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.