After the amazing success of our first house show several months ago, we just had to have another one. Therefore tomorrow, Saturday, December 4th at 7pm in Philadelphia, we are having our second house show entitled The Birdhouse presents, Vol. 2: The Housecooling (Go to the Facebook event page for details and to RSVP). Our house, as a venue, is called “The Birdhouse” (it’s even on Foursquare). The show’s gonna be really, really good. This time around we have four main acts performing (with me doing a little intro set). Acts include:
- Chris Currie (formerly of Full Fathom Five) & friends
- Luke Bartolomeo (novelist, poet, and editor of the Monongahela Review)
- Heath Warner (also known as “Paul Warner” by day)
We will be recording this evening and putting online for free, just like the first show (Chris also played at that one, though just by himself). We will have some drinks and snacks, but feel free to bring a six pack, a bottle of wine, or some food (baked goods are always welcome!). See you there!
It only comes out for a few months out of the year, but when it does, I go kind of crazy. Seriously, it’s one of the best drinks I’ve ever had and every year it’s as good as the year before. No joke. Others agree. It’s so thick and creamy and not too “noggy”. It comes in two varieties: Original and Pumpkin Spice. The latter is good to at least try once in your life, but really, Original is where it’s at. Also, here’s a little secret: WaWa Egg Nog is really just Turkey Hill Egg Nog licensed for a WaWa bottle. So if there’s no WaWa around you and all you’ve got is Turkey Hill, that’s all you really need.
Every year my brother and I have a bonding moment over our mutual love for this fine delicacy. We almost grow physically ill while we’re home with our parents from ingesting so much dairy and egg whites. And it’s worth every bit of it. So drop by your Wawa today and pick up some of it to try. Or, if you are in Philadelphia and have never had it before, I’d be glad to buy you your first one.
As is now becoming a typical preface to the American twenty-something story, I was raised in an Evangelical family. It wasn’t until high school though that these ideas began affecting my soul. But, being in my watered-down southern Baptist experience, the spiritual appetites this “awakening” had produced were never satiated. I longed for the deeper things of God that I had only then, 16 years or so down this journey, realized were even there: a God that cared about far more than “consistent quiet times” and “witnessing to my friends”. A God whose call for me was not first and foremost to fight the modern-day vicars of Darwin (my public school science teachers), but a God whose call for me was a call for me – a deity far more interested in my enjoyment in Him rather than my service to Him – who sovereignly and independently called out for me through the fog of my emotionally turbulent, perpetually “emo” high school existence into a new, vibrant, and abundant emotionally turbulent, perpetually “emo” high school existence. Me and my crew of fellow impassioned “youth groupies” who met at the JAM House (Jesus And Me) every Wednesday night longed for growing miles deep when the church seemed far more interested in growing miles wide.
One of my dearest friends, Andrew Vogel, got married two weeks ago (p.s. He has an amazing blog). He had originally asked me to do this Scripture Reading at the wedding. But unfortunately, the drive from Philly to Newark, Ohio is a long one, and many variables can make for much delay, and indeed, this is what happened. (Amy and I went on to the rest of our plans: a wonderful visit to God’s country, Pittsburgh). Anyway, to add to the pain of this loss, this particular set of Scriptures that I was going to have the honor of reading just happens to be the best set of Scripture readings I’ve ever encountered for a wedding. No Song of Solomon or 1 Corinthians 13 here; just a proper and exegetically sound exploration of the sweeping story of God’s relationship with his own Bride. Therefore, I felt compelled to share these verses with you today. May they stir and woo you for Bridegroom for Whom your soul was made.
Andrew and Laura, I pray that this feeble attempt at publicly participating in the celebration of your union communicates the love and grace of our Lord to your hearts. May it bless you.
[photo by p*p on flickr]
[This was a liturgy I delivered at my church this past Sunday as we continued our series from Luke called "conversations with jesus". Here is the audio from the message that followed this opening liturgy. Much of this opening material I stole from the incredible book Unceasing Worship by Harold Best]
Greeting and Preparation
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Hello, my name is Paul, and I want to welcome you Liberti Church. Liberti is a community of individuals still trying to figure out this Christian faith we’ve found ourselves in. And if you’re around here long enough you’ll see that we all do this to varying degrees of imperfection, more often than not. So, whether this is your first time here, or you are firmly rooted in this community, I hope that your time here today is meaningful; that you feel warmly welcomed and that you are able to experience the God we love in a tangible, real way.
In a few moments we’re going to stand and do the whole traditional, super structured, church thing. We’re going to read things back and forth, say them together, sing some songs, stand up, sit down, stand up again, say hello to one another and listen to a sermon. It’s easy to look at all this and begin to think that all these trappings and movements are what it means to be a Christian; that this is the substance of our faith. It’s easy; after all, we can see, observe, and measure our participation of these things. But that’s not why we do this.
For all those in Philly that either do attend liberti: center city, have attended, or are interested in getting involved: this week marks the beginning of our new season of home meetings. I don’t know why, but I am so excited about this particular round of meetings. Yes, I lead one, but more than that, I feel that the season in which the church currently finds itself is one where a lot of growth (both painful and joyful) is imminent; and I think that these Liberti Home Meetings will be a primary catalyst for this growth. [Click here for a complete list and map of our groups if you are interested in checking any of them out.]
In the past year and some change, throughout my involvement at Liberti, home meetings have been a constant source of amazing discussion, deep personal analysis, and action mobilization. I really can’t commend these things enough. My deepest relationships, and even where I moved into the city, were all fruits borne from my time in my home meetings.
Those that know a little about the history of computers may have heard that phrase as the traditional first thing anyone programs when learning a new programming language. I’m wondering if this counts. It certainly feels, at least, like I’m blogging in a new language.
Yes, in case you’re wondering, this post is mainly a test got me to see how simple this could be. Could I blog regularly from my phone? Perhaps. I’ve got to admit- -this post is coming along pretty quickly.
I should wrap this up. I’m currently in miami at the airport waiting for my girlfriend (yes, I have one of those) to pick me up for this weekend trip. I’ve got several blog posts in queue that should be going live in the next couple of weeks; my flights back to philly will be kind of long, so I’ll hopefully work on them then.
That’s it for me, I guess. I think this little experiment went well enough. I could see myself doing this from time to time to give little personal updates. We’ll see. Well, I’m of to brave this terrible, terrible 90° humid weather, while my beloved philly is resting securely in the 70′s.
posted from WordPress for Android on my Droid X
Two of my favorite people–Jospeh Yasso and Tara Molthen–got engaged this past Friday. It was amazing. Joseph had planned this thing for a long time and it went off perfectly. And, just as is the case with most all of our lives nowadays, it was all caught on tape. Actually, like 5 or 6 of them. And I have one. As I was writing this post, I found Joseph’s “official” tape” on YouTube and thought that it offered some things that my video lacked. My video gives the “crowd” perspective from outside the restaurant to when we enter. His is good for the perspective form inside the restaurant from the beginning of the entire thing. His is posted first after the break and mine is below it, followed by the lyrics of his song he wrote. Like I said, it’s amazing. One last note: so sorry for the crazy audio feedback at the end of my video. It’s pretty unbearable, but worth it, I feel. Enjoy.
Joseph and Tara: Congratulations. I love you two, and can’t wait to watch you get married.
[This was a liturgy I delivered at my church this past Sunday as we concluded our series "in the beginning". Here is the amazing message that followed this liturgy.]
Greeting and Preparation
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Hello, my name is Paul, and welcome to Liberti Church. Liberti Church is a group of people trying to figure out what it means to be a community of believers in Jesus Christ both in and for this city. This may be your first time here–you may have randomly wandered in here or a friend brought you; or, you may be a regular attender here. Either way, we hope you feel welcome to fully participate in this time and space set aside to worship our God.
A little more than an month ago, myself and my roommates held a Housewarming show to inaugurate our new presence in South Philadelphia. In all, we had six musical acts play, 32 songs performed, and almost 60 people attend. It was an amazing night. One of the best I had had in a long time. For all those that came, thank you again.
We also live recorded the music that night, and today, we are proud to officially release The Birdhouse Presents, Vol. 1: The Housewarming. Those recordings are now available for download for free (or donation, if you like). The album comes in two editions. The Color edition has the evening broken up by individual song; the Black & White edition contains each artists’ full sets, including the talking, joking, and intros between each song. Just click on the banner below and pick your edition:
The recordings themselves are a bit quiet, but are fine with headphones or external speakers. They came out really well. As a preview, here were some of the covers and songs everyone seemed to enjoy a lot that night from each of the performers: