Archives For Vineyard

About 8 years ago I was contacted by Vicky Beeching about designing a logo for her women in worship network blog. I was super excited to work with her because I was a huge fan of her work since her vineyard days. I had just seen her open for delirious and Rebecca St. James and this just became a monumental business relationship for me. I had the pleasure of doing logos, photo editing, and design-work for her websites and in the mean time learned more about her via her blog.  I loved doing the work for her because I had a real connection to her worship songs that she wrote. They were not the typical 3 chord, made for radio, theologically drivel songs that were all around me. They were rich, expressed anguish, poured out lament and joy at the same time. Honestly her albums always reminded me of the Psalms.

Somewhere along the years we lost touch on the business end, but I still followed her life thanks to social media and the internet. Then in 2014 Vicky announced that she was gay on an article on the independent in UK. Of course the world… her world…. blew up that night as every christian that admired her or agency that signed her had to decide how to personally handle the situation or reconcile singing/promoting her songs.

I woke up that morning, saw the article, saw the people that I respect in Christian world respond and was floored by it all. There is a moment for those of us who have been in the church a long time when we realize that there is a lot of UGLY in the beautiful thing we call the Church. I saw a lot of ugly that day and felt I needed to respond, if not for my own self, but also so vicky and others could see that there are those of us out there that don’t fly high the banner of condemnation and hate.

This was that post.

I still stand by every word I wrote in that post because I truly believe Love has no strings. Grace has no prejudice and BOTH look like Jesus.

Ever since the announcement I knew that she would have to write a book to tell her story. Maybe one day I will follow suit. In the mean time I could not wait to get this book for a few reasons. First is because I knew I shared a similar church journey being in the same kinds of fellowships and being brought up with a dogmatic and sometimes extra-biblical theology. I’m still processing much that in my own life and I was hoping her book would help me remember things as odd as that seems. Second because in the journey I have had theologically and in my faith over the past 5 years I have tried to unlearn so much in order to make Jesus my theology. This has forced me to be editable and allow the Lord to speak into 40 years of noise. My hope in reading this was that the Lord would speak through her story in a way that would challenge me.

When the book finally arrived I opened it up, began reading, and could not put it down. Within 2 days I had devoured it. She is a brilliant writer and that makes for an easy yet compelling read. It was everything I had hoped this book would be and more. It was raw, honest, earthshaking, heaven drawing, emotional, theological, heartbreaking, and joyful all in one read. To be honest, this book reminded me why I love Vicky’s music.

I want to keep my review as to the content as simple as possible because I’m pretty sure I could go on for days discussing it. I will sum up my review with a bullet point list because that is what all the cool kids are doing.

  • Vicky’s story broke my heart for her and for those dealing with the same story
  • I am ashamed once again by how the church can wield the beautiful work of Jesus as an whip and abuse people with it. I remember being in those kinds of churches. I remember being in similar prayer meetings in the 80’s and 90’s. It gutted me knowing I stood in those rooms and wasn’t fully aware of how dangerous those meetings were to those who just needed to know the true love of God and that they were not a mistake.
  • I found myself repenting, maybe not as a contributor to that vitriol but as a bandwagon youth group person who had no room for grey and who was convinced God was black and white and fit neatly into the box I stuffed Him into.
  • There is a quote in the book where she said “I love the church, and I consider it my family. It’s extremely painful when families inflict damage on one another, but I’m choosing not to walk away…” – I think I read that line about 10 times as I have felt that in my own relationship with the church. Vicky goes on to share that it is her hope that one day LGBT equality would be the norm much like other things in the bible which were debated over an over again in regards to their acceptance.
  • One of the reasons Jesus spoke in parables or stories was to give context, make theology more accessible, and to simplify. Of course people hearing and reading those stories have dissected them and gutted them to the point that every single little thing had meaning, even though that was not Jesus’ intent, and then they subsequently missed the TRUE meaning entirely. I think you have to read this book much in the same way. Don’t pick it apart because it’s a lifetime crammed into a few hundred pages. Instead take a deep breath, exhale your dogma, and try and see the meaning behind her story.
  • In the last 3 years specifically, the Lord has had the LGBTQ community on my heart to pray for, love, and speak to as often as possible about God’s love for his creation. I’m actually not sure why God has made this a reoccurring theme in my brain and prayers, but because of it I have spent time in discussion, listening, and reading anything I can on the topics vicky addresses in her book. I knew I was not going to pick up 300 pages of answers, but I did know that vicky studied and knew the word, science, and other areas and I would for sure find insight through this story. What I was not prepared for was more unlearning. The age old phrase when anything doesn’t match our paradigm is “you can make the bible say anything you want” and the hardline fundies would say “IT’S VERY CLEAR”. I’m not sure how to express my opinion on the topics in the book other than I’m open to anything God would show me and I’m willing to be wrong about everything but Jesus. I have been called a heretic many times this last year or so ironically because I choose to make Jesus my theology so If my openness to God on this topic makes me fit that category again then hand me my nametag.
  • I found myself trapped in the time between times reading her heart-wrenching story. I wrestled with her words and heartbreak and I found myself in the end cheering for Jesus the healer and God who loves without strings.
  • The good news is this book is dripping with THE GOOD NEWS even in the midst of the rubble.

Vicky mentions in her book Kintsugi which I have heard of before. It is a japanese art that repairs broken ceramics with precious metals like gold and silver. It is literally the art of precious scars. It makes the pottery more valuable and amazingly enough more durable. The “scars” become a feature that gets exhibited instead being hidden. I have always found that art beautiful and it’s meaning even more so. After reading This book it has taken on a new meaning and I pray that the Church becomes a place safe enough for people who are broken to display the precious mending of God. Maybe we aren’t right about what wholeness “Looks” like. Maybe there are people who we have determined have a grace expiration date that could be embraced by Jesus if we weren’t see dead set on standing in the way.

God is LOVE
(God) is patient, (God) is kind. (God) does not envy, (God) does not boast, (God) is not proud. (God) is not rude, (God) is not self-seeking, (God) is not easily angered, (God) keeps no record of wrongs. (God) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (God) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (God) never fails. JESUS is God. Jesus has always been God. God has always looked like Jesus. there never was a time when God didn’t look like or act like Jesus…

So if we intend to be more like Jesus we should be less concerned about being perfect and instead allow him to perfect us.
We should be willing to be editable, full of grace, recklessly loving, and willing to do whatever it takes to show people that the LOVE of God is far deeper and wider than even our own hearts allow.

Yes I’m preaching because regardless of your thoughts on LGBTQ in regards to your “stance”, you have been given ONE mandate… It’s not to do conversion therapy, it’s not to do exorcisms, it’s not to condemn, it’s not to cut off and remove…..

It’s simply to love

I think this book is a critical book for our time. It is a must read and I am convinced every church leader should read this in order to understand the damage that comes from us NOT loving God’s creation.

Welcome back to one of the original Text-Fessionals. woot!.
Pretty great sunday this week. I opened with Raise up the Crown (a hail the power) from the Passion Hymns CD. I love this re-arrangemen. If you don’t have that CD and you have been living under a rock on a remote island. Find yourself a boat and get thee to your nearest CD store now!.

We did the Gloria this week in D and went right into More than Ever. Robbie Reider is one of my favorite worship leaders and this song is brilliant. We have been practicing it for a year now and never introduced it because of the tons of other new stuff to do. This week we did it and I think the congregation really loved it. It seemed a little forced to go into In Christ alone next. There are some limitations when you are lacking a band like we are right now. Ending a song doesnt feel like an actual ending so to cut right into a hymn was a little wierd. The lyrics however are awesome.
We ended the praise with Vicky beeching’s Above all Else. great lyrics and just a real nice slow song. It really makes you focus on Christ.

Jesus, my passion in life is to know You
May all other goals bow down toThis journey of loving You more
Jesus, You’ve showered Your goodness on me
Given Your gifts so freely
But there’s one thing I’m longing for
Hear my heart’s cry
And my prayer for this life

Above all else
Give me Yourself

During offering I did my communion Song. I ended up doing it in F#. I love this song. gets me ever time. It is Christ talking to us. Telling us that going to the cross was for us because we are His children made in Him.

You are a child of God
fearfully and wondrously made
holy anointed one
You were created in me
nothing compares to My love

We did a couple of oldies for communion. I could sing and Better is one day. I still love those songs. Classics.
And then we ended repeating More Than Ever.

All in all a great service. the sermon was on Jonah and will be the next few weeks. This week was taking notice of the storms in our life.

I will see you back next week. CAIO!

How was your sunday?

Set List Sept 2nd 2007

September 1, 2007 — 2 Comments

Processional
Raise up the Crown (all hail the power) – E

Gloria
We Praise Your Name – C/D (Klamperts)

Praise
More Than Ever – D (Robbie Reider)
In Christ Alone – D (Townend/Getty)
Above all Else – D (Vicky Beeching)

Gospel
Word of God Speak- G (Millard)

Offering
Communion Song – F (Klampert)

Sanctus
Holy – C (Brenton Brown)

Mystery of Faith
Mystery of Faith 1 – Dm (Klampert)

Communion
I could sing of Your Love Forever – E (Martin Smith)
Better is One Day – E (Matt Redman)

Recessional
More Than Ever – D (Robbie Reider)

ok so normally I do the Text-Fessional within the set list post. Those days are over folks. Now I do this because I don’t have a video camera, but I am thinking of going to Audio-Fessionals. That would put me on a different list though.

Alright enough of that…So last week I had a discussion with the pastor about our services and a bunch of visitors commented that the service was too long. Let me preface by saying that almost 90% of the church goers here are roman catholic and are very used to 1 hour services. Ours ran around 1 hour 45 min. Not too long, but longer then Roman catholic service. We do readings and creed, communion, and liturgy…along with that tons of music that is woven into the service from modern to old to liturgical. That is our church identity. We call it 3 streams blended worship. My definition of blended worship is not mixing hymns with matt redman. It is mixing the old with the new. Our service is framed around the Lords table and everything culminates at communion.

The 3 streams are Charismatic (moving in the spirit…rock n roll, tongues, etc…), Sacramental (Communion etc…), and evangelical (Bible based… gotta love the word!)

So with that said we had to shorten the service a little without messing with the integrity of what we are. So I did a poll and tons of people helped me out. we shortened the sermon to 30 min and moved a little aroung and ended the service in 1.5 hours. BRILLIANT! it worked and nobody was the wiser.

Uh…moving on to the music..

Great set this week..opened with I know that my redeemer lives. Great hymn…Mark Heard did a great version of it on the at the foot of the cross CD’s from the choir.

Went into the gloria…dropped the key from D to C..

Then we broke the fast song at the start mold and went into classic rushing Wind…it was a great song to open the praise set…prepare our heart…

“Jesus Your the one Who set my spirit free”

And then right into O Praise him chorus…and the rest of the song…I love this song its a real call to worship and and illustrates us singing with all of creation and the angels above.

Jumped into You amaze me…ok this song is from Michael Neale…I was first introduced to this at the integrity worship conference a few months ago and I can’t stop listening to it. This song just tugs at my spirit. It was amazing.

“You amaze me, You amaze me…and I’m overwhelmed by Your great love and mercy”

that line…wow He is amazing.. and unfathomable.

We did My new song that I co-wrote with my dad More of You. This song has really become a favorite with our church. People come up to me every week because the words just get into there sprirt.

“Take the world, give me You….Take my Heart Lord and make it new”

Communion we did the sanctus and mystery of faith (Liturgical music) ..And then into one of the best cross songs ever Sweetly Broken. Brilliant song and really makes you focus and tune into what Christ did for us. Then into super slow version of bless his name…and when communion ended I sped it up to normal tempo and volume. The 2 songs were perfect….thank you for the cross…thanks you for the blood….and then into…come sing for joy and bless his name.

Then we ended with Never Let Go…nuff said that song is just freakin’ great…and the congregation just loves it.

Ok there it is…see you next week; same bat channel.

Aug 12 2007 Set List

August 12, 2007 — 10 Comments

Processional
How Deep the Father’s Love For Us – D (Townend)
Before The Throne of God Above – D

Praise
Here is Our King – G (Crowder)
You Amaze Me – G (Michael Neale)
Awesome God – G (Beeching)
Hallelujah Love Song – G (klampert, Hanlon)

Gospel
Open the Eyes – E (Baloche)

Offering
Lead me to the Cross – D (Fraser)

Sanctus
Holy – C (Brown)

Mystery of Faith
Mystery of Faith – Dm (Klampert)

Communion
Jesus Paid it All – G
Enough – G (Tomlin, Giglio)
Holy is the Lord – G (Tomlin, Giglio)

Recessional
You Amaze Me – G (Michael Neale)
Bless His Name – A (Sanchez) ALT. Song
More Than Ever – D (Reider) ALT. Song