Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just a dream

Last night Liz and I went into town and caught a show at Neumos on Capital Hill. Over the past couple of years we have become fans of Mat Kearney. Mat hails from Eugene Oregon. While warming up a couple of hours before the show, I slipped into the venue and listen to Mat and the band. I love the power and clarity of his music, the passion and driving energy of his guitarist. I handed Mat a few shirts from VOX and told him we got a kick out of hearing his music on Grays Anatomy the other night, his career will likely be altered after that exposure.

Opening up for Mat was a guy I had not heard of before, Griffin House. Griffin took the stage alone with his guitarist as he played acoustic. Griffin's music enveloped the venue like the sound of a freight train, not of noise, but of clarity and passionate story telling. I was blown away by Griffins references to faith and asked a young kid next to me whether he knew of Griffin. The kid replied, "yeah, I know him -- he attended my Young Life session this past summer".

During the show Griffin stopped to ask the people in the upper balcony to be quiet, because he had something to say, his songs needed to be heard, felt, lived. If you haven't heard Griffin House before, I encourage you to pick up his Lost & Found CD and play track 9 Just a Dream and Track 11 New Day. The brother indeed does have a Song to Sing, a story to tell. God has blessed this man with a rich spirit and a Heart filled with power and depth.

Thanks Mat and thanks Griffin, last night was beautiful. love from Seattle!

peace
shawn

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The best that I can offer

Last night I had the good fortune to be a part of the Kindling's Muse panel, the subject was about "Retailing God".
You can listen to the Podcast at www.thekindlings.com

Moderated by veteran broadcaster Dick Staub, we explored the highs and lows of how small businesses are retailing God, from the Jesus bobble heads and Last supper breath mints to the widely popular kitsch t-shirts such as Jesus is my Homeboy. And on the extreme other end, luxury faith retailer VOX SACRA.

No doubt, Jesus has somehow found His way into our pop culture portrayed as an icon and superhero. Hundreds of thousands of inexpensive t-shirts are sold every year copying corporate logo's and twisting to them read "My Lord is King" (visualize Burger King logo).

Last night's conversation explored the idea "How far is too far" when retailing God? Is any reasonable respect given to Christ's image when He is reduced to plastic dolls and a hug lovin goodbuddy on cheap t-shirts? What ever happened to the "treasured" artwork commissioned on behalf the Church? What ever happened to ornate architecture leaving one in awe of the glory of God? Have we become a society where worshipping in a warehouse is deemed cool and attending a traditional church is no longer relevant? Has the extent of our ability to open conversations about faith been reduced to portraying Christ as a comic book character on a $12.00 t-shirt because the timeless message of forgiveness, grace and redemption are too bothersome. Or perhaps...simply not profitable?

While I drove home last night, my mind swirled around trying to understand it all. I found solace in the fact that VOX SACRA is a genuine brand with a story to tell. I am deeply proud of the design and production quality that we have invested into creating our garments, the small attention to detail, the unique story telling designs. When asked do I ever feel guilty about selling expensive garments, my response is "not at all". Much thought and care have gone into our products...people stop me on the street and ask me about my shirt and scarves frequently, conversations about faith are opened. VOX SACRA is the best I can offer.

love+peace
shawn