"" bshawise: April 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A true story

This is a true story about three people and a worship event this past Sunday evening.

One guy (the worship leader) was brushing his teeth when he felt like God told him there'd be 2-3 people at the event who were jobless, hopeless and consumed with worrying about how they were going to pay the bills this month. As he put the toothbrush away, he felt like God gave him an idea.

One woman felt like she was supposed to bring her friend to the event. She felt this every month for the past three months.

The friend woke up that morning feeling suicidal again. She was unable to work due to chronic pain and felt hopeless and unsure that even God cared anymore. She agreed to come to the event, but prayed (told) God that morning she needed him to "show up in a big way" for her to keep believing in him.

Part way thru the worship event the guy addressed the crowd. He said he felt like there were 2-3 people who were jobless, hopeless and consumed with worry. He asked them to stand up to receive prayer. Immediately, the friend stood up. For a minute she was the only one. The guy still felt like there were two more and soon two more stood. He said, "We're going to pray for you. But first, I want everyone around these three women to give them all the cash in your wallets." The crowd was stunned. They sat there motionless. He said, "I'm serious. Do it."

People looked around at their husbands, wives, friends deciding what to do. Soon, one by one, people stood all over the auditorium and brought the three women their cash. The friend began to sob. She stood there as her hands filled with cash and her sob turned into a wail. It filled the room. She started to collapse to her seat and a woman standing beside her held her up as more and more people brought her money. The second woman who was jobless, hopeless and consumed with worry, turned around and placed her new cash in the first one's shaking hands. She collapsed to her seat, overwhelmed by answered prayer. Everyone in the crowd, the band, the guy, literally everyone had tears streaming down their face. We too were overwhelmed.

One guy felt like he heard from God. Clearly he did.

One woman felt like her friend needed to connect with God. Clearly she did.

One friend needed to really know God still cared. Clearly he does.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Friday, April 23, 2010

Mumford and Sons

My insides have been captured (dare I say raptured) by four lads from West London. It happened in high school the first time I heard Dave Matthews. It happened in college the first time I knowingly heard Miles Davis. It happened in my late 20s when I saw MuteMath in concert. Music reached into my gut, somehow grabbed my heart, spine, and all things core and shook me awake. It was instantaneous and mysterious. Call me melodramatic if you like. It happened. And will continue to happen.

Music has an odd brawn to it. My friend, Jim Zartman (the one who passed the band onto me) phrases it like this, "Music has a power to touch us beyond the surface when it is done well. There is a reason why people have sung to God together for all of time. Music is the best medium for a shared experience that is purposeful, emotional, and intentional." Mumford and Sons (according to their bio) set out in 2007 to make music that matters. The intensity and passion you feel in their lyrics and sound is intoxicating. This bit from their bio sums it up, "They have fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful, melancholy voices." I hope to see them live someday, somewhere in the UK, sharing a pint with my Irish friend, Jason.

(if you hate the F word skip the first video)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Floppy Demon

The only reason dogs haven't gone extinct (killed off by justified humans) is that they're so frustratingly cute. If puppies looked like toads, dogs would be nothing more than faint memories on the walls of pyramids. If Lola looked and smelled like a catfish I would've wrapped her in newspaper and thrown her down a sewer by now. But she doesn't. She looks like a floppy Christmas morning. That's the only reason the little demon is alive.

Makes me think that God must see us the same way. He puts up with us ruining all his stuff, and only listening when it's convenient, and crapping on his couch because he finds us so frustratingly cute. Otherwise, he'd off us like he did those dinosaurs. Meteor style. They looked like toads with car-sized teeth as puppies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hot Chip

Every bit of you is gonna want to stop watching this video before it gets to :55 seconds. If you do, you'll miss something special.


I don't think hell is a fire-pit with a trident-wielding devil. I think it's an eternity of having to watch this drunk guy manage his sandals.

Monday, April 19, 2010


For the past five years Leah has wanted another dog. For her lap. We've never been able to agree on a breed. But we knew if we ever came to an agreement we wanted to rescue one because Oprah told us to. So last week Leah sent me pics from this blog and said she wanted a basset. The combination of Miss Jackson and a basset hound seemed pretty hilarious, so we asked Google if any bassets needed rescued in Cincinnati. S.A.A.P. had four puppies. The story goes, the mom was a basset and the dad was a rolling stone (maybe a beagle?), the owners didn't approve and gave the pups up. And, it just so happened that S.A.A.P. was taking a batch of homeless dogs to a Cricket store down in Florence, Ya'll. So we went to "just check it out." We left with Lola. I vowed to never go thru the puppy thing ever again and his dog made me a lying liar.

And so I'm quite confident this decision will have numerous consequences. So far, the biggest is that our home has been invaded by obscene levels of cuteness. It's pathetic, but nearly everything she does is mesmerizing. And I think this is a universal truth. When we walk her, cars slow down, point and smile. I'm thinking we could convince terrorists to quit it if we just sent them a box of puppies. Bewitch them with floppy, clumsy, cuddly, and extremely needy agents of mass distraction.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Riding Bikes with a Bishop in Development Hell

I got new pedals on my bike for my birthday. They're the kind that require funny-looking shoes with cleats that snap into place. They're awesome. So awesome that I'm not sure why it took me this long to get them. They're so much better than my old way of doing things that I almost feel silly for waiting until now to switch. I loved riding the hills of Cincinnati last year with my old pedals. Now it feels like a whole new world. The hills are still hard as hell but the new pedals help.

I've been reading a lil' book by a clever Bishop. It's awesome. So awesome that I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it. His way of looking at the world is so much better than mine that I almost feel silly for how I've been operating the past half decade. I've loved God for awhile. But now, it feels like a whole new world. Faith is still hard as hell, but this new theology helps.

I've been stuck in development hell with my screenplay for over a year now. I just learned this term in the recent months. It's when you have a script and people other than you keep telling you to FIX IT. It's been extremely hard but awesome. I've learned so much about myself and writing in the past 16 months that I almost feel silly when I think about what I thought I knew years ago. I loved the screenwriting process back when I was first learning how to even use the software. Now it feels like a whole new world. Crafting a compelling, three act story is hard as hell, but the knowledge I've acquired in development hell helps.

What's crazy but true is that someday soon I'll get some new thing for my bike, read some theologian's new book, write some new script that gets shredded by peers and I'll feel silly looking back on this moment. That's my growth process I guess. Do stuff, learn new way to do stuff, feel silly for a short spell, do stuff better and get more out of it, learn even newer better way to do stuff, feel silly, rinse and repeat.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Saturday, April 10, 2010

How He Loves vid

Here's a video we created for Easter this year. It's a good example of how important good locations are. This attic room belongs to my friends down in Clifton Heights. I saw it a year ago and filed it away in the "someday we'll shoot a video here" folder in my brain matter. Isaac Stambaugh did an unbelievable job directing. A local artist, Collin Rowland, gave us most of the photos. Charlie Hines and Sarah Kelly led the band and the choir was led by the one and only, Hope Milthaler. It was a highly collaborative project. The good ones always are.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Surprised by Hope

You ever gone to a restaurant and had something so delicious that you can hardly stand it? The kind of dish that with every bite you and your date stare dumbfounded and excited at each other and just nod (mouth full) at its deliciousness. Something so good you want to punch the chef with a happy, I-can't-believe-you're-so-amazing-at-cookery haymaker to the ear. Or maybe you've heard a new song from some new artist that just knocked your socks off and changes the way you feel about music as a whole. Or a 3D movie that melted your brain and you spend the next two weeks saying, "Have you seen....?"

I feel this way about N.T. Wright's, Surprised by Hope. I haven't been this excited about a book since perhaps the first literature class I took in college that sent me on a path I'm still on of chasing after the written word and figuring out a way to be a part of it. I can say without hesitation that Wright's words have changed my life. I feel like a doctor has joined me for coffee every morning and diagnosed why I'm so bored with cultural Christianity. I don't have the time or ability to articulate all the reasons why. I beg you to go out and buy the book today.

Here's an article in Time that kind of summarizes what some of the book is about.

Here's a video of Bishop Tom.

Here's a quote from the chapter I read this morning. This happens nearly every morning, that I read something and just sit back and try to pull my brain back down from outer space.

"Part of the role of the church in the past was-and could and should be again- to foster and sustain lives of beauty and aesthetic meaning at every level, from music making in the village pub to drama in the local primary school, from artists' and photographers' workshops to still-life painting classes, from symphony concerts (well, they managed them in the concentration camps; how inventive might we be?) to driftwood sculptures. The church, because it is the family that believes in hope for new creation, should be the place in every town and village where new creativity bursts forth for the whole community, pointing to the hope that, like all beauty, always comes as a surprise."

I have more hope than I've had in a long long time because of the knowledge Dr. Wright is dropping on me. I want to slug him square in the jaw with a happy haymaker then share a pint with him at the village pub. I can think of no other way to thank him.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ad Wizards

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hi. I'm a bunny.

Pretty much the only reason I'm posting this video is for the first line. After that it's just ok. But that first line is good stuff.

Thursday, April 1, 2010