves.
Sounds so intellectual and enlightened, right?
But these people have had no problem telling their kids about a fat guy sliding down the chimney with a sack full of gifts and eating the cookies and milk, his elves, flying reindeer, and somehow doing this at midnight in every home all around the world. What’s with that? Do I have a problem with the story of Santa? Not at all. We’re not Grinches. We tell our kids the story of the real Saint Nicholas. But we’ve decided that’s where it stops. Sorry Santa. No cookies for you at the Berggren home.
It’s not always easy. A few years ago our middle child (who was 5) confessed that he told a friend at school that day that Santa isn’t real. Of course, this is something we have coached our children notto do extensively. So we reprimanded him.
This issue may not be a big deal to you, and I understand. For us, this all came together when our oldest was about three. Like most, he was still enamored by the story Santa. We had to explain it again.
And when he added “…and Jesus and the Bible!” we were floored. Now, I’m sure there are some (that don’t believe in God) that love the fact my son made that connection. But for us, Jesus is real and we explained that to him all over again.
So there is a little dynamic about our family and Christmas. I’m sure you have some funny family dynamics as well. It’s what makes life interesting.
*much of this was taken from a previous post.
*This is a tongue-in-cheek article I wrote and like to repost every year. It is inspired my my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity and hopefully I will add some levity and focus to this time of year.
The holidays are upon us. I’ve been through enough of them now to know come January 1st I will have a list of things swimming around in my mind. And it’s not a “resolution” kind of list. It’s a “Where did all the fun that I was supposed to have go this holiday?” kind of list. It’s a “I have bunch of regrets mixed in with my fond memories” kind of list.
To preempt the regrets in order to create a reservoir of overwhelmingly positive memories, I have decided to make a list of all the things I hate about the holidays to bring out what is (or should be) most important to me. And I think we can all see ourselves somewhere in this list. So I hope it helps with your holiday celebration whatever it may be—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, or Festivus (for the rest of us). Plus, I hope it might add a little levity and bring some focus to this busy time. Sometimes it helps to have a sense of humor.
10. Decorating. I hate all the time it takes to decorate. Now, let me be clear, I love decorations and things being decorated. I just don’t like doing it! The untangling of lights, finding hooks for each ornament, finding the one bulb in a string of 50 that is keeping the whole string dead, and pretending like I am having so much fun for the kids sake is all very frustrating. A few years ago, we even resorted to having an artificial Christmas tree. As much as I hate it and vowed to NEVER sink to such a low, it’s so much better (and easier)— less mess, less money, no maintenance. I even keep it stored, fully assembled in the basement. So I literally have the tree up in ten minutes when it’s time to get started. We also light a pine tree scented candle so our visitors think it’s real. But the kids like all the hoopla and that’s enough for me. Plus, I do love putting the train around the tree. That’s pretty awesome, although our 9 month old seems to be deathly afraid of it. Not sure what to do about that one.
9. Shopping. UGH! I’m not a good gift giver or receiver. My wife, Lisa, does the shopping for the gifts for the kids. That is VERY good! I do love that. Sure, we talk about what to get, but she does all the work in the end. The problem is, I always wait until the last minute when shopping for her. Yes, I know it’s a man-cliché. It’s just how it happens. Thank God stores are open Christmas Eve! For me, there is nothing worse than going to the mall during the holidays. You just can’t get everything on-line. Some people get recharged emotionally shopping at the mall (like my wife). I just get suicidal. I’m also not good at telling others what I want. That doesn’t make it easy for others to shop for me. It’s not that I don’t want stuff. I just hate telling people what I want. Plus, everything has a dollar value to me nowadays, so I think about how much we’re spending constantly. Besides, I like life simple. I like relaxing, going to the movies, and eating. It’s not like you can put a rib-eye in the stocking, right? Plus, the things I really do want are just too much money (a remodeled house, new truck, 1,000,000 copies of my book to be sold etc. are some things that come to mind). I even had someone email me their total after Christmas shopping. It was $666.66. They had to tell me. Hilarious! That’ll make you think your Christmas shopping isn’t quite right.
8. Fighting. Don’t lie, we all have several snippy moments during the most wonderful time of the year. And yes, some of us even argue. We might even yell at the kids a little. It’s hard, stressful, and tense trying to have so much fun and make something so special. We want it all to be so perfect and that can set us off quite easily. Tempers flare during what is supposed to be a very satisfying and relaxing season with the family. You may also be tense from the traveling to visit family. Now throw all the other things on my list in and you have a recipe for disaster.
7. Fat. Not you, but me. We all gain a little around the holidays and it’s not usually character, patience, or anything useful like that. It’s weight. Overeat? That doesn’t mean anything to me this time of year. Full? What does that have to do with anything? Eating is a state-of-mind for me. You have to be disciplined and really apply yourself if you want to do it properly. Portion and rationing are the smart thing to do. But since when is smart fun when it comes to food? Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, honey-baked ham, rib-roast, sweet potatoes, apple pie. Yes please! Anyone hungry yet?
6. Montezuma’s Revenge. If you don’t get that reference, it doesn’t mean you won’t get it from eating so much food. Tums and Pepto-Bismal will help. That’s right, I said it. Fried this and saturated that starts to catch up. For me, there’s no way around it because I refuse to eat responsibly during the holidays. That just wouldn’t be any fun now would it! As a matter of fact, I am a handyman by day and I’ve even put Tums in the first-aid kit for just such an emergency.
5. Holiday Blues. I hate the fact that the holiday mindset doesn’t set in until it is all nearly over. I think if I could take off work from Halloween until News Years Day, it might get me in the right holiday mindset sooner and keep me there longer. Sounds good, right? You’d have time to get the stressful ‘to-do’ items done, relax, and know there is even enough time to recoup. But mostly we’re working and shopping right until the last minute, so the holiday feeling doesn’t set in because we haven’t been still or relaxed enough to ‘detox’ from the regular routine of life. I usually hit the ground running during holidays. What’s worse is, once I realize the relaxing euphoria has finally set in, it is followed by the thought that the holiday season will be over in a day or two.
4. Political Correctness. This is a relatively recent development. Over the past five or so years there have been some ridiculous things happening surrounding the holidays. From public school teachers being threatened with formal reprimands for saying Merry Christmas, to Christmas trees being removed from public grounds because they have a religious meaning. And if the trees aren’t removed, they are simply called ‘Holiday Trees’ in order to be more inclusive. The funny thing is, Christmas trees are actually a pagan practice that Christians adopted. That’s the problem with political correctness gone wild. You forget who you are and what it’s really about. So Happy Ramanahanakwanzmas? NO! Merry Christmas! I wish you all the best. But that’s how we role around here.
3. Spenders Remorse. In order for it to feel like a holiday, I spend freely. This is because in our everyday lives we have to be budget conscious. I hate the feeling like I am spending too much, but at the same time, I ignore it so it will still feel like a holiday. This only compounds the issue. We always go over budget. Not sure how not to do that one.
2. Santa. I don’t hate Santa, but hate the issue of Santa within our family. Why? Because most of us who’ve grown-up in America were told there’s Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, and Jesus. We teach kids they’re all real, but they’re not all real. Eventually our kids will be okay with Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy being cute little white lies, while accepting Jesus and God as completely legit—right? Not really. At least I don’t think so, and it’s something I talk about in my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. This is something that my wife and I have spoken about in depth. Will we tell our kids about Santa? Will Santa be the one who gives them their gifts? It’s funny how many atheists(and some agnostics) have railed me over the years for teaching my kids about Jesus and God—something that can’t be proven. You know, they want to wait to introduce ideas of faith and religion when their kids are old enough to decide for themselves. Sounds so intellectual and enlightened, right? But these people have had no problem telling their kids about a fat guy sliding down the chimney with a sack full of gifts and eating the cookies and milk, his elves, flying reindeer, and somehow doing this at midnight in every home all around the world. What’s with that? Do I have a problem with the story of Santa? Not at all. We’re not Grinches. We tell our kids the story of the real Saint Nicholas. But we’ve decided that’s where it stops. Sorry Santa. No cookies for you at the Berggren home.
1. Forgetting. I suppose #2 really leads to this one. I don’t know what it is all about for you (the holidays, that is). But for me it’s supposed to be about the birth of Jesus— you know, the most influential person in history. I hate that all of the above stuff on my list tends to get in the way of what these times are supposed to be about. I have to tell myself more than once during the holidays, “It’s all about Jesus, stupid!” I don’t want to forget to remember what my priorities are supposed to be. Whatever you believe in, I hope you’ll add value to yourself and those around you by relaxing, spending time with loved ones, and celebrating. That’s the #1 thing. It’s what the holidays are supposed to be all about. And I love that.
Well, tonight is time to trick-or-treat with the kids. I know many ‘Christians’ will say that I should not being celebrating this satanic event with my children (actually, here is a good history and approach to Halloween today as a Christian). But it’s so fun! After all, tonight I will be spending time with Indiana Jones, Wolverine, Captain America, and a firefighter. Doesn’t that sound fun?
Anyway, here is an awesome light show set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. It’s quite impressive. Have a great day with the dark side!
Happy 4th! I’m on a road trip visiting friends and family the next 2 weeks, so I won’t be doing long drawn out posts. We’ve been through 6 states so far. But I will be updating my social media status if you want to check in. Here is a video I did about road trips. Enjoy!
This post is of a very personal nature. No lesson or thought today. I simply need to tell this story, because the events of yesterday will stay with me for the rest of my life. So although this is long, I hope you’ll stay with me. I have a feeling you’ll want to.
Sometimes something happens that burns in your mind in such a way that you know it will stick to you forever. It’s sears into the wall of your memory and affects you. When the experience is fresh–like it still is for me right now–you’re not really sure if it is good or bad. That’s what church was like for me yesterday.
On any given Sunday, you will see my wife and I walking into the 9 o’clock service at North Point Community Church with our four boys. Since this is a church of thousands we are very strategic about where we park, sit, and the routes we take to pick up our four kids afterwards in order to navigate the crowds. We split up. We each take two kids. This Sunday it was my turn to handle the two youngest: Carson who is 4 and Ethan who is 4 months.
After service I picked up Ethan and was annoyed right away. Sure, it was amazing as the nursery volunteer handed him to me and he smiled right away when he saw me. Unfortunately, the joy of that little moment was muted by the embarrassment of calling him the wrong name, especially considering I did the same thing signing him in before service. There’s nothing like feeling like a bad Dad.
She handed him to me, then his car seat, and then his diaper bag. I was fumbling and wondering why he wasn’t sleeping. He should have been in the carrier out cold, per our instructions. So I asked, “Did he take a nap?” “Oh yes, a whole 30 minutes. And he has a clean diaper too. We just woke him up to change it.”
I appreciate the policy. When I ran a children’s ministry it was my policy too. I wanted to make sure all visitors knew how much we cared about their children, so we didn’t want any parent to pick up a child from our nursery with a butt load of poopy diaper. Here’s the thing, I’m on number four, so a sleeping baby in a poopy diaper is way better than an awake baby who should be sleeping but is awake with a clean diaper. Why? Because the baby being awake now would change the rest of the day–and not for the better. I know I’m a jerk–and I know it was wrong–but I was getting more annoyed.
I mustered up a hollow “thank you”, since deep down I know these volunteers are wonderful and generous for watching children on Sunday morning when they could be sleeping in. With Ethan in one had, I clumsily put the carrier on the stroller and dropped his bag in it. I decided to try to defuse my annoyance by carrying my smiling baby and doing the “proud papa” walk.
About halfway out of church I realize I totally forgot the other one. Carson was still in his classroom. My heart sank. I felt terrible. How could I get forget my child? I’ve never done that. Proud father no more.
I quickly placed Ethan in his carrier, turned the stroller around in the crowd (no easy feat, mind you), and picked up Carson from his class. About halfway out again, Carson looked up at me and let me know, “We forgot the picture I colored!” I said we’ll have to leave it this time. He responded, “But we have to go get it, Dad!” Not this time. He was mad. And I was further annoyed. Not at him. Just at the small amount of chaos going on.
With relief we broke free of the crowded hallway and reached the light of day. While waiting for the other half of my family next to the main entrance, I decided to strap Ethan back in his carrier hoping he’d fall back asleep. So I turned around and proceeded to straighten the straps, click the chest piece, fasten the bottom harness, straighten his arms and head, and pull the shade down. He was content. I was starting to relax again and took a breath.
All the while, people were walking out of the church laughing. I barely noticed. What do I care? Except one lady peaked my attention. She was crazy with belly laughs walking all the way down the walkway to the parking lot. I looked to my right down the sidewalk wondering what everyone was laughing at. That’s when I turned to see what I was oblivious to a moment ago.
Carson had his pants and underwear down at his ankles and was in full peeing mode on the tree right in front of the church.
The horror. The embarrassment.
I was mortified. Hundreds of people were walking out seeing this, and many were likely first-timers. Plus, the church has visitors from around the world every Sunday–many who are leaders and pastors–trying to glean wisdom from how North Point does ministry. Perhaps this was not the best first impression for them to have.
I bolted to him with arms stretched out yelling, “What are you doing? You can’t pee there! Stop peeing! STOP PEEING!!!!” I pulled his pants up in midstream. I lectured him about “not peeing in front of church.” I saw my wife in the corner of my eye and abruptly blurted out, “He has to pee hurry up and take him to the bathroom!” She rushed inside with him.
While in the bathroom he let her know, “I don’t have to go, Mommy.” “What? Daddy said you need to go so keep trying.” He let her know, “I already went pee.” “What?” “I peed on the tree outside.” That’s when she become mortified with me.
In shock, we get it together and get in the car. Leaving the scene of the crime, I told everyone the story. As we all laughed hysterically, my 7-year-old let’s us all know, “Peeing is not the Big Idea!” You’d have to go to North Point to get how funny that was. You see, the team at North Point teaches the kids a main point every Sunday they call “The Big Idea.” And peeing is not the Big Idea, for sure.
So I got home and decided to put a blurb about it on my Facebook and Twitter status, of course. I shared: Caught my son PEEING on the tree right in front of CHURCH as everyone was coming out. Slightly embarrassing.
I got the cursory “likes” and such. And then I get the kicker toward the end of the day from an old friend down in Florida:
You’re not going to believe this, but my boss (our senior pastor) was visiting NP today from down here in West Palm and texted me a picture of a kid peeing on a tree after service. The text said, “Only in Atlanta”. How crazy is that!? Now to read that was your son is hilarious!
Funny? Yes. Embarrassing? You bet. Ironic? Unbelievably. This puts the whole ‘6 Degrees of Separation’ to shame–literally.
Believe it or not, I managed to get the picture forwarded to me. Here it is. It looks like I am helping him pee on the tree. Not so much. That’s me trying to stop the stream.
Lastly, in the evening Lisa asked Carson, “Why did you pee on the tree?” What did he say? “Because I had to go and I can’t go to the bathroom by myself.” In a strange way, it was so sweet. He had to go, so he looked around to see who could take him. He didn’t see his Mom or brothers, saw that I was busy with the baby, and decided to take matters into his own hands–literally.
Looking back I have to wonder why no one said anything to me for the minute or so Carson spent emptying his tank? Were they enjoying my shame? I suppose I am very glad no one from the church walked up and said, “Excuse me ‘sir’, but these trees are purely decorative and not meant to be used as proxy toilets for little boys,” or, “Sir, would you mind having your son use the restroom and not the tree in front of our church.” And I agree. Will I need to change the service we go to or look for another church? We won’t. But the thought did cross my mind since we’re in front of the church every Sunday at the same time and everyone will think I meant for it all to happen. Ugh.
The real irony in all this is that I just submitted a resume for a job at the church hoping to put my writing to work.
What are the chances?
“If you bump me back to start again I’m gonna pound your face!”
-Last night this is what my 6-yr-old said to me as we were playing Sorry! on game night. Yes, I was a bit shocked. But he was laughing as he said it, so it was hard to take it serious. It was actually quite hilarious. Still, I had to let him know this isn’t exactly how you should talk to your parents, or anyone for that matter.
So did I bump him back to start? Let’s just say, my face doesn’t hurt.
Well, we are hold up at the hospital. Mom and baby are doing fine, albeit a little tired.
So I wanted to do a quick introduction of my new son, Ethan, especially with all the well-wishes we’ve received. Plus, this will explain the lite posting next week. I’ll be helping with him, my wife’s recovery (from her 4th C-section), and our 3 other boys (who I miss very much).
Anyway, here are some quick pics:
As I have mentioned, I recently did a song with a band called VENIA because of the influence of my old band Strongarm (often known for the lyrics) has had on the scene. I sang and wrote the lyrics to one song called “The Call” on their new EP called “I’ve Lost All Faith In Myself“ which is available now at Blood & Ink Records. You can listen to it here, read the lyrics here, or read an explanation of them is here, which includes an explanation of the two most important lines I have ever written.
Anyway, some reviews have come in and they are very favorable. Here is an excerpt from one:
Each song on I’ve Lost All Faith in Myself features a solid breakdown and a chance to sing along, but all of the songs seem to be in support of “The Call”, the best track on the EP… “The Call” features duel vocals between Venia frontman Chad Urich and the original vocalist for Strongarm Jason Berggren. Jason actually co-wrote the song and leads off the song with “This is the call / a time for reckoning!” This song could not get any better, the breakdown which starts with spoken words “Sear this on your conscience and brand it on your heart / for the faithful there is a promise / a sacred trust of salvation / never forget and never give!” leads into the high-point of the song, gang vocals repeatedly shouting “I will not deny!” “The Call” could easily be the closer to Venia’s live set…
You can read the whole review here. Very cool stuff. In fact, I can’t believe it. VENIA is a great band so check them out. I am honored to be part of their project.
Well, we got about 4 inches of snow last night in Metro-Atlanta. This is not something common for Georgia and everyone was snowed in. Of course, we went to Walmart for sledding gear Sunday morning before the snow came. Nothing. So what did we do? Got laundry baskets. They worked just fine. Check out the video below to see the fun.
Check out the song I did with VENIA. It’s “The Call”. Click on it below and enjoy some metal to brighten up your day. And here are the lyrics if you can’t understand the screaming.
The Call by VENIA featuring Jason Berggren – lyrics by Jason Berggren
This is a call, a time for reckoning
Lay rest to the past, awake a new beginning
Let it be known, this ends all confusion
These words are the anthem of a saving revolution
No more chasing shadows leading to the depths
No drawing from a well of sorrows and sewing more regrets
Leaving nothing to fortune and nothing to fate–there is only that which we create
Generations test it true, the future is made from the decisions of today
And so I ask, my friend. I ask you now, will you stand?
When the world crushes you with pain
Will you stand with me?
When pleasures tempt you to stray
Will you stand with me?
(whole chorus 2x’s)
Sear this on your conscience
And brand it in your heart
For the faithful there is a promise
A sacred trust of salvation
Never forget and never give in
I will not deny (4x’s)
Will you stand with me? (4x’s)
So yesterday I stumbled across this post from another site from this past weekend. It’s a site about books people should be reading. The writer was musing about books she is thankful for. And not just for the year. She is thankful for them in a much broader sense–overall. Here’s a portion:
…Then there’s a set of authors I’m grateful for: Rob Bell, Erwin R. McManus, Steve Brown, Ed Gungor, and Jason T. Berggren. All of these authors write “out-of-the-box” compared to the usual “evangelical Christian” nonfiction. They aren’t afraid to tell it like it really is. And, I’ve appreciated that. It’s really given me hope.
Wow! It is quite an honor to be thrown in with these other authors who write about their faith in such an honest and compelling way. It is much appreciated.