Friday, May 29, 2009

Brookyln, NY Missions Trip '09

On July 26th through August 4th I will be co-leading a missions trip to Brooklyn, New York with our church's youth group

This will be our second year in a row going to Brooklyn, and last year's trip changed the life of our entire church. The parents' trust in letting their kids leave home for a week grew. Our small church bonded in unity as they all chipped in to send us to New York, but most importantly, I think our confidence in ministry grew- especially with the students. It was amazing to witness them see God's calling on their lives for the first time.

While we are living in the 2nd EV Free Church of Brooklyn for a week we will be: leading every aspect of a 4 day vacation Bible school, tutoring in a learning program at the church, cleaning the church, and prayerfully sharing the gospel with everyone we meet along the way. Internally we hope to learn a lot on this trip and recieve knowledge regarding God's kingdom and our commission to serve others with humility. We need your help. Please send us with your prayers. If God is not with us on this trip, we might as well not go.
Each member of our team needs to raise $750 to go. This amount pays for a round trip ticket, food, shelter, and the cost to run the B.U.M.P. program. Since we are from a small church, we need a lot of financial support. If you would be so generous as to help us we would greatly appreciate it. Below are instructions on how to give money for the cost of our trip.

If you feel led to contribute financially you can mail a check to First EV Free Church L.A. 1356 S. Albany St. Los Angeles, CA 90015. Put a note somewhere in the envelope stating that you are contributing to John Tallacksen's New York fund or to the whole team. Please do not write my name anywhere on the check. This will ensure that your donation will be tax deductible.

Thank you to all of you who supported us last year, and to all who have or will this year!

I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)

This is a song that has blessed me over the last few weeks. It was written for a specific situation (Amadou Diallo), but I find it to be true as I take a step back and look at humanity in general. The thought of everyone waking up from their comfort and rebeling against the ways of this world is beautiful to me. Please wake up and seek Heaven in the here and now. Don't wait for it, and don't try to define it. Let God define you.

I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)
by: Lauryn Hill 

I find it hard to say, that everything is alright
Don't look at me that way, like everything is alright
Cuz my own eyes can see, through all your false pretenses
But what you fail to see, is all the consequences
You think our lives are cheap, and easy to be wasted
As history repeats, so foul you can taste it
And while the people sleep, too comfortable to face it
His life so incomplete, and nothing can replace it
And while the people sleep, too comfortable to face it
Your lives so incomplete, and nothing can replace it
Fret not thyself I say, against these laws of man
Cuz like the Bible says, His blood is on their hands
And what I gotta say, and what I gotta say, is rebel
While today is still today, choose well
And what I gotta say, is rebel, it can't go down this way
Choose well, choose well, choose well...
...choose well, choose well, choose well
And while the people sleep, too comfortable to face it
Your lives are so incomplete, and nothing, and no one, can replace it
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
And what I gotta say, and what I gotta say
And what I gotta say, and what I gotta say
And what I gotta say, and what I gotta say
And what I gotta say, and what I gotta say
Is rebel... rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel
Rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel
Repent, the day is far too spent, rebel... rebel!
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up...
Wake up and rebel
We must destroy in order to rebuild
Wake up, you might as well
Oh are you... oh are you satisfied
Oh are you satisfied
Rebel... ohhh rebel
Why don't you rebel, why don't you rebel?
Why don't you rebel?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Joe Finally Hanging Out At The Berrics

 (Joe's buttery Boneless about 3/4 of the way through the video)
  As seen above, my friend Joe hung out and skated at The Berrics here in downtown Los Angeles. You can watch the video of Joe and a bunch of other kids having a hay-day at the Berrics HERE
  A lot of people are not familiar with The Berrics especially if they aren't into skating so I'll set up the story of why this is so cool... Up untill recently, The Berrics has been a secret indoor skate park in LA only accessible to pro skaters. Owned by Steve Berra, The Berrics has a website where skaters all over the world can peek into what it's like to hang out at a beautiful private indoor skate park with a bunch of pros. Most of us have been drooling over the website planning missions to find the Berrics' location and beg to skate inside. Recently Steve Berra posed a "Willy Wonka" type of offer where if people would go watch his friend's film Explicit Ills at a specific theater, he would let them skate in The Berrics complete with a pizza party. Needless to say Joe got a golden ticket and the result is the video linked above. I'm glad you got to skate your heart out Joe. You deserved that rare shot at bliss.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Take A Trip Inside My Mind

My heart has been burdened with a number of things in this life, but one subject in particular torments me. I'm talking about art, or more specifically mankind's ability to discern what is good or what is bad in art. This has been a thorn in my side at varying levels pretty much my whole life. The book pictured above (Art and the Bibleby Francis A Schaeffer) is somewhat of a milestone for me because reading it is my first step in actually addressing the specific issue with God. I've studied art since I was a small child, but this marks my first efforts to understand my questions, and search for answers.

Most reading this have probably already tuned out by now, and that's a shame. It's that apathy that has brought me to these questions. Most people that I have encountered, including myself, treat art, or have treated art, as something that is expendable. We see art everywhere. In an age of communication where sensory overload is high subconsciously expected, we have devalued art in our minds and general culture. When recession hits, and budget cuts are rampant, the arts are the first to go. Today's most popular films and musicians are a grotesque representation of what real artists are doing outside of the public eye. It's so hard for a deep, hard working, artist to make a living or get any recognition. What does this mean for our society in general? Have we lost our ability to appreciate good over bad? If God is an artist, why then do most people consider my convictions about art as petty compared to the Gospel? Is art important? Isn't the Bible mostly a collection of art in various forms such as: verbal story telling, poetry, music, and letter writing? If we can't appreciate man's art here on Earth, how can we appreciate God's art? What does God think about art, and it's value? How does a Christian make art without being cheesy. Are there any good Christian artists out there? What does it look like for a visual artist to worship God with their work in a church setting? If I'm right, and art is a vital connection with God the creator, then why does most art produced by Christians look like uninspired watered down Sunday school lessons? Why aren't we tapping into our God's creativity, and making the best art out there? How do I invite the Holy Spirit to collaborate with me and turn my art from vague expressions of myself into prophetic messages to all peoples? Do I really know what I'm asking for? 

The questions go on and on. This is what keeps me awake at night. I will continue blogging about my journey through this seemingly sparsely charted territory. If you have any resources that you think I should check out please send your suggestions as comments to this posting.

Does anyone know about the quarterly journal called Image? If there are any subscribers out there please let me know what your experience has been like with this publication.