Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dutch Blitzard

The Ommens (Les and Karen) invited me and the Martins (Dave and Kristen) over for dinner tonight because the Ommens (Andy and Helen) are in town for Christmas (three days ago). Confused? That's alright, now you know how I feel. Anyway, we had my absolute favorite Ommen dinner, some great fellowship, and a heated game of Dutch Blitz. What is Dutch Blitz, you ask? Well, it is only the game that pits husband against wife, and brother against sister in an all out war of cards. It turns friend into foe, and ally into enemy with just a few sinister shuffles. Emotional scars are but minimal wounds when the cards begin moving in all their hellish fury. But seriously, it is fun--even though I'm really slow.

While we were bickering away our lives inside, another six inches of snow accumulated outside...and it's still coming as I write. I really love driving in the snow. Especially at night when no one else is on the road. We'll see how it effects peoples' travel plans, i.e. the Barlows and Ommens (Andy and Helen).

Barlow and I started recording some harmony vocals one of his songs, and tomorrow we will keep adding to it. He is a great writer, singer and guitar players, even though he'll never admit it. I'll try to find some way to post it for you all to hear once we finish it.

And last, but not least, I want to leave you with a list of things that playing Dutch Blitz makes me want to say:

1) Dutch Blintz
2) Wolf Blitzer
3) Dutch Oven
4) #$@*!!!
5) Dutch Boy

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Cheer

Merry Christmas everyone!! I am so full of Christmas cheer that I had to post a "Merry Christmas" message for the whole world. My Christmas Eve went like this:
1. Get up late and go to church.
2. Go to lunch.
3. Practice a few songs to play for some So.B.'s a little way out of town.
4. Play for a bunch of So.B.'s (Southern Baptists) a little way out of town.
5. Open some presents up at the Martins' house (some pimp gloves and a Gaither Homecoming DVD courtesy of Kristi).
6. Go visit the Aegerters, Norris', and Tillards at Julie's house.
7. Finally come home just in time to eat a few sugar cookies and watch the end of a Pink Panther movie.

I think I should stop making fun of Kristi for liking the Gaither Vocal Band (lame!!). I'll have to start making fun of her liking U2 or some other band I would like to have a concert DVD of, even though she doesn't like any good bands. Except Four in the Fire, of course. Just kidding. Anyway, have a good Christmas and eat a lot of food. Who knows when your next meal will come. After all, the Browns are out of town.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Matthew's Begats

Here is a video of me singing "Matthew's Begats" from our Christmas Extravaganza!--Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God."


Bleating Hearts Disease

Some highlights from tonight's Christmas Extravaganza!:

1) I totally screwed up part of Deliver Us, and I was the only instrument playing at the time (ouch).

2) I sang "Terez" instead of "Perez" in Matthew's Begats.

3) I ran out of breath in Matthew's Begats and stumbled over a few words, causing my accompaniment to stumble. Sorry, guys.

4) Drew nailed So Long, Moses.

5) The sound wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

6) With my beard and dark sweater I looked like part of a face floating around the right side of the stage.

7) My beard was awesome.

8) We actually kind of pulled the whole thing off. Yay!

So, tonight went a lot better than I expected. I taped it, so I'll try to post a song or two for you to watch. If you already own the Andrew Peterson DVD our footage will make you appreciate it all the more. If you don't, maybe this will be a little incentive to go out and buy it.

After the show, a few of us went to a house that our friend Amy is house-sitting. It was a lot of fun. I really like everybody I've met from SROM (Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries), but please don't tell them I've never really been hiking. They would probably kill me...or something. I don't know.

Andy Barlow and his wife, Caitlin, came into town today, so I'm hoping to spend a lot of time with him. Hopefully some of that will be recording some of his sweet new songs. I like songs. And bed. Good night.

A "New Beginning" on "The Morning" "After the Garden"

Just taking some time to let you know about some good opportunities to hear good music. One of my favorite songwriters, Andrew Osenga, has a couple of songs available for free download right now. They are both off of his newest album "The Morning", which is awesome. To get "After the Garden" just click on the picture thingy right below this.

To download his song "New Beginning", which is also on "The Morning", just put your mouse on these words and push the left button on said mouse.

Also, he is having a Christmas sale. Right now you can buy his album "The Morning" on sale for just $9.99 here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Behold the Trial

Hello all. I just got back from a long day of setting up and practicing for our Christmas Extravaganza! Tomorrow night. We were working on it from 8:30 in the morning 'til 6 this evening. A long and frustrating, yet productive day. God will definitely have to help us out. The most frustrating thing about the day was dealing with the sound guy. He doesn't have a very good ear, doesn't want to try to fix things when they're broken, and doesn't want to listen to you when you try to help. That makes for a really bad mix in the monitors and the mains. Not a good combination.

But Andrew, the drummer, improved a ton today. He is a good drummer--he just needed to learn the songs. Especially So Long, Moses; the song that goes in and out of 7/8 and 4/4 time the whole song. There were times where Drew was so tight I actually felt like I was playing along with a CD. Kudos, Drew. You are a Drum man among guitar boys.

I don't know if I ever told you guys, but we are doing Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God for our Christmas concert. It is one of the best pieces of Christian art I've ever seen or heard. He masterfully weaves the thread of redemption through Old Testament history in a way that makes you long for Christ's first advent (which has already passed, obviously). In short, he makes you feel the way the Jews should have felt around the time Christ was born. He was the culmination of everything God had been revealing to them for the last 4,000 years (or so), yet they still missed Him. But, as we know, it was all part of God's great plan to save not just Jews but Gentiles as well (see Ephesians 2). Anyway, I highly recommend both the CD and DVD, "Behold the Lamb of God", but especially the DVD. You can buy online here.

Anywho, I'll post again tomorrow and let you know how it went. If you read this tonight, please pray for us. We really want this to be an opportunity to communicate the Gospel effectively to ourselves and everyone else who is going to come.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Someday, I'll be good...maybe.

Matthew Perryman Jones. Check him out. He has an out of this world voice and is a fantastic songwriter as well. On top of playing killer solo acoustic and full band shows, he is a member of Nashville's underground superhero network--The Square Peg Alliance.

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed the MPJ concert last weekend. Dave, Kristen, and Josh came along, and we went to Cold Stone. If I ever get married, it will probably be to a smokin' hot, seven point Calvinist, musically gifted, rich, volleyball player who works at Cold Stone and has really low standards. Other than the concert, there isn't a whole lot of new stuff going on in Mike Gorski's Westworld. Except that I started recording a song I wrote and I am pleased with how it is going. All except the vocals, that is. But I guess that is just something I'll have to learn to live with.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Open Mike

I thought I would tell everyone how open mic night went this Wednesday. Remember how I was telling you that by participating I was basically setting myself up for failure? Well, that's what happened, only it was my friends' fault, not mine. Josh Rose came into town that afternoon so I was like, "Hey, do you want to play open mic night with me?" and he was like, "Sure." I had already asked Drew Martin to play snare, so we were now three. We would have called ourselves The Three Amigos, but we ended up being four. Dave was the fourth, making me change our name to Gunther Indigo and the Six Stick Hat Trick despite Dave's best effort at calling us The Mike Gorski Trio. Sorry, Dave. Maybe when you have your own talk show.

Anyway, I took some songs over to Drew's house to practice and it was awesome. We gelled together and tightened everything up, and added sweet harmonies (Dave and Josh) and percussion (Dave on shakers). In short, I was really pumped up. I'm serious. It was sounding really good. Then, we actually played at open mic. On top of the usual pitfalls of open mic, we didn't have a music stand, Josh couldn't see my guitar to follow along (he had only heard and played the songs for the first time twenty minutes ago), and I suck at singing. But it all added up to a great time. I love those guys and it was awesome that they came to help me out. Oh yeah, this was the set list (is three songs a set?):

1. 18 miles from Memphis--Stray Cats
2. the King's hand--Mike Gorski
3. Do you feel it tonight--Me, myself, and I

I especially like the third song. Methinks it's the best song I've written so far. If you can call a pop style love song a song, that is. Afterward a girl named Annie Peters kind of invited me to play with her in Denver. She had an amazing voice and was just being nice to me. Actually, I really just invited myself along, like the kid you hated who showed up to your twelfth birthday uninvited. I hated that kid. Back on track now. Annie is a folk singer who wrote a song for Grits. That's right, Grits. I would love to play with her, but I don't think I'll be able to. Thanks though, Annie.

Talking with Annie brought up a lot of insecurities and hopes and dreams that I feel will never be realized. I'll post more on that later. For now, I will only satisfy you with the knowledge that tonight I'm going to see Matthew Perryman Jones and Jonah Werner at Everyday Joe's in Fort Collins. Jealous? I would be. Have a great weekend and don't feel too bad that you aren't going to a sweet concert tonight. Unless, of course, you are.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"This little epiphany went wee, wee, wee..."

Tonight I was just plain anxious. All of my friends were either hanging out at a Bible study potluck or recovering from vacation, so I ended up at home. After my Dad and his wife went to the local performance of "The Nutcracker", I was left alone to spice up my evening. And what do you do when you're bored and me? You do something magical and musical, like say, play guitar. Actually, that's the only musical thing I can do, and it's not really very magical. So boredom led me to play through the songs I plan on performing at open mic night this week. Two songs I wrote and a song by the Stray Cats called "Eighteen Miles from Memphis." In doing this I realized a few things. One, I need a lot more practice singing. And two, my singing greatly depends on who I'm singing for and the sound system I'm singing into. Unfortunately, the sound system will be terrible at Coal Creek Coffee on Wednesday night, and I will be singing in front of a bunch of ultra-leftist liberal folkies, who love the fact that I'm exposing myself in front of them (artistically, that is) but hate that I am a Christian. Sounds like a recipe for success, right? Okay, maybe not, but I'm going to hack it out anyway and hope that someday they will find someone who can do something as simple as balance a voice and a guitar in one monitor and the mains. I digress. Wednesday night, Coal Creek Coffee, 8 o'clock-ish. Be there or be square.

Back to my exciting Saturday evening. I finished going through my songs, knowing that I'm almost certainly setting myself up for failure, and then headed to The Grounds to read a bit. My friend Jason was working and it was great to see him, even if it was only a bit of chit chat. White hot chocolate in hand, I sat down and opened my Bible to Ephesians. I have been "studying" it lately and so I reread chapter one over and over. A few thoughts came to mind while reading, and I hope to be disciplined enough to meditate on them further in the next couple of days. First, the doctrine of election is beautiful, not just because it is neatly packaged and logical, but because it is beautiful to God. I'm inferring this from reading the apostle Paul's descriptions of it in the first half of Ephesians chapter one.

"3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."

Election is not arbitrary or emotionless on God's part. On the contrary, our adoption is "in love" (v. 4-5), and "to the praise of his glorious grace" (v. 6). Our election and consequent redemption is "according to the riches of his grace" (v. 7), "which he lavished upon us" (v. 8). God doesn't just predestine just because he has to. He predestines because he loves us, and displays "the riches of his grace" (v. 7) through that. So, the next time I think of election as just being the U in T.U.L.I.P., I need to be convicted and look at election the way Paul did.

The second little epiphany I had while reading tonight was that I don't really believe that God is as powerful as He is. Verses 19 and 20 showed me that. "...what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places." The Christian's assurance for every part of life--physical, emotional, spiritual--is wrapped up in the word "immeasurable." Do I live my life like these verses are actually true? Do I trust that God is as powerful as He says He is? In a word, no. If I did, then when life overwhelms me I would know that this is the power available to me. When doubt assails my soul, I would remember that the same loving Father who raised His only begotten Son from the dead will raise me, His adopted son, as well. The resurrected Christ would be my proof that God can save the worst sinners and the greatest of hypocrites like me. This should drastically change how I look at the world. It should change how I live, how I pray. But first and foremost, it should fundamentally change how I think about God. He isn't just an old man with a beard, who only interacts with me abstractly through books written by dead people (inspired like paul or Puritan like Owen). He isn't only concerned with giving me a right intellectual understanding to prepare me for heaven. Rather, He desires that I know and rely on the immeasurable greatness of His power right here and now, in this present life. John Paton, the great missionary to the New Hebrides ( think Survivor: Vanuatu), said, "I'm invincible until God says otherwise." Now there is a man who rightly understood God's power.

More rambling. I just made you appreciate your Pastor or favorite author so much more. You're welcome and good night.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Top Ten Things Not to Tell Your Support Coach

Last night I posted the fake "Dear Jane" letter that I sent to my support coach Chris. Apparently it was a bit too realistic. This morning I awoke to an email and voice mail message from Chris asking about the message and whether or not I was serious. I called her to clear the air and let her know that I she is still the coolest (and only) support I've ever had, and that I am not abandoning her. After all, who could leave the support coach who thought this picture was hilarious:

Clearly, she has a great sense of humor. Unfortunately for her, it just wasn't as finely tuned as it needed to be when she got my email at 7:30 this morning. Next time I will make everything a lot more clear for her. Sorry Chris.

Tonight I thought that I would lighten things up a bit by posting Letterman's Top Ten List from last night. My Dad and I were busting up until they got to about the top two. That's the way the Top Ten List is though--number one is always the least funny. Here it is:

Top Ten Shows On The New Gay Television Channel

10. "How I Met Your Brother"

9. "Gary's Anatomy"

8. "Desperate Poolboys"

7. "Everybody Loves Raymond...Especially Steve"

6. "The King Of Queens"

5. "Not-So-Smallville"

4. "I Dream Of Gene"

3. "Gays Of Our Lives"

2. "My Name Is Earl And I Like Construction Workers"

1. "His Deal Or No Deal"

Not politically correct, but one hundred percent hilarious. Good Night.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My first Dear Jane letter

Tonight I had write my first Dear Jane letter. It wasn't easy to write, and it is definitely not easy to share with all of you, but I feel the need to be transparent with all my faithful readers. I wrote it to my now Ex-Support Coach, Chris. Here it is:

Dear Chris,

We have had some great times together, and you are much of the reason why I am as far along in the support raising process as I am. But tonight you said some hard things, and asked me to do some stuff that I am not particularly comfortable with. When we finished talking I just didn't have peace about sending out letters to all of my remaining contacts, so I went to my friends' house to talk about it. God is sovereign and good. My friend Jeff has quite a bit of experience and family history in missions, and apparently God brought us together for a reason, even if just for this night. For it seems that not only does Jeff possess missional knowledge, but other members of his family do as well.

So, I regret to inform you that I have found a new support coach. I know that in time you will forgive me and understand why I had to make this difficult decision. My new coach is Ben Brown. He is five years old and he goes to Beitel Elementary--the same school I attended. As I mentioned before, after hanging up with you tonight, I just didn't have peace about what you asked me to do tomorrow. I was explaining your demand to the Browns at dinner when Ben interjected. He said, "That sounds like a lame job. Don't do it anyways." I was floored. It was as if God's Spirit were speaking through Ben, his words nourishing my soul and guiding me like a pillar of smoke or of fire. I could barely muster a response, but I managed to say, "Ben, the LORD God has truly blessed you with an unmatched wisdom that is beyond your years. Surely you are the people and wisdom will die with you."

I know what you are thinking. You wish that Ben would have been alive when you started raising support. You are thinking of all the hours of sleep, streams of tears, and cartons of ice cream that could have been saved if only you had known of this Ben Brown years ago. Be comforted--God is the God of all comfort (2 Cor 1:3). Know that, "...for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) And, "...He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil 1:6) Please don't look on me with ill favor just because of the advantage that God has given me. "Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?" (Rom 9:21)

My sincere hope is that this will not change our relationship at all. In fact, I think it will only make our friendship stronger. And I want to continue talking at our usual weekly time, so please keep it open. That is, if you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

Blessings in Christ,
Mike Gorski

Who couldn't forgive this guy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quick Thoughts on Good Intentions

So, I recently promised to find a certain quote from a Kierkegaard essay and this time I pulled through. The essay is called "To Will One Thing", and I was reading it at a very crucial time. While living in North Carolina, I was faced with the dilemma of trying to find a job without the usual connections from Church. Before that time, I had never interviewed for a job. In fact, I hadn't really ever looked for a job--they always managed to find me. Obviously, the job-hunting process was very foreign to me, but my shyness and anxiety in new situations made the process increasingly awkward. With each unsuccessful attempt at employment I lost a bit more of my motivation to continue on. You get the picture, it basically sucked. But throughout this period, I held on to one thing--the fact that even though I couldn't get a job, I still really wanted one.

Enter Kierkegaard. What a jerk.

I was gracious enough to read his essays, even though he isn't even alive, yet within the first pages of the first essay he was exposing my utter loserliness. There I sat at 3 Cups on Franklin St., drinking peppermint tea and telling myself, "Well self, at least you want to get a job. That's way better than being a deadbeat who doesn't want to work." Then I read this: "This much is certain: the greatest thing each person can do is to give himself to God utterly and unconditionally--weaknesses, fears, and all. For God loves obedience more than good intentions or second-best offerings, which are all too often made under the guise of weakness."

At that time, I was completely defrauded. My front of desiring to get a job could no longer blind my conscience. Before reading this, I applied for jobs with these caveats--"I'm just learning this process, it takes time and practice so I might as well ease into it"; "God knows my personality and that this doesn't come to me naturally"; "I've never lived in a city before, so I need to get used to it." But these were just excuses. I thought it was good enough to acknowledge my weaknesses and half-heartedly pursue my desires, and that God would turn all those weak ingredients into some kind of casserole that still tastes good even though it's just a bunch of random crap. Kierkegaard showed me that my attitude should be to give all of myself to God, including my shortcomings. And knowing that if I'm obedient despite my weaknesses, God will be more glorified than if I just say, "Well, God, I wanted to try. And that's what counts, right?"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Must...defy...laws of...physics!!!

In light of my last science hating post, I felt obligated to share a story from my amazingly...amazing life. I have been battling a cold (much like The Tick did once), and so I spent the day lounging around watching movies and TV. I rented "Bottlerocket", then happened upon an episode of The Tick. I love that cartoon. It's keen. Anyway, in the episode I watched, Tick reached into a black hole to pull out a doomsday device. While extending himself into the hole he said, "Must...defy...the laws...of...physics." To make a long story short, he was successful, and thus saved the universe. He also defeated the ever-intimidating infinity ball, which looks a lot like an 8-ball turned on it's side. Well, I better get some rest for tomorrow. Spoon!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hi, I'm Mike...

Wow. It has been a long time, and I'm sure you have all completely given up on me ever blogging again. So, here is the one sentence recap of the last couple months. I'm still working at the gym (though recently cut down to two days a week) and raising support (I'm pretty far behind, please pray) while staying active in church through music, bible study and co-producing a Christmas extravaganza, all while staying sane by playing volleyball (and traveling to my first tournament) and writing songs. Whew. That was actually pretty complete. If you throw in a couple of movies, a lot of free meals, and season three of Arrested Development it would almost be a video blog--minus the video part. I guess you'll have to wait until my reality show starts. Patience.

I just got back from Bible study and a very long and interesting conversation about science. In case you didn't know, I think that science as we know it is completely bogus. That's where this other guy and I basically disagreed. We argued about it for at least a couple of hours and got nowhere except he got to hear me say that I don't believe in gravity. Then, he heard what I think is an equally plausible explanation for things dropping to the ground, namely, little tiny bugs that you can't see or feel, that are always pulling things down to the ground, so when you let go of something they finally succeed. Just so you know, I don't actually believe that. Maybe I'll post about it in more detail some other time. I'm a regular Mr. Wizard.

Support raising has been really hard for me the past few months. I've been kind of paralyzed by fear, and I think I stumbled upon a habitual sin of mine when thinking about it today. I'm paralyzed by a sort of lazy inertia. An object at rest stays at rest, right? I know, the guy who hates science just used a science analogy. So what, I'm a hypocrite. Anyway, I think the main reason I struggle with doing new or different things is that I'm just afraid to jump out there and do it. With raising support, I know I am doing it for a worthwhile cause, and that God is glorified even in the process. But since it is different, I have to constantly battle to go do it. With dating, girls, marriage, and all that stuff, I know I want that and even lust after the future possibility of a family, but I am completely unwilling to interact with the opposite sex (does anyone know a good mail order service?). It all brings up something that a Kierkegaard essay illumined for me last spring. The essay showed me that to have good intentions isn't enough. You can't say "I want to glorify God by getting a job and serving Him in that position." God is not glorified in intentions when they don't lead to something greater. I will find the actual quote I have in mind and post more on it tomorrow, but for now I will leave you with this one. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." It reminds me of what Christ said in Matthew 7,

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'" Whoa. The road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This is hilarious!

I found a way to post that Dave Barnes video, so here it is. Enjoy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Barnes and Ignoble

I've been having trouble getting up lately, and struggling with a little loneliness and depression. It is amazing how your general mood has an effect on everything you do and encounter. For instance, today I wasn't in the most spirited frame of mind. So, when I tried to go to my friend Julie's house for dinner and tupperware sales/support spiel, and she wasn't there, I about flew off the hook. Every possible self-righteous thought you could have popped into my head--"I took time out of my busy schedule of really important things I never get done to come here for dinner and she isn't even here. What's the point in even planning...blah, blah"--while every terrible thought about her came into mind--"She's just like everyone else, she doesn't care about me at all and only lets me down...." I was a stuck in a fury of emotion and rediculous ideas, and somehow blinded to that fact. I guess I really wanted to be pissed off and ignore any possibilities for excuse, just so I could wallow in self pity. You can imagine how I felt when I got a phone call from Julie at about 9:30 (on the phone that hasn't worked once all day, yet this time was clear as a whistle), saying that we're still on for dinner tommorow night.

I'm a freakin' idiot. Seriously. Granted, we really were supposed to have dinner tonight, but does that matter? God really humbled me and showed my sin of feeling sorry for myself.

Also, I have been getting a ton of laughs from a video on Dave Barnes' myspace site. Click on the link and watch the video that is on top of the other video. It's hilarious. His music is really cool too, so make sure you listen to the songs he has posted while you're there. He has a really great vibe and voice.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Catch Up

Okay, so I forgot to post after last weekend's festival of music/Dalits (don't worry I'll catch you up in the following paragraphs). To those of you who have been waiting for my recap with the same intense longing as I have been waiting for my box of Andrew Peterson CD's and computer memory--I'm sorry. There you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.

Anyway, last weekend was awesome. It started in Fort Collins Thursday night with a solo Andrew Osenga show at a coffee shop called Everyday Joe's. It was a really cool venue. Andy had a rough start but found the groove early on to give us all an enjoyable show. He is one of my absolute favorite singer/songwriters. He just communicates emotion so well--"These days they are a river, and we're all floating down/Every loved one, every neighbor, in Tennesee, in my hometown/So let us not take this for granted, let us not waste this second hand/So let your love rage like a lion, and let your heart break like a lamb." Dang. Seriously, though, if you ever get the chance to see Andy (or any of the other Square Pegs) don't miss it. Andy opened up for some crappy piano band man from Fort Collins. Man this world is bass-ackwards. So, after the show I went to Cold Stone with the Hubers, who showed up late for the show but made up for it by eating ice cream with me, thus getting me out of hearing a crappy piano band. Then, I drove home.

On Friday, I drove to Denver with Josh Rose, three high school kids from Riverton, and Cari Dittus to see Caedmon's Call. One of the high school kids was Presbyterian. That's cool. So we made it there in time to grab a Philly cheese steak at Large Marge's, then get sweet seats for the best concert I have ever been to. Caedmon's was great, plus their opener, Mandy Mann, had one of the best voices I've ever heard. Seriously, she has a beautiful voice. You should check her out, but know that the recording is like a 40 watt bulb and her voice is like the Sun. I thought my retina were burning just from listening. After the show, I got to talk to Andy Osenga for awhile about gear and he gave me some great advice that will save me money in the long run. The rest of the night was spent on Erich and Maureen Kirsch's couch resting up for the next day's Dalit Freedom Festival.

Basically, the Dalit Freedom Festival explained the plight of the below caste people in India, and how Caedmon's has partnered with the Dalit Freedom Networkto bring the gospel and social justice to these people. The short of it is that the Dalits are the "untouchables" you have read about in National Geographic. There are 300 million of them and they have been severely oppressed by Hinduism for about 3000 years. DFN is working to give their children a quality education and work to completely abolish the caste system. For more info, go to their website. They can tell you so much more than I ever could. After the freedom fest, we drove home, but not before stopping at Cold Stone in Fort Collins. If you can't tell, I REALLY like cold stone...a lot.

Before I sign off for tonight, I'll leave you with this link to a post on the Common Grounds Blog. This kind of makes me sick. You'll understand why when you read it. It's about how many President's/CEO's of Christian relief organizations make over 100K a year, or maybe better put, how shockingly few of the top 200 make less than 100K a year. But, who knows what they do with all that money? Maybe they store up treasure in heaven by giving it away. Or maybe they're just a bunch of hypocrites who drive luxury cars and have diamonds on the bottom of their shoes. I really hope not.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Holy Ghost Healing Miracle Tongues Revival

So I just got back from helping lead worship for a 'Revival' week at a small Southern Baptist Church in Wheatland, WY. It stirred up a few thoughts/observations.

First, Southern Baptists love 'Revival' meetings, and I don't quite understand it yet. From what I can tell, they are meetings where a speaker from somewhere else in the country, preferably someone in the Southern Baptist circuit, comes and tells your church not to be stuck in traditions. This is hard for me since I leave every one of these meetings thinking, "My church isn't stuck in tradition. In fact, my church desires to constantly change to reflect the culture of our members." But, from the Southern Baptist Churches I have seen in Wyoming, they do need to break out of the traditional Southern Baptist mold a bit more than they are doing now. Like, when you put 'Revival Week' on your church sign, don't expect the whole town to show up. Only Christian and non-Christian Southern Baptists will come.

The need for change brings up my second thought/observation/question. If the Pastors of these churches are godly men who are focused on preaching the bible, why do their congregations have such a hard time maturing? And another related question, why do we generally become less willing to change as we get older? I look at a lot of the old people in my church and am so thankful that they are an integral part of my church's mostly college-aged congregation. These people have been moldable and let God use them to minister to people outside of their original culture. That is how I want to age. I don't want to be stuck thinking I'm right just because that is the way I've always thought about a certain practical issue, like music.

Third, I'm pumped for this weekend. It is going to (folk) rock! I'm going to see Andrew Osenga in Fort Collins on Thursday night, then Caedmon's Call in Denver on Friday night, followed by some kind of workshop led by the band on Saturday. Again, I can't tell how much fun it will be. Anyway, I better get to bed. It's midnight and I have to work tomorrow.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Let's get to know each other...again.

Sorry it has been a couple of days (weeks) since I last posted. I haven't been up to a whole lot, but I have been busy at the same time. One of those periods of time where you are swamped and in a hurry to do eveything, yet you don't really get anything done. I hope you all have gone to to download 'Mockingbird' for free. I can't tell you how good it is. So good, in fact, that I might listen to it when I go to bed tonight.

In other news, as if if I gave you any in the previous paragraph, I am preaching tomorrow night at my church. I'm really nervous because I've never preached a Sunday message to more than ten people. Also, tomorrow it will just be the worship leader and I leading music with two acoustic guitars, which I love. It is easy to get lost in a whole band every week. Sometimes simplicity does a lot to refocus us. It's like getting a haircut--a bit of change really brings out what you liked and didn't like about your cut before. It brings perspective.

I have been reading quite a bit of Hemingway lately. Let me tell you, do not--I repeat, do not--read Hemingway if you are depressed. I think only two or three of all the stories I've read have had endings that aren't really depressing, and those few weren't necessarily happy endings, either. But, he is such a great writer. He conveys the thoughts, feelings, and intents of all his characters so well, and the characters themselves are so real. They aren't fluffy, always happy or always sad types, but very realistic. In this age of entertainment it is too easy to fall prey to superhero characters who are rock solid in every way. It is refreshing to see someone struggle the same way I do, even if they are a figment of some dead guy's imagination.

Well, I better get to bed. I promise to post more in the next couple of days--I've got a lot to write about. And if you want a copy of my sermon (to use as a coaster or pick apart) let me know and I will either email or send it to you. Oh yeah, and if you want a copy of Derek Webb's cd 'Mockingbird', then go to

Saturday, August 26, 2006

M.C. Hammer the Prophet?

So I've got something I've been meaning to post for a while, but events today just added to guilt of not already writing about, so here goes. Basically this post is just a testimony to God's faithfulness in answering prayer. I hope that it encourages you even just a fraction of what experiencing the actual answered prayers has for me. God is good and gives us all good things; and He only gives us what is best for us. Period. So, here begins the list of answered prayer in the last month or so.

1. God has been providing for me financially in very great and humbling ways. I began praying that God would help me to get rid of my debt on top of raising support for the mission field, and He is actually doing it. He gave me a huge amount (huge to me and the couple that gave it, at least) through a couple who were themselves just beginning on a faith filled journey. They gave me the money specifically for my debt. Amen. Also, God has begun to provide for my trip to Spain as well. Just tonight I talked with a couple who want to support me monthly--despite my poor presentation of what I'll be doing, etc...

2. God provided jobs for two very good friends of mine who were just married and moved off to seminary. You would think it might be a bit difficult for a teacher to get hired a few weeks before school starts, right? Well, God is even Sovereign over school districts, no matter what those flaming Armos say.

3. God sold my friends Dave and Kristen Martin's house.

4. God brought a friend of mine who has been out of church for years and years back to church. Now I pray that the fruit of this will show up in my friend's life, especially in the form of joy.

5. Today, I got to catch up with a friend who I care a great deal for but haven't seen in a long time. She has had a rough go of it the past few years, but is seemingly experiencing a bit of green pasture again. A great husband, beautiful daughter, baby boy on the way. But the greatest thing is that she has been praying for God to show her something more about Himself. I happened to be the instrument that God used to answer her prayer. We talked about the Bible and Christ's sacrificde for quite a while. We talked about why the doctrine of justification is so freeing. We don't have to try to work our way to heaven, and we would never be able to anyway. The righteous life has been lived by Christ himself, and that righteousness is imputed to us. But we still have motivation to grow in likeness to Christ, as we demonstrate our love for Him by ungrudgingly keeping His commandments continuing to die to the old man by living in the new man God has made us.

Anyway, I'm sure this isn't everything, but God has used these especially to remind me that He is working to answer prayer. He is personally involved in our lives and concerned with our welfare, even when we forget about Him in our near-sightedness. Even when the temporal so overwhelms and engulfs us that we can only think of earthly comforts and circumstances, God is there, moving every atom to bring us closer to Himself. He is in everything and every situation, demonstrating His immense love for us despite our lack of regard for Him.

God help me not to forget to see your loving hand in everything--be it physical, emotional, enjoyable, painful, special, or common. And should I forget, thank you for always working to repeatedly re-open my eyes to that truth. Amen.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Joseph Smith Meets Mike and Mike

Today was a half day at work because, well, we are just running out of things to do. So, I went to the bank then headed to my Mom's house to see if she wanted to catch some lunch. On the way there I ran into a guy from my church named Mike (great name), who just happened to be on his way to do a little street evangelism at the University. It turned out my Mom couldn't do lunch so I went evangelizing with Mike--very cool, very fun, very encouraging.

First of all, Mike is very eloquent and a gifted evangelist. I, on the other hand, am very shy and easily frustrated during street evangelism. We ran into a couple of ex-mormon missionaries who knew all the tricks of the trade, side-stepping every question they could with other questions, which is a very common problem for lost sinners who don't want to see themselves for who they really are in the mirror of God's word. Mike took all this in stride, finally bringing them back to the key issues of sin and salvation in Christ alone. Of course, they dodged this and took off, but I am really thankful that God was able to use this encounter for His glory. They put so much stock in the 'impressions' that 'God' gives them. They don't care about logic and reason. They really don't believe that "...all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god". They really want to do everything they can to save themselves, and then Christ can finish what's leftover.

As a believer this astounds me. How can they keep believing these things and claim to have the Holy Spirit? They must feel a terrible amount of guilt and conviction every time they sin, knowing that they must not have truly repented and therefore are not forgiven. Any person who reads the Bible and honestly looks in their heart must admit that they are a filthy sinner and always will be until God finally changes them at death. If you don't see these things, then you are lying to yourself and ignoring what the Bible says.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

DW Day: 10 Days and Counting...

Just letting you know that Derek Webb's latest album, "Mockingbird", will be available for download on September 1st. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's FREE? Just go to on Sep. 1st to enjoy the goodness. This album is a bit controversial, very thought provoking, and a great way to start addressing some of the sins that plague American Christianity. When you download the album, please join the discussion there as well. These are things we all need to talk about if we are going to grow as Christians and come to biblical, orthodox convictions in these areas.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"Can't stand ya'!!"

I just finished putting together my first batch of support letters. I feel like George Costanza's ex-fiance Susan, who died from licking all the envelopes for their wedding invitations. I licked too many envelopes. I hope I don't die. In other news I cut myself with a saw and stabbed myself with a rogue screw today at work. Fun stuff. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit less exciting.

Right now my Dad's girlfriend is watching "Murder by Numbers" on AMC. It has given me a new idea--"Support Raising by Numbers". Who says you have to know the people supporting you? Tomorrow I am going to start finding random names on the internet and sending them support letters. It will be a sort of modern day money raising urim and thummin. So, if you randomly found my blog and are reading it, excpect a letter in about a week, then a phone call soon after. And make checks payable to World Harvest Mission.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Today was (is) a great day...

So today has been a great day. I haven't fully achieved any of the goals that I set this morning, but it rocks all the same. I spent a good portion of this morning sleeping, then I had a chance to catch up with an old friend. Subsequent attempts to catch up with other old friends were unsuccessful, but hey, not everybody can be home at once. Next, I rolled down to the coffee shop where read and thought a lot about James 1. God is really using that book to show me my sin, and for that I am grateful. I have needed that for a while. I have spent the rest of the afternoon locked away in my home "studio" recording a song. I'm not nearly done with it, but by the end I think it will really rock. Right now I'm sitting in front of my computer typing this to the five people (I like to be optimistic) who read my blog, which is giving the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese in my stomach a little time to digest. Plus, the longer I stay out the the studio, the less it will smell like McDonalds when I'm done.

Back into the dungeon...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

That's Racin'

I feel like my blog has been moving in a much needed new direction. Instead of posting about life and its struggles, I'm going to just start reviewing movies. Shaun of the Dead, War of the Worlds, Under the Tuscan Sun, and now Talladega Nights.

I just got back from the theater and honestly, the movie was pretty funny. And it was a lot cleaner than I heard it was or expected it to be (or maybe I'm just completely desensitized). I went with my friends Dave and Josh. Josh is just on his way through town, but hopefully we can wrangle him into staying for a few days. Actually, it would be great to sit down and play some guitar with him. We are going to try and play at a coffee shop in Riverton, Wyoming sometime in the next month, so it would be good to pick a bunch of songs and practice them. Sorry, that was a rabbit trail. Anyway, Talladega Nights was worth the five bucks--I got to turn my mind off for a while and just laugh.

Okay, I've decided that writing movie reviews would be depressing because they generally aren't very edifying, so I'm back to my original focus: networking in the hopes of finding free places to eat and sleep no matter where I go in the world. I mean: writing about meaningful things that effect my life and will encourage others to examine their lives in those same areas.

Have a good day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

War of the Tuscan Sun

Today was a fairly uneventful, but satisfying day. I woke up late and then played some guitar before catching lunch with Jeff Brown. Then, I bought three tons of sand and shoveled it out of the back of my Dad's truck into a huge pile in the backyard. Dinner was a barbecue in honor of my Dad's girlfriend's son and daughter-in-law complete with some fancy desert that tasted really good. So good that I had two servings.

The night is being closed with a few movies: "The War of the Worlds", and "Under the Tuscan Sun". I wouldn't have chosen either of them, but that's alright, I'm learning to watch a couple of crappy movies every once in awhile. They can't all be "Shaun of the Dead", I guess. Anyway, tomorrow I've got to do some stuff for support raising and then I'm going to do some recording with my friend Dave. I don't know what song he wants to record, but I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Zombie Reunion at Bass Lake

Well, I just got back from the Martin family reunion in Minnesota. I had a great time even though I wasn't related to anyone, hurt my knee on the camp's waterslide (a very "Jackass" like moment with the Martin brothers), and can't sing eight trillion part harmony like every Martin to ever walk the earth. Seriously, they are born for singing. Anyway, I met a lot of great people and got to catch up with others I hadn't seen for a while. I enjoyed the trip thoroughly.

Also, I got a copy of the movie "Shaun of the Dead" at a Wal-Mart while in MN. It's a spoof of zombie movies like "Dawn of the Dead" or "28 Days Later". The short of it is that I love it. It is so funny that I almost undied laughing--pun intented. If you pay attention, you find so many little details that carry through in the plot, or the same language coming up from previous dialogue (not counting the F-Bomb, which gets dropped a lot, unfortunately). The only down side is that it is a bit gory, and the language is very crude (British humor), but I think if you can watch "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" in good conscience, then you can watch this one.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Treasure in Heaven

I just got done having a great conversation about money, comfort, safety, and security with a friend who is visiting from out of town. We disagreed on a few of the details, but basically came to the same conclusion--that Christians in America need to be a heck of a lot more generous. So, with this subject still in mind, I'm posting about Christ's comments in the Sermon on the Mount and giving a testimony of God's provision in my own life.

In Matthew 6:19-24 Christ says,
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

Jesus is pretty clear about something here--DON'T STORE UP TREASURE HERE ON EARTH!! But unfortunately, not all commands are easily obeyed or understood. One question I've come up with is "how do I know when I'm storing up treasure in heaven?" I think the key to unlocking this is found in verse 21: "...where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." It could be stated this way, "if your heart is in your new car, guitar, house, clothes, engagement ring, etc..., then you are storing up treasure on earth." Or the opposite, "if your heart is in using your money to further God's kingdom on earth by giving to the spiritually and physically poor, in your church, community, country, and world, then you are storing up treasure in heaven." This doesn't mean that owning things like houses, cars, and guitars (especially guitars) is intrinsically wrong, however. Rather, I think that we need to be constantly evaluating our lifestyle and spending habits to see if our treasure is in heaven or here. For me, a scary thought is that God may someday move me to sell a lot of my musical equipment to give to somebody who needs money more than I need guitars and amps.

So, this all puts me in a unique and difficult position. Right now I make $7.50/hr. Right now I'm trying to get out of debt as fast as possible. Right now I'm raising support to be a missionary. Right now I have a huge desire to be generous and give out of my poverty to those who are going to the mission field, or experiencing financial difficulties. These are all seemingly conflicting thoughts that pull me in different directions, each giving its own excuse for why it is right. But, I know that I need to store up my treasure in heaven, and that "whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." (2 Cor 9:6) These principles are beginning to shape how I view life, and how I am planning my future. I don't want to just take every penny I get and spend it on my own comfort, pleasure, and security. I have spent enough time doing that already. I want to live and give in such a way that provides for God's work in the lives of people who I know He is using to reach the world, and that shows other Christians that they can live a lot more simply than they actually do.

Anyway, God recently gave me a great example of this principle at work. He moved a friend to give me a substantial sum of money to put toward my debt. This friend and his wife just moved away and are currently unemployed. But they gave sacrificially, and I look forward to seeing the blessing that God will pour out on them for their obedience. I look forward to the opportunities that He will give me to give in the same manner. I look forward to the treasure, now unseen, that we will all see some day if we are obedient to God's command to store up treasure in heaven.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Life really sucks...sometimes

Today is one of those days. Melancholy spread through me sometime this evening, leaving me hopeless, judgmental, and just plain depressed. If you're reading this or care, or maybe even both, please pray for me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pleasure and Pain, or, Xbox's and Underwear

Wow. God really knows how to test me. Truth is applied to life in the oddest ways, but always for our benefit. For example, as I have read the book of James this past few weeks, God has impressed upon me a new way to look at trials. It's really a simple thing, and I'm not completely certain about some of the details, but my new doctrine was definitely tested tonight.

In James 1, it says that every good and perfect gift is from above. It also says that we aren't to say that it is God who tempts us to sin, but rather, our flesh luring us away from the truth. Traditional Dualism pits good against evil, God against the devil, in every situation. A sort of cosmic battle. I don't think this could be farther from the truth. Surely, there is a battle, but our God is in control of every little detail, not just the things that we traditionally want to give thanks for (a healthy baby, new job, car, wife, $$, etc...). I think we have a skewed sense of pleasure and pain.

We associate pleasure with things that give us certain physical or emotional sensations and pain with opposing sensations. I think this is very wrong. Why are we so quick to trust our flesh over God and His promises. God desires us to experience true pleasure no matter what He sends our way. Like tonight, when I was getting ready to round third base and head for home and I suddenly pulled up lame. Most people would say "pulled hamstring=pain." Physically, yes. My neurons were firing pain signals to keep me from continuing. But spiritually, I had to praise God for giving me this seemingly unpleasurable experience, knowing that it was a good and perfect gift from above. It was the only and best thing that God could have possibly given me at that time, otherwise, he would not have given it. I don't just think the things my flesh tells me are pleasurable are good gifts from God. Now, I think everything, no matter what my body or emotions say, is a perfect gift from God, and try to not let my flesh lure me into temptation and death. It was C.S. Lewis who said it is not that we are too focused on pleasure through sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but that we are too easily pleased (paraphrase). So, I think we are too quick to rob God of His due for giving us not only the gifts that feel good, but also the gifts that we need to really grow, but don't feel good.

It's like at Christmas time--we want to say God gave us the Xbox and not the underwear.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wed like an Egyptian

I just got back from a friend's wedding in Dallas/Fort Worth at 5am. A group of us here in laramie car pooled down all night on Friday--a good sixteen hour drive--then went to the wedding Saturday night and drove back Sunday. We left way too late and paid the price for it. Anyway, the wedding was good and I got to see some people I haven't seen for a long time, which was also good. I love to catch up with people and see where the Lord has taken them.

Have a good Fourth and God Bless.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sola Fide and Psalm 116

Over the past year or so I have struggled greatly with the doctrine of justification. It is not that I have been tempted to abandon the orthodox position for a cheap substitute, but that it's a doctrine not easily applied to life. Maybe it's because most of the literature I've read on the subject is very intellectually focused, or my flesh desires to have the right answers without the necessary pain and discomfort that coincide with obedience, but either way, I know that this great truth doesn't really look that great when set next to my life. In short, something is wrong.

The Bible is full of absolute commands. Christ seemed to be especially fond of saying things like, "...if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23) Or, "if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26) The problem I find with these commands is not that they are bad commands, but that they aren't the type of commands I want Jesus to give--they are too vague. They are too ambiguous for an aspiring Pharisee such as myself. What I mean is that they are not easily obeyed. Christ isn't telling us to make a big, wooden cross and walk all over the world with it. That is too easy. He doesn't demand that we never speak with our disfunctional families ever again. That's even easier (for me, at least). He is asking of us something much deeper than external obedience.

Yet my search for obedience is too often characterized by this type of external obedience. I go to church twice every Sunday. I play in the worship band. I go to bible studies, church work days, and potlucks. In short, I look good. Everybody sees my good works and I know it. But this isn't what Christ asks of me. His righteousness hasn't been imputed to me so that I can continue trying to establish my own. Paul puts it this way--"O foolish Galatians (Mike Gorski)! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:1-3) So, what's a boy to do?

Psalm 116 says, "What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people." (v. 12-14) First and foremost, I am to give back to God the very thing which He has given to me, salvation. There is no greater work than God's own, and no greater thing I can offer than praise and thanksgiving for the saving work of His Son. Living in the light of this truth should completely change my life. It should cause me to deny myself and follow Christ, to love Him so much that any love I might have for family and friends will look like hatred. And the necessary and natural extension of this is external obedience. Not just an outward 'obedience', but obedience that grows out of a pure love for God and a realization that we having nothing good to offer Him in return. At the end of every day, I can truly boast in Christ alone. His life. His Death. His resurrection. His intercession on my behalf.

Praise God that "...whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."--Philippians 3:7-11

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hallelujah!...or...What Happens When I Lead Worship at Church

Wow. Today was awesome. The worship leader at my church is out of town, so he put me in charge of the music for today's services, and it was so much fun. We had a very stripped down 'band' (my church has a lot of decent musicians) consisting of me on acoustic guitar/vocals, the worship leader's brother on vocals, the worship leader's other brother on djembe and shaker, and a friend who played acoustic guitar/vocals/harmonica. I usually just play electric guitar, but these past two weeks I've done a bunch of different stuff, which has been a nice change of pace. There is something about the folk rock vibe that I love, something very organic, and when combined with hymnody, I just get giddy. Anyway, I introduced three new songs to the congregation--'the love of christ is rich and free', 'free grace', and 'father, long before creation'--and the congregation seemed to catch on quickly and enjoy the lyrics (I LOVE HYMNS!!). Anyway, 'Father Long Before Creation' turned out really cool. I hope we continue to sing it as a congregation.

After the morning service, I went to lunch with a few friends and then helped one of them move a mattress from my garage to his house. He is an Indian working on his PhD in chemical engineering and we had a very encouraging talk about many a subject. His name is Sanil and he is one of the coolest guys I've talked to in a while--very humble, very honest, very real. Plus, he doesn't mind it when I make fun of Bollywood movies.

Also, our church has a college-age bible study/barbeque/church volleyball extravaganza every Sunday night and we are trying to make it a bit more evangelistic. Not evangelistic in the sense of "hey, bring your unsaved friends here so they will see how (un)cool we are and become Christians", but evangelistic in the sense of teaching people about the various doctrines involved in salvation so that they are able to share the gospel accurately with the people they're around all day long. Tonight we talked about justification by faith (Sola Fide!) and it was a great discussion. The leaders are really teaching from a reformed perspective and I think it is making the muddy theological waters a bit clearer in many a young person's mind. The guy who led tonight even quoted John Murray, Daniel Ahn's homeboy from Westminster.

Another cool thing that happened tonight was that one of my ex-divers came to church and the barbeque. I haven't seen her for a few years and it was cool to catch up with her. I hope to talk with her a bit more and help her to get plugged in with some good solid people because she is starting college next year. She is also very interested in missions, so I hope to talk about that with her as well.

Well, it's time for bed, and I've got a long day tomorrow. Running at 6am, then spending the rest of the day working on five sections of scaffolding, wetting myself from being 30-35 feet in the air and fighting the beautiful Wyoming wind. Good Night.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mike Gorski and the California (Support) Raisins

Well, it's official, my blog is number one--all others are number two or lower. I can't quite remember where I got those statistics, but you'll just have to take my word for it--I know a statistics professor.

Also official, is my appointment as a full-time, short-term, missionary apprentice in Spain (don't ask me how I will ever fit that onto a business card). Although I was offered the position last week, I guess it wasn't "official" until I got the letter in the mail, which happened today. Maybe the reason they don't want you to trust what they tell you at the sending center is that faith, it seems, is blind, and they want you to have a Hal Lindsey type faith. Just like his proposed dates for the end of the world have come and gone, but he still hangs on, World Harvest Mission wanted me to trust that even if that letter of appointment never came, and my departure date passed by, I needed to believe that it would somehow miraculously happen. Ok, maybe a better explanation is that all the people in the Sending Center are really just super-intelligent robots, and the only way for their decisions to become "official" are to print them off in the form of a letter and send them to a guy in a white suit somewhere who looks like Colonel Sanders (like the architect dude in the Matrix), who then signs the letters "Ward Shope" and sends them off to Missionary Appointees.

Anyway, I'm a little nervous about raising support. I've never had to raise money for a missions trip before--granted, I've never gone on a 20 month long trip either--and since my move to North Carolina, I have grown increasingly averse to accepting gifts from people. I don't want to be labeled a free-loader, nor do I enjoy feeling like one. The fact that I am raising God's money for God's work among the lost will need to be an ever present reminder. Also, I am learning a few things about why raising support can be very helpful to whatever ministry a missionary might have. Here is a list of a few of those things in no intentional order:
1) It creates a community of prayer for the ministry.
2) It gives people an opportunity to be blessed by giving, to store up treasure in heaven by getting rid of it here on earth.
3) It connects those who have vocational callings within their home country to God's work in the rest of the world.
4) It builds stronger relationships, founded on the Gospel, between people who may have otherwise lost touch.
5) It creates reciprocal prayer as supporters pray for missionaries and missionaries pray for the needs of their supporters.
6) It causes all parties involved to live by faith, not trusting in their own self-sufficiency.

This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it my attempt to coerce you ('you' being the five people who know about this blog) to give me your money, but it is a few of the things I have been learning as I try to peel away my pride in preparation for support raising. Seriously, though, give me all your money (just kidding).

In more spiritual news, I'm going to see "Nacho Libre" tonight. Brian and Roseena said that "Bend it Like Beckham" was an accurate representation of South Asian culture, and I'm hoping that "Nacho Libre" will help me better prepare for ministering in Spain (even though the movie takes place in Mexico, which is nowhere near Spain). I'll let you know if it is funny and educational.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Comments--confusing, invisible, and yet all there

I thought that I would post instructions as to how one would comment on my blog posts should the desire so move them. It is a bit confusing, mainly because right now the comments aren't showing up in the tally at the bottom of the post. But be not dismayed, for when you click on the "0 comments" link, all the comments do indeed appear.

So, anyway, to leave a comment here is what you do:

First, click on the "0 comments" link under the post, then type your comment in the window that pops up. After that click on the button that says "other" (as opposed to, "anonymous" and "blogger", unless of course you have a blogger account), type your name and click the "publish" button. After that, your comment should appear amongst the ideas of lesser men, namely, the other people who will theoretically comment in the future.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hello David

Have fun in Illinois, even though you will bear the constant burden of knowing that you don't have your own blog for nobody to read. And say hi to all your family for me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Is there anybody out there?

Well, this is my first venture into the world of the internet beyond having an email account. Up until recently, I didn't exactly know what a blog was, and even if I did, I just assumed that you needed to be particularly technologically savvy to have one (and you know what happens when you are sometimes found to be mistaken). Even now, while writing my first ever real post, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm going to finish typing this, push a few buttons and hope that it works. A monkey could probably do this--and who knows I may soon be looking for an assistant if you happen to see any runaways from the zoo--and so I'm going to learn. My hope is that eventually this will be a good way for all my friends, near and far, to keep up on what is going on in my life, as well as stir up some good discourse through comments left and responded to. But for now, I am the only person in the world who knows this blog exists, and so I can say whatever I want. Here goes--purple monkey bumblebee. Hmm...who knows what other profound thoughts are crying to be communicated to the world, just wanting to be noticed, like the scalp of a balding man (or eagle). Anyway, I'll start this blog out right, by thanking those who made it possible.

First, thanks to God, because if there is anything I will ever have to say that is worthwhile and meaningful, that will ever effect anyone's life for good, it will be owing to His infinite worth and beauty. Secondly, thanks to Matthew at World Harvest Mission for taking five minutes to show me how easy this really is. Thirdly, thanks to google for creating Blogger. Without this service, Matthew wouldn't have been able to take five minutes to show me how easy this really is (deja vu). Lastly, I would like to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet. What other ingenious inventions are we missing out on because the state of Florida is scenile (just kidding)? Anyway, I'm going to say goodnight to myself. I look forward to future blogging, hopefully with people other than just me.