Note: Hello everyone. I'm sorry about taking a whole post to vent my frustrations at a single person. It probably has nothing to do with you all, and I realize it sounds kinda petty to whine about one person's comments.
That being said, I really really really(!!) appreciate the kind thoughts. It was a great pick-me-up, and sort of a "dare you to move" moment from you all, to just get up and keep moving. I love Switchfoot, and I love writing about them. And if anyone wants to follow along and read, that's just the icing on the cake. You all make this experience SO much better, and I'm forever grateful to anyone who has ever read anything from me.
Go read LOBH! =)
Now that that's out of the way (hehe), let's move on to the Switchfoot news! There's much exciting stuff going on in the world of Switchfoot, and Jon Foreman's fast for Darfur continues. As you all know, he was interviewed by a friend of mine, CJ from Conversant Life yesterday, and if you missed the live stream, he has it on video here:
^thought-provoking, inspiring. I can't think of many more words for something so powerful as that. "I hope it moves you..."
In addition, Jon's been blogging about his experiences. Here are his day three experiences:
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
darfur fast blog #4, day three: four morning thoughts
I woke up early. It's day number three of the fast and I am definitely feeling it... I crawl out of bed and have four immediate thoughts:
My first thought: I have access to clean water and a roof to sleep under. I have a bed. I have my guitar. In this fast I was hoping to join in solidarity with those who are fasting without an option; and yet the hunger I have right now is nothing compared to the despair of Darfur. Robbed of dignity, robbed of their homes, these refugees are on the run from brutal violence and rape, seeking out any form of hope. The smallest bit of hunger that I feel this morning cannot even be compared to the hunger that Darfur woke up with today: a hunger for dignity, a hunger for freedom, a hunger for so much more than simply food.
My second though was this: I need so much grace. I need so much patience. I need so many second chances. Even in this fast, I'm sure my motives are impure most the time. I might be drinking only water but it's my mind and my heart that are corrupted and impure. I would like to think that I have it all together but I don't- from the little things: I screw up the time and end up running late way too often- to the big things: I get overwhelmed at suffering and sorrow in the world and sometimes would rather turn the other way. And in my hopes to get things right I can be extremely judgmental of everyone everything around me. Dang it. I'm sorry all. God is so patient with me. My friends and family are so patient with me. I need to learn how to pass this grace along.
My third thought was along these lines: we are meant to live and love in community- to grow old together having shared laughter and pain and joy- to love each other through the painful spots. But we're so bent and hurt that we drive each other away. We've been so broken and shattered (Speaking out of experience here!), that we are driven to break and shatter the ones around us. Call it our fallen nature, or look to Freud and call it our death urge... might as well call it the front page of the newspaper. The fact is: we are driven to pieces, destroying ourselves and those around us in the search for meaning. No life is meant to be lived alone. We know this and yet on a planet with millions of people we drive lonely cars and work lonely jobs. We start lonely wars and buy lonely houses.
My fourth thought: Everything on this capital planet is worth what we will pay for it. The "worth" of gold rises and falls according to public opinion. The housing market, meats and vegetables, vintage guitars, oil... The trouble is that people fall into this category as well. The value of human life and dignity... What's it worth? Is it worth my time? Is it worth risking national security? Is it worth more than oil? Is it worth getting out of my comfort zone to help someone out? What we ascribe worth to is what we "worth-ship" - and what we worship is most evident with our time and money. Stock up treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy.
What's the meaning of life? What's worth living for? We live out those answers everyday in our choices. It's a tremendous amount of power, (accompanied with fear and trembling). The staggering realization is this: you've been loaned the power to determine what's "worth it" in your lifetime. Every hour of life affords a tremendous amount of spending power; choose wisely with your time, it's one of your most valuable resources.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
darfur fast blog #5 day three, impossible to ignore
so it's 11:56 on wednesday night... day three of the fast. I'm planning on breaking my fast at midnight.
I've just received word that the sudanese forces carried out a bombing raid on North Darfur today. And then this: In an IDP camp in west Darfur they ran out of water completely. I feel tremendously sad. Frustrated by the injustices and and feeling ridiculously small in the face of it all.
Tonight I pass the baton to a hero of mine, peter gabriel who be fasting for the next three days. It's a sobering thought, the luxury of being able to go back to food and while millions cannot.
I might be an idealist. I might not have a political mind. But I do know that something is off.
And I take a look at a nation of excess, (including my own) and I wonder why we as a nation aren't involved in what many are calling the paramount international human-rights crisis -- the Darfur genocide. Speaking of Darfur during his campaign, Obama said: "As president of the United States, I don't intend to abandon people." Yet he is. About genocide, he said, "We can't say 'never again' and allow it to happen again." But it is happening again.
With the U.S. budget deficit on track to rise to a record setting 1.84 trillion dollars in the current fiscal year, we remain uncommitted to Darfur. As a nation we are literally living on borrowed money, borrowing from the future to pay for the present. And yet, the staggering loss of human life in Darfur is not on our national priority list. With our budget we are declaring what is most important to our nation. In our excess we are abandoning Darfur.
Mother Theresa said this: "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." I am so convicted by her words.
I want to be a part of the solution. I want to laugh with those who laugh, weep with those who weep, and suffer with those who suffer. I have lost much of my childlike faith in the government, but I have a hope for justice still. Maybe God alone can bring about final justice, but in this life I feel we are called to pursue it with our flesh and blood. If Christ was best known for his death, "laying down his life for his friends" then shouldn't his followers do likewise? serving and loving those in need? These are not things I can do on my own. I need your help. we all need a community to thrive in, to challenge us... to threaten us with abundant living.
This is our world. It's what you and me and the millions of other souls on our planet make it. This is your darfur, my darfur... Our chance to act or pretend that we don't care. Whatever your personal religious convictions may be, the tragedy in Darfur is impossible to ignore.
here's a few things online that I found informative:
go check out Jon's blog
And here's his final, reflective recap on the experience:
Thursday, May 14, 2009
darfur fast blog #6, reflections
I'm been very honored and humbled to join in the ongoing fast for those in Darfur who have no choice in the matter. In our global community, we cannot turn a deaf ear to those who are suffering. Today, I've passed the baton to Peter Gabriel, Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and the rest of you who are fasting alongside of those in Darfur. Thank you for filling in the gap, for praying and fasting and making your voice known to the media and to Washington.
In this brave new world of interconnectivity, we need each other more than ever. For all of my information about the situation in Darfur I have relied heavily on my friends who have been there. I have truly valued the information that many folks I've never met have offered to me over the course of the last few days. More than ever, we are the media. The media needs you to tell them that millions of refugees in Darfur is more important to you than whether Paris Hilton does this or that. Darfur was bombed again yesterday, why is that not making headlines?
We cannot be silent on the issue... this discourse is needed. It's a painful conversation, it's painful to see it on the news... I think the pain is what makes us turn to celebrity gossip or our own preoccupation. But we cannot run from pain.
I overheard a conversation a few years back. I was buying a greeting card in a bookstore downtown when I heard an old Morgan Freeman looking character talking to a pretty you blond girl. He had a low musical timbre from deep in his chest and his voice was clear, "Ask a weightlifter how he got so strong, he will tell you, 'I suffered.' Ask a runner how he got so fast, he will tell you 'I suffered.' Ask my people how they got so strong, they will tell you 'we have suffered.' "
At this point I am staring blankly ahead at the greeting card, trying to take in every word without looking like I'm eavesdropping. The older gentleman continued talking, "Suffering is vital to growth. For the best fruit you must cut branches off of a tree. To build muscles you must break them down. Sure, this is painful but needed. And yet we fear pain, we run from it. Do not run from suffering," he said, "Do not run from pain. Every great civilization that runs from suffering has begun it's demise. Look as far back as you want: Babylon, Greece, Rome, or the British Empire, you'll find that the reason for every great civilizations demise is rooted in it's attempt to cheat pain."
"And now," he said, "If we're not careful we will follow quickly down in our self-absorbed disregard towards suffering. We ignore the suffering on the street when we're in line for an over priced coffee. We ignore the suffering overseas for a cheap pair of sneakers. We try to cheat suffering with technology, with medicine, with economic bandages. But greatness does not come from ignorance of pain. Greatness comes from wrestling with pain, wresting with the injustices of the world. You cannot cheat death. Suffering will find you. Pain will find you. Death will find you. Do not run from suffering, how else could character form?"
"Yes, suffering forms character, suffering forms patience, suffering forms perseverance, joy, grace- all these beautiful parts of a human soul that cannot come into being any other way in this life. No, no- you see suffering is not the enemy. Sure it hurts. It hurts a lot sometimes. But so does giving birth. So does playing football. So does growing up. In this life, my friend, do not run from suffering. You'll be running from yourself."
^I feel motivated. It's an injustice. It's disgusting. It's depressing, it's unbelievable.
And now, for a little bit of emotional self-indugence... bear with me friends... haha!:
It's a little difficult to transition from a mostly somber mood to brighter things, but that's part of the whole package in this life. We've got the hope, the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes, and it's those who find joy in the face of storms that I believe are the most courageous. That's why I have so much respect for the kids in Africa who are oppressed by Joseph Kony's rebel armies. That's why I am in awe of the Chinese underground church who are so hungry for the Truth that they would go at all costs to attain it. Those who press forward amidst the hard times are the ones who are truly alive, who have something to live for. I want that. I want something to live for... in the words of U2's song, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for..."
That's the beauty of life. We're always looking for that something. For me, it's God, but I feel like God takes us on this journey of discovery called life, and it's almost like he WANTS us to "climb those highest mountains" and "run through the fields." That my friends, is living. "We were meant to live for so much more..."
Let's be empowered by Jon's effort. Let's be inspired. Let's make a difference. Let's MOVE.
Sorry for that long diatribe. I guess I'm in that sort of mode right now. :)
But, Rawkerdood92 from the official message boards, the genius behind recording the preview for "Hello Hurricane" and unleashing it to the rest of the world, is at it again. He also recorded an incredibly high-quality version of "Vice Verses," which Jon played after the Switchfoot set at the aftershow.
Here's the original master recording he did, with some LogicPro tricks to make it sound exquisite:
Then Matt from the boards remastered it again and here's the result:
^props to them both. I enjoy both versions. Rawkerdood92's version has more prominent bass in the mix, while Matt's version sounds more crisp. They're both great! Thanks guys!
Andy Barron posted a quick video update to FOTF members, and says he's working on the artwork for "Hello Hurricane." Even in this quick screencap from LOBH (thanks Jeanna!), it's looking pretty epic.
Now for some press on the goings on in the world of Switchfoot and Jon Foreman:
Jon Foreman's fast for Darfur
SD City Beat
Quick Twitter update: May 14, 2009
- Reports of bombing by the Government of Sudan in Northern Darfur http://www.alertnet.org/the...
- Follow Jon's Darfur Fast blog entry number 5
- jon has a new blog up about Darfur...
Last but not least, you may have noticed the new banner at the top of our page. We've heard that Paste Magazine is suffering from the economic downturn just as much as everyone else is. They need your help.
Those who donate to them will be given access to download over 75 rare songs from different artists, Switchfoot being one of them.
Go over here now and donate. They're a great organization, great publication, and it really would be a shame to see them go. I've heard from somewhere (forget where), that Jon actually loves reading that magazine.
So don't hesitate to at least give them a little helping hand. We get mp3's in return! =]
Note: I donated earlier, and the Switchfoot song that was being offered is "We Are Bound," a b-side song that we've seen/heard around before. It was offered with last year's Switchfoot Holiday Package, but here's the kicker: It's listed as a song off of the unreleased "Eastern Hymns for Western Shores - EP." Interesting.