Flight of the Conchords

Watched HBO's newest entry into the comedy market, "Flight of the Conchords". AMAZING! Their subtle and effective humor has offered a contagious air in our office as we have watched the comedy duo performing their songs on YouTube. Plenty of laughs to go around.

Watch these for a great taste of humor:
Inner City Pressure
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros
The Racist Dragon

A rest from it all...

I admit it...I'm not good at drawing boundaries between my work and play mainly because I love what I do. But inevitably it creates problems of burn out, creative thought drainage, and relational difficulties. So to try and offer some salve from the problem...off to Colorado for 2 weeks next week with the family. Here's hoping for some renewal...


Brainstorming is critical

At Four Corners we are always swapping and batting around ideas. Rarely does an idea come out of a brainstorm session the same way it came in. No one has the monopoly on creative solutions to our idea problems...everyone can speak to it. Brainstorming is such a critical tool to all we do...and now there are some great guidelines on brainstorming that were posted by ChangeThis. Here are a few:

• Come prepared and invite others to do the same.
• Think and re-think the real issue.
• Elaborate and improve.

Read the rest of this list...and start helping your brainstorm sessions immediately.

Wall•e and Pixar's genius

I love Pixar...I mean absolutely love every film they have ever made. They are some of the few films I watch over and over (maybe because my son loves them so much too). Their skill of mixing storytelling, humor and the ability to meet multiple age demographics simultaneously astounds me.

Their latest "Ratatouille" looks to be a continuation of one of the most illustrious track records in film history...non-stop hit films that never miss a beat. And that brings me to their next project due out next summer. Wall•e.

Andrew Stanton, the writer/director of "Finding Nemo", brings this tale of a robot finding what he's "meant" to be. Read more here about the plot and get ready for another amazing story.


Both sides of the story...

Going green is the new religion as I have said before. But we have to make sure we look at the conversation from all sides...not just who shouts loudest. With newscast, movies, and celebrities all jumping on board, it's hard to discern truth from propaganda or exagerated science. There is no doubt environmental stewardship is an important element of morality and the Christian faith but...

An interesting article brings some "little" (or little reported) facts to life regarding climate trends and our utter lack of understanding of them.

"Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly."

Read more here to make sure that we get all sides of the story in a debate that one is almost rejected out-of-hand by trying to speak any doubt on this issue.

Wilco in concert

My buddy Tommy took me to the Wilco concert this past week...an amazing and refreshing experience. I had been working non-stop on our new location for the past 2 weeks and this was a breath of fresh air. Tommy had told me they would rock the house but it was even better than he promised. The vintage rock of Americana dazzled my ears for well over 2 hours.

Wilco's known for their experimentation with music to the point some have called them America's answer to Radiohead. I had thought it to be to my loss that although I liked their music, I knew little of their lyrics by heart. But that freed me to enjoy their show...the guitar solos, lights, synchronicity between all the band members, and the way the could climb high with heads rocking to driving deep with people sitting in wonder at what they heard. A brill ant band in every sense of the word.

During the show I found myself again amazed at the human need for enlightenment. So many of Wilco's songs decried the hopelessness of our current world and human plight but praised love and its wondrous effects. Their songs tell stories of a heart breaking and being reconstructed, of hopes dashed and then reborn. And I pondered...can the church harness the same passion these guys have for their lives although wandering as we do with the direction of Jesus?

Taking a deep breath...

Well...the makeover and transition of our new location is almost done and it's time to drop into another gear. We're wrapping up our series "Get Out There" with a baptism celebration this weekend with 10 people getting baptized and a whole message dealing with questions of faith. People were asked to drop their blunt questions of faith off this past week, email in this week or we will have text messaging available this Sunday during the service far instant questions to be asked...should be an adventure.

If you haven't had a chance to see the new location...come on over. We would love to see you!


"Good news is always good to share..."

I have been hesitant to invite people to church for most of my life. Call it insecurity, a lack of confidence or always looking to see if the cool camera is on...but no matter, I failed to invite plenty of my friends and co-workers.

We just started a new series called "Get Out There" and chatted about inviting people to church this week but we talked about it not to just grow the church...instead we focused on sharing the good news of the life change through Jesus we have experienced and the vibrant community we have encountered. People love to hear good news.

Take a look at this video about a chain of people that over 5 years all came to church. It was amazing to hear how simple and how powerful an invitation can be.


Is Hollywood as crazy as we think it is?

"This is a director going completely mad." Tony Kaye, director

One of my favorite films is American History X...a brilliant and disturbing tale of hate turned toward redemption. Edward Norton defined himself as one of the best actors of his generation and his star hasn't stopped rising since.

On the other hand, the director of the film, Tony Kaye, virtually disappeared after making American History X. He filed a $200 million dollar lawsuit against the DGA (Directors Guild of America) and New Line Cinemas for not letting use the pseudonym "Humpty Dumpty" as the director of American History X. That's a little nutty...

Well, Tony Kaye has started talking about his whole experience. And he's not alone as a director who loses it all when he clashes with the system with his antics. Watch "Overnight" about the rise and fall of Troy Duffy, the director of "Boondock Saints"...a very similar story.

After working on X-Men 2 and seeing the system at work, I know for a fact these two (Tony Kaye and Troy Duffy) are anything but unique...they just happened to be first-time directors. Plenty of directors act exactly the same (i.e. Michael Mann, Edward Zwick and David O. Russell to name a few) and yet make film after film.


Extreme Church Makeover...literally!

This week is absolutely crazy...Four Corners is moving! We found out last Friday that this past Sunday would be our last at Lakota West High School. That's right, we had 72 hours advance warning. BUT at the same time we had just landed on a deal with a nearby African-American church to share their campus in an old Nazarene church on their property. And so began Extreme Church Makeover...

It has been a week of work, work, work to make the location ready for 500+ people this Sunday. It's taking your Grandma's church and giving it a face lift, tummy tuck and lypo-suction all in 6 days.

Our volunteers are the greatest...over 1000 man hours donated in 4 days...and still more come in. See photos of the makeover progress here as we ready for Sunday and Four Corners starts afresh in the heart of West Chester.


Mr. Brooks

RATING :: a grande, light ice, skim milk, 2-pump white mocha from Starbucks (my favorite summer drink)

"Please forgive me..."

How many of us have a bit of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde in us? We do things we speak vehemently against (i.e. binge drinking, careless sex, overeating, porn, acts of violence, etc) and find the acts plaguing our souls...always asking for forgiveness immediately after the act is done.

Meet Mr. Earl Brooks, a philanthropist and loving father. From all outside observations one would assume him to be a role model for the community. But Mr. Brooks is an addict. He attends AA meetings for this addiction but it's not what you think...he's a notorious serial killer. Kevin Costner brings us a devilishly delightful anti-hero we can't help but feel ourselves torn over just as he is torn.

Mr. Brooks has split himself in two...there's the man of business repute and then there is Marshall, the voice who rationalizes his immoral activities. He has been meticulous for years, avoiding all detection and stumping the police officer (Demi Moore) trying to catch him, but an impulsive kill after years of avoiding his killer tendency gets him caught in a complex web of blackmail and intrigue.

This is fascinating and complex little film, one I didn't expect to be so thoroughly engaging. It's not simply a thriller but also a pitch black satire and discussion started about generational sin. A nice break from the massive summer tent poles currently populating every theater in the country.