Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I was reading blogs this morning from worship leaders around the country who are dying quickly in their ability to manage church "worship". It lead me to take a bit of time and share my thoughts on the subject. .pdf link is below. To long to post here.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Tornado's hit the area an hour ago. Homes lost in Hugo, MN. We pray for all those in danger and loss. I found out last night that our friends in Colorado that I lived with in my brief stint there were damaged in the tornado's there. We're so thankful that they were not hurt. We love you John and Paula. So glad it was just temporal things that were damaged.
Had a great Memorial Day at Lake Independance with the extended family. Hope you did also.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Well, 6 days and nights of nothing but writing was quite a load. Great memories this last week of meeting new creative people. Over 150 songs and the beginnings of 5 scripts was an amazing output. This new children's education concept for pre-schoolers is pretty remarkable. Take aways: One tooth abscess and a root canal (not so fun) one evening fly fishing on the Roaring Fork (nirvana) , choosing multiple vino varietals for tastings and dinners (always fun), hot tub time with the 20' something male musicians (revealing and rewarding).
"Hey Mister" from Phil Kadidilo was great comedy and fodder for days.
So many great tunes were crafted.
Great to see and work with Barron, Earnster, Lynch and Kadidilo. Great to meet Rob Barrett and the alt. band of Jason, Joel, Adam and Jeremy, our cook in residence Amy (Barrett rocked as well) Sunitha from India, Cable and TV producer Laura from New Yakk (who had a remarkable Brittish accent) Lori the actress from NY, who has the most precious little kids voice in the world and Arlene who is retired from education and is giving her all to help develop this remarkable program. To all of them, thanks for the opportunity to serve along side and begin the creation of something life changing for young minds. I pray it is so. Bless it Lord.
Friday, May 16, 2008
A great group of "arts" folks from around the country meeting in a wonderful ministry retreat home. Yea 16hr days under Captain Rich.
Well our group has written over 140 children's songs for a new preschool teaching method.
What an outstanding group.
Monday I had a bi-cuspid that started to throb. I was hoping it would go away.
Well this Thursday morning I slept little and realized I had an infected root and my head felt like popping off. Thanks to God, I called every Dr. in Aspen, and although most don't work after ski season, I found one to xray and drill and root/canal that tooth. Wow hallelujah, what a relief that was to get drilled. A little oxycodine was a major help also.
No time for fly fishing yet. :( but there's always tomorrow.
Bless you, have a good night.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I laugh as I remember that commercial from the 60"s. Why?.. Because that company never created nor sold a good bottle of wine back then. Those that didn't know, would buy it and go "Wow" so this is what good is". In life we are told so many things and we accept them at face value from a world and people with their own agendas. As a result we are misled and broken with many phobia's, insecurities, lack of self confidences and a host of other problems. If only we would look at the Word and see what the father has to say about each of us. How much He loves, has a plan and has faith in us, how much He was willing to give us to succeed, how much He was willing to sacrifice, and how we should base our beliefs in ourselves upon what He says instead of what the world says. I guess some of the world has been blessed with incredible parents who loved and nurtured and disciplined and mentored and lifted them up into adulthood with incredible foundations. "I'm still looking for that family" :) Parents can only do their best and we all have our downfalls and weaknesses in raising children. It's always been that way. A crazy balancing act.
Think about this. Do you think Adam and Eve felt a little guilty after their one son murdered their other son? Do you think they spent days and nights in guilt wondering what they did wrong with Cain, to have him develop and turn so evil. Hey, they couldn't blame it on their parents.... Only God, and there is no record of that. They also had to suffer having their son banished from them and sent to "Nod". Well there are no "perfects" in "man". Perfect in creation? Yes God was, but in our execution of it, "no way". The church must do a better job of transparency and humility to each other and the world. The only good thing in it all is Jesus. Not saying his name, or in hanging his pictures, but in living his life and having His word dwell and bring forth its fruit.. Therefore giving Him total credit for any victory in our lives so as not to make the world think that "we" are better than the lost or the next saved from a different flow.. When in reality they can see "we are all the same". Struggling to find a way to make a difference, to be somebody, to have and display a purpose. A fellow minister and family counselor said to me the other day that there was a study as of late, that polled 1,000 believers and 1,000 non-believers. All the statistic's came out the same on both sides. Same percentage of Abortion's, Addiction's, Phobia's, Abuses, Divorces. Well, what does that say? We need daily transformation today as much as the first day we called upon the Lord. Daily renewing of the mind, Daily confessions of our faith, Daily confessions of the promises and daily expressions of unconditional love wrapped in prayer.
What makes the world consider a life of faith in Christ?
Our looks, Our wealth, Our successes, Our respect ? ... or...could it be
Our word, Our humility and Our ability to act and do things to each other that are "not normal", "un-natural", in fact "supernatural" to those without love, hope and faith. It's these "UN-natural" acts that allow the Holy Spirit to speak to mens hearts and cut through to the very bone and marrow.
In many ways I see and read today about remarkable Muslims, Buddhists and Hindu's that reflect these attributes more than many in the modern church, and that includes me at times as well. That should humble me to the cross for transformation before I speak to them about love, sin and a Savior, for which they display some of that fruit already. Lord help me be more like you. More love, More power, More of you in my life....
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Lowell Lundstrom told me that one day during a production that was... well, like all productions.... in crisis at one time or another. I remember thinking "I'm not weary, just tired and in need of a few more hands". Funny in life how you can be full of sleep and energy and yet weary of life and then be completely spent in energy and excited about each moment. That's my prayer. Lord let me get tired and hungry but never let my heart grow weary. That is a slippery slope to all that the enemy would build upon to rob you of your ability to praise Him. And THAT is the entry level to your joy and that joy is your strength. Without that ability, it's harder to open the word, to be a "light". We begin to myopically focus inward instead of upward. Is it any wonder that the Lord put the musicians at the front of the battle to help up keep our focus by engaging both sides of the brain into His presence and control.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
3/28/08 Remember The Alamo
There are casualties in every battle in life. Some emotional, physical and eternal. How you respond to them will produce your personal outcome and the measure of your life's work and ministry. How the world sees you respond to battles will show them the true actions and fruit of your "words". Will you crack under crisis or be a champion with Christ. Will your words ring truth in your actions or will they look hollow and empty in comparison. You can go to the hospital sometimes after a battle and need medical attention. That's ok. Don't fake it because your wounds might need more time and attention that you can realize, and you don't want your enemy to take advantage of you while you're weak.
Jane and I took the boys to the Alamo this weekend and spent a few days walking the "River Walk" in San Antonio and seeing Sea World. It was great family time. Jane had a bird drop a fresh one on her head as we walked home one night. That finished off a great day as I'm sure you can imagine :).....
I'm still rehearsing music and getting gear ready for the summer; whatever that may bring. My real estate ventures since November are still ongoing, but have not finalized any purchase of properties for the restaurant concept yet. Getting down to the wire as April approaches. The great part of trusting God is letting go, listening and praying, running hard and keeping your attitude as positive as possible through it all. No matter what, tell your kids each day you love them and that they matter, and let them hear you tell your spouse the same. Amen.
Thank you Lord for the men and women who put their lives on the line each day for our freedoms. And bless the families that have given the ultimate sacrifice. As I reviewed the Alamo I'm reminded that it was their loss and sacrifice of life that raised up the rest of the people to fight for freedoms cause.
3/15/08 IT'S NOT WHAT, BUT HOW.
Proverbs 29:25, 30:8,9 Fear of man will prove to be a snare. Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you.
So much of life is not what we do but how we do it. I've come to realize today that many of the injustices of life and ministry are not in what we do, but so much more in how we do it. What do I mean?. Let me give you a top 5 off the top of my head.
- Well it's ok to bring something back to the store that didn't work or was broken, but it's not ok to yell at the clerk about it.
- It's ok to send your food back for the 2nd time if it's not cooked properly, but it's not ok to be a jerk to your server in the process and then leave a bad tip.
- It's ok to be upset if someone cuts you off in traffic, but it's not ok to flip them the bird or tailgate and chase them with your "Jesus Rocks" bumper sticker.
- It's ok for a leader to fire or let go of someone at a job, but it's not ok to let subordinates do it for you and let you off the hook.
- It's ok to eat, drink and be merry, but it's not ok to get fat, drunk and obnoxious.
So much of what happens in life and ministry that hurts and offends people is not what happens, but how it happens and how it's handled afterwards. One of my weaknesses (I've been told many times, but didn't really believe it) is that I believe the best in people. I have always believed that people don't really say and do things to hurt one another on purpose. I still really believe that. However I'm learning at 51 that the hidden love of money coupled with the fear of ministry and personal survival can drive good men and women into making decisions and choices completely contrary to the Word of God. It becomes justification by fear and pride for survival as opposed to justification by and walking in faith. Lord forgive me if on the outside I fear men more than You or put the value of money above your Word and truth. Thank you for the lessons you teach us each day in this area. (Yes that would be lessons of self sacrifice and dying to fear).
2nd day of Spring in MN. Jane and I took a walk to the Mississippi :)
2/26/08 30,000 FEET AND HOLDING
Ever been in a holding pattern during a storm, on a commercial airliner where you had to just wait it out until the air settles beneath you?
That's kinda how I've been as of late. Well it's been a few months since I've had the passion to have an update for you all, and that's OK! Our experience with the church in Colorado was so difficult that I've not felt good about discussing it any longer. The blogs goings back to October were pretty honest and I can only suggest going back and reading them if you have any questions. Since November I've been working on a number of projects.with my business partner on re-development of business properties. I've also been redeveloping my worship music systems since the break in and theft of 1/2 of my ministry equipment since returning from Colorado. God has revealed quite a bit to me about the last few months and I look forward to being honest with you about it here in the future . Ministry is a dynamic thing that so often gets put into a nice package and hung on the wall to look at and adore. No one in ministry desires to speak ill or explain the humanity that exists within the inner circles of ministry. Yet i've come to realize that if I can't be honest about my life and ministry, then others will expect to have unrealistic expectations as they get involved in it, as well as fellow believers who look to their leaders to see how they handle bad times and receive unrealistic (everything's great) too often. I'll remind everyone that Jesus had his inner circle of followers fall asleep on him a few times in His darkest hours when I'm sure He would have liked to have had some moral sup port.. Well.. He is faithful when we are faithless. The Word is Always true. He is our rock, our ever present help in times of danger and trouble. The only name worthy of speech and breath and life worth living. How great is our God -- sing with me How great is our God -- all will sing how great, how great is our God.
12/26/07 WINTER WONDERLAND.
Yesterday up at brother Ross and Rhonda's home, we had another Swedish Christmas with family. The photo above is taken out of their picture window in the living room. The snow was falling so hard I couldn't get the photos to appear clear. The younger kids had quite a time sliding down the front hill and some of the horses out in the back 40 were enjoying the solitude of playing in the snow. Inside everyone was cooking, eating, sipping and reviewing old letters and photos of family back in Sweden. Outside of Socialism, MN sure is allot like Sweden in the winter. This was also our first Christmas without my father and that was quietly obvious. I've been battling an upper respiratory infection that took my voice away on the 24th, so I'm sure it was nice for everyone to not have to listen to me speak for a few days. Here's hoping you and yours had an incredible Christmas celebrating our Lords birth.
12/25/07 MERRY CHRISTMAS
I had my 82yr old mom over yesterday to spend the night with us. I realized I'd never had her sleep over before. . Diagnosed with dementia a few weeks after my dad died last Dec.28th, her short term 3min. memory is a real problem, but she can tell you what she wore at a dance with my dad in 1943.We had her set up to sleep in our lower level. The lower den of our old home is all vintage knotty pine. It feels like you're up north at a summer cabin. The Olson's grew up with a summer lake home like this. We spent every weekend of our childhood up at a cabin on the weekends while dad and grandpa would build the cabins week by week. So to make a bed in my den with a big crackling fire going, and set up a leather rocker with some good books, popcorn, a cup of joe and turn on my vintage 1930's AM radio for her to listen to was such a treat. It was like sending her back in time. Nothing like those old ugly plastic Westinghouse radios that take 30 seconds for the tubes to warm up. (Remember when your TV's took a minute to warm up and turn on.) That was before the instant age. This "instant" Christmas morning both our boys were upstairs in their rooms battling the forces of good and evil around the world. One on an Xbox360 and the other on a PS3. They are in online battles with headsets on talking to their respective teams around the world of all ages. And to think just 11 years ago there was no Internet Explorer. Netscape had not been copied by Microsoft and AOL was "the" online access at a baud 16 or 28.8. Now were 100 times faster and everything in our children's generation needs to be delivered fast. Stop and smell the "energy drink" and quit cutting the roses off the beautiful bush. The game "Guitar Hero" has brought back all the speed metal rock songs I hated and refused to play 20 years ago. Now both my boys can sing the entire solo to "carry on my wayward son". Ahhhhhhhh. God has a sense of humor.
Jane and I didn't exchange gifts this year. In 26years that's a first. OK I take that back. I was steaming 6 snow crabs with claws to make a gallon of crab bisque for Christmas Day. I took 2 of those big crab claw meats out of the shell and put them in a cup with melted butter and spoon fed it to her while it was still steaming. She said that was as good a christmas present as i could have gotten her. She said it was better than .... walleye :). Actually having our first grandchild was as good a christmas gift as we could have asked for. Anyhoo, we're heading up north to spend Christmas with family at my brothers ranch today. Snows a coming i hear.
12/23/07 LOOK DON'T GO
They say you can never go back to yesterday.Good or bad, fragrant or stinky, that's the truth. Living in anything but the now alienates you from the world and who Christ wants you to be today. It's important to remember and reflect on the past to see where we've come and remember what we learned from the battles, victories and losses, not just for yourself but for helping others you see in the same places. I ask my Lord each day to guide me, direct my path, (give me this day my daily bread). In fact if the Lords Prayer wasn't so easy for me to get (religious with) I'd pray that every morning. Anyway, in praying those prayers and talking to the Lord throughout the minutes of the day I believe He promises to guide and direct my path. The most awesome part of that is that I've let His promises loose and I can trust that whatever happens along the way I will do my best to accept as part of the challenge, part of the .Carpe Diem. It's easy to praise Him in the Yee Haa moments but sometimes take a little while to thank Him for the lessons we're learning in the Oh Sh-- oot moments. We know Jesus took His thoughts captive because He was sinless. Outside of the cleansing of the temple, you see a pretty focused and even keeled person. Being a carpenter's son however, I want to ask Jesus some day what he actually said when he hit His thumb with the hammer. What if he said "Gee so this is what I have to look forward to". Think about that one. I wrote the song "He Always Knew" a few years ago and every now and then something new comes from that thought. Imagine knowing your future was coming. Knowing as a child that you would someday be crucified with hammers, wood and nails. How ironic is it that Jesus had to spend every day of his childhood surrounded by a carpenter banging nails into wood and being taught to work with the very things that would be His horrible end in the natural. With every nail he drove into the wood he had to reconcile it's outcome "I'm building something here". So I say "Lord You're building something here". Help me stand firm in the process doing the things You taught us to do.
They talk about 6 degrees of separation from any one in the earth, well it's 6 degrees this morning in Mpls and the skin is still a week or so away from the summer/winter change. I still feel like I need 6 layers of clothes in this temp with wind chills below zero. By January, we'll be going out in a sweatshirt in this weather with a light jacket.
Hey good news, my 16 yr old snow blower started up and did me proud this weekend with our first good douse of the frozen angel dust.
Went and listened to Greg Boyd yesterday at Woodland Hills Church in White Bear. I'm just finishing his book "The Myth Of A Christian Nation" As a lifelong conservative I've had 35 plus years of developing my faith and politics. I certainly don't agree with everything Greg has to say but, his explanation of "The kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the world" will rock your concept of faith and politics. I'm still a conservative and probably will always be, but my personal explanation of "God and Country" will forever be changed from this explanation. I now have to admit I'm a christian who happens to live in the wonderful nation called America not Craig living in a christian nation under God. I hope you all have the time to read this book and at least hear his view of this. I don't agree with his war stance or much about how to treat those who want to kill me, but again his explanation of the natural and spiritual worlds we live in as believers will challenge you. I heard him this morning preach on doing what your dreams are no matter what the world tells you what you should do, and my friend Norm B. the worship pastor gave his testimony about growing up in the New York Ghetto and now living a dream was such a great story of being an over comer.
Tonight we had a going away party for Rick and Lea Barron as they now move to Nashville. It was at Rich Leone's home the owner of Fuzzy Slipper Studios. Thanks Rich for being such a great host with your wonderful family. Lots of recording artists pastors, writers and musicians. Food, drinks and great fellowship.
12/02/07 LIV ASHLYN SELVIG
Well It's been a few weeks since I've logged in. Our only daughter Marissa and her husband Ryan gave us our first grandchild.
on Saturday Dec. 1st. A complete natural birth with mid-wife, Liv came in at 8.7 pounds and 22 inches. Wow way to go Mo!
Every time you see a child born, you are reminded of what an incredible miracle of God it is. We are so excited to be grandparents.
In the midst of all that's gone on in the last month, this certainly has been a wonderful highlight.
11/18/07 FAITHFUL IN ALL THINGS Rom.8:28
I'm listening to Desperation Band on my I-pod out on my deck in 40degree weather at 11PM. Cloudy skies, it looks like snow. There were flurries today. I chuckle listening to this record when I hear the Yamaha CP'80 electric grand. I gave mine away 10 years ago to a local church "Living Word" for the youth ministry. I think they used it once and dumped it. If only they knew it would come back as a "cool" keyboard for the "in" sound of modern worship this year... Saw David Crowder the other week in Denver and he had one on stage and i thought "they can't be making a comeback". Go figure.. Anyway, It's Sunday and I went to a local Lutheran church in my neighborhood today. Saw a lot of neighbors and families from our schools. All worshipping and fellowshipping our mighty King. It was great. . The pastor had a great message using the old expression of "bread". I was reminded that I hadn't heard it in years and it was a fresh as the first time I heard it. Yes, if you eat flour alone its pretty icky. If you eat raw eggs (did that alot in the 70's with protein drinks:) they taste pretty bad. Yeast alone is pretty bad. Give all those ingredients to someone who knows what to do with bad things, add alittle salt and water, and they can turn it into a wonderful loaf of bread. How is that like life as we complain and think our constant and mounting problems have no value, and yet as Rom. 8:28 says, it all changes when we trust them in His hands. Reminds me of Twila Paris "all things work together".
I have two ministry idea's that I'm praying about right now, asking the Lord to confirm and clarify them in my heart and mind. One deals with a new church concept based upon worship and worship ministry. The other deals with developing a worship radio program. Please pray for clarity in this for us as we move forward. How we will take care of day to day bills is another issues but we just continue to believe that no matter what, (like He has always done) we will be blessed exceedingly abundantly. This week we move into Thanksgiving and and lookinAg forward to our first grandchild being born here in Mpls. G-L-O-R-Y!
11/10/07 DIALOGUE. How good is it to discuss things with people. We are becoming a people to just hear from the digital box and then eat,work and sleep and listen to the digital boxes again. We let panels of ideologues argue for us and mold our thinking. Isolation can be dangerous but I've been known to talk to myself while I work and create. Yes I even answer myself and that freaks people out. When you work alone allot on the road and in my office, you have no one but the Lord to bounce things off of. For many things it is open prayer out loud as I work, asking the father questions about everything and listening to my own heart for guidance as the Holy Spirit touches it. Remember when you were dating (if you're married) and how you could stay up and drink (for me) pots of coffee and just stare into my future wife's eyes and talk about anything, everything and nothing. The joy, the passion the adoration. Well, the Father desires this of us. To have that intimate time of worship, where we just sit and adore Him, telling Him how we feel and what we feel. I think. If we ask Him for time, I think he allows thing to happen to give us the time to spend with Him; only to see if we are capable of that focus. I fail. Often. the phone will ring or my mind will race and whoosh i'm off on another rabbit trail. Slow down.....Take a deep breath .....Meditate on a word.... On His Glory and Wonder.... Dialogue with Him for a while and just be still and listen - for Him - for His outpouring, wisdom, peace and joy... He's there waiting. He's always been there waiting. Waiting for a heart to surrender and ears to listen inward.
11/08/07 Ps. 71:20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again. 72:12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.
For those who have been reading this blog the last week or so will either say I've lost my perspective or I've found new perspectives. I've had emails from both sides. That's good. For most outside of the church we just were asked to leave, they have been mortified by the actions. For most inside that church, they have been mortified that I would say anything could be wrong.
I had an awesome dinner tonight at one of my best friends restaurants (who picked up the tab - thank you R.V.) with two un named recording artists and a christian radio personality. We talked and talked about how broken so much of the christian worlds leadership is. We may be upset with the general christian population for things done and allowed but really, it all comes down to the shepherds who lead and teach the sheep. We send sheep out into the workplace with bad theology and very little that they can reproduce to the world around them. We criticize the Joel Osteens for bringing a simple positive message to the masses of sheep, but are those sheep learning and being the hands and feet of Christ or are they learning to judge a lost world and separate themselves from it. Come on, let's bring on the battle. Get strong and go out and sit among the lost and love them to Christ. Go to the well, don't be afraid what people think.
A few weeks ago I went to a restaurant to have dinner and there was a wait of over an hour.
I saw one spot at the end of the bar without a stool, where I could sit. I asked the bartender if I could order dinner there. He said sure. I thought "Geeze craigt, if anyone saw you, what would they think?" I thought, Lord, I'm gonna have a good meal and be Christ to the bartender and whomever sits next to me if only "they" will give me the chance to be "real". Well, i'm eating and the bartender asks me what I do. There is some lady sitting next to me listening and I'm praying, OK Lord, here's my open volly. "I'm a music pastor". Without a response, that's all I would have said. Well the bartender say's, wow that's cool, my wife and I used to go to church, but we dropped out. Then the lady next to me says," I go to a little lutheran church in the area". YES LORD. I'm having dinner and because I don't care what men think, I now have the opportunity to be Jesus to a few people, and be His compassionate hands and feet. Judgment. heck no. Love and Mercy. Ooh yes. You see people who are hurting and lost don't want condemnation, but they are looking for love and compassion. Oh how good the next hour was in conversation and I prayed that in my love for them and my suggestions, that they might seek their faith walk at home in the Word together and then look for a church home that they can grow together in. How Good Is That.
Weeks before that I met a girl server in a steak house and when she asked me what I did, I told her. She was not shocked. When I asked her what she did for fun she said she "drank". Not beer or wine but 'hard liquor" as she put it. 19 years old with a new husband in Iraq and no family, here was a girl who was going to school, working two jobs and without Christ, her only outlet was "hard liquor". So what did I ask her? "What's your drink of choice". That made her light up. "Rye" she said. I said "Crown Royal?" She responded "That's the only one". Hmm. what a loss thought. I lived in that place as a young teen and remember that feeling that chemicals were my only happiness. Well, I asked her if she grew up with any faith. She said " my parents both hated God" but something made me feel it was good, so I went to confirmation on my own and got confirmed alone in the Lutheran Church and since had stopped going. Can you imagine a young teenager wanting God so bad they walked for 3 years to church to get confirmed without ever having a parent come or support them. How good is that. I want her on my team. She'll get plugged back in when someone loves her enough to mentor her and help begin the discipleship in her life without condemning her and sending her away. I tell these two stories from the last month to reinforce that we are to "go out" and be salt and light, not "stay in and judge while hanging with our christian friends". God is so good to hear our prayers and use us when we ask. If we will not be ready to act then God will use whatever means.
My dear friend Barron von Rickter and Kimmy reminded me today that both Oliver Stone and Sean Penn have new movies out that are remarkable testimonies to the love of Christ. As they both said " it's pretty bad when the lost of the world are making more of an impact of Gods love in Christ than much of the modern Church". Ouch. Father forgive us for not standing up and taking a stand for you in the marketplace and to our seeking friends and neighbors around us....
As to my job status.... I'm out making disciples today and every day until God leads into another assignment for His purposes. I just hope the next one is not a move of my family for 3weeks. But if it is Lord help me make it count for you.
Keep worshipping my friends! In every handshake and business deal.
AUG.2nd Quote: "God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome."