I began this blog as a place to write about topics slightly outside the scope of my normal public presentations - i.e. sermons. Certainly a sermon is a place where I raise the concerns that the culture is impressing on me and my hopes and dreams for the congregation in response to the witness of scripture... but... and it is a big but... sermons walk the fine line of speaking what I see and feel while respecting the views and experiences of the congregation. There are times when I must push this over the line, but I have to be careful there. For example, as I understand the words of Jesus, a Christian must be a pacifist. Members of my congregation have come to different conclusions than I have. So, I can preach about peace without requiring people to become total pacifists and allow them to struggle with what that means when their theology allows for war/violence under some circumstances. So, I envisioned the blog as a place where I could let loose without those constraints. I envisioned most of my topics as being theological or related to my therapy - music and guitars.
It feels as if I write most often about politics. I don't like that. I know that politics, as the way that groups of people make collective decisions, is by definition theological. How we live together says something about what we believe and what we believe says something about the ways we live together. So my understanding of God's yearnings for us is always reflected in my political acts and writings... and that is rarely material that makes it into my sermons because there is considerable diversity even in my little congregation with regards to any of these questions. So, I know where it is coming from... I write it here because I don't feel it is appropriate to say there... And it often comes across as more hard line than I really see myself.
So I'd like to write a bit about something less contentious... and this week I will. In two days I go to NAMM, the biggest trade show for the music industry. I go as a guest of Lowden Guitars, get to see George and some of the other folk from Lowden, connect with my friend Thomas Leeb, get to check out all of the newest doodads available for musicians to purchase, and see some of the bizarreness that is the LA commercial music scene. This year things will be a bit more serious for me as I'll be thinking about equipment etc. for use at the Cambridge Drive Concert Series but it will still be a fun couple of days. And I am soooo looking forward to not thinking about or writing about Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle, or any of the rest of that bunch. Instead, I'll get to think about things that are important to me - strings, pickups, guitar builders, microphones, etc. - but which make little difference in the grand scheme of things.