Ten out of Tenn

Have you heard about about the new multi-artist compilation CD and tour, Ten out of Tenn?

Ten out of Tenn

Ten out of Tenn is a compilation that shines a light on a few of the many Nashville artists who haven’t waited around for the world to hear about them. With TV being the new radio and beat up vans the new tour bus, this generation of American originals have taken full advantage of opportunities to take their music beyond the city limits of their adopted home town. Years of restlessness and work have allowed competition to give way to a community where late nights on the front porch are king.

Ten out of Tenn volume 1 was released in 2005 and partnered with Myspace and Paste Magazine for an extensive national tour. Volume 2 is partnering with American Songwriter Magazine for a tour set to launch on July 19 at Nashville’s historic Cannery Ballroom. The tour will feature a rotating lineup of artists sharing musicians and supporting one another.

The myspace page for the tour, http://www.myspace.com/tenoutoftenn, lists all of the artists and tour dates. The lineup is: Matthew Perryman Jones, Katie Herzig, Jeremy Lister, KS Rhodes, Butterfly Boucher, Trent Dabbs, Griffin House, Tyler James, Andy Davis, and Erin McCarley. I’ve seen most of the artists in concert before, and a couple weeks ago worked on a song, Love Save the Empty, for a string session for Erin McCarley’s new CD, with her producer Jamie Kenney, so I’m looking forward to this concert and the CD. Should be a great show. I’d recommend catching it if they’re playing anywhere near you.

VeggieTales – Silly Songs with Larry

It had been a couple of years since I’d seen any of the VeggieTales videos, but last night I drove down to Franklin to see the premier of their newest video, Tomato Sawyer & Huckleberry Larry’s Big River Rescue, at Franklin’s Movies in the Park. I went because the “Silly Songs with Larry” segment featured the fun song The Biscuit of Zazzamarandabo, the second “silly song” written by some friends of mine, Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame. You can see their last “silly song,” Monkey, on youtube here. The new DVD doesn’t come out for a couple of weeks, but there is a brief clip of The Biscuit of Zazzamarandabo in the trailer at their website.

What hope is there for democracy?

After reading James Dobson’s comments on a speech Barak Obama gave back in 2006, I read Scot McKight’s blog post addressing a few of the ways in which Dobson distorted what Obama actually said.

I hope you can listen to Dobson’s talk; listen to how he represents what Obama was saying. Listen carefully. Judge for yourself…

Here’s my take: Dobson and his companion commentator routinely distorted what Obama was saying by rephrasing and capturing what he said in their own context and for their own agendas. For instance, Obama hypothesized (Dobson didn’t get this) what would happen if we moved all nonChristians out of our society. Even then, he was suggesting, we’d have diversity. Then, Obama asked, if we lived out the Bible which parts would we choose? Would it be Leviticus or Deuteronomy — and he brings up shell fish and stoning one’s son — or would it be the Sermon on the Mount, which Obama stated would be difficult for the Defense Dept to apply. Dobson and his guest got into how the OT laws aren’t for today.

What they miss here is that Obama is talking about how to live in a pluralistic society…

My big point is that Dobson is doing Christians, evangelical Christians, and the country a disservice in misrepresenting the intent of Obama’s comments.

Look, this is not about my defense of Obama for President; I still don’t know who I will vote for. This is about public civility and discourse, and we’ll never get anywhere if we don’t represent the other person accurately.

While reading Scot’s comments, I thought again of David Dark’s book, The Gospel According to America: A Meditation on a God-blessed, Christ-haunted Idea. The further I get into David’s book, the more I think it is essential reading in an election year. In the opening pages, David writes, “If we lose the ability to disagree without vilification, to refrain from slandering each other like poorly raised children, what hope is there for discussing real problems and real solutions intelligibly? What hope is there for democracy?”

And a couple pages later, there’s this.

In view of the reigning, obsessive haste to characterize a position as biased or agenda driven, I want to state at the outset that this work simply aspires to be a prayerful meditation upon odd times. In my conversations, I strive to keep people from too quickly jumping to a “So what you’re really saying is…” and myself from an angry “What I really meant was….” What seems to be required is an armistice in which we agree to refrain from assuming we know what’s been said before we’ve had time to listen to or think about it. A conversation void of willful misconstruals is indeed a rare thing, but it might also be a way of witnessing to the coming kingdom. We get to have different thought habits and communication skills from that which is modeled for us on the news networks of our entertainment conglomerates, and we get to be more interested in loving well than in putting someone in their place (whatever that might mean) or making sure everyone knows (through joke, bumper sticker, or mass e-mail) where we stand.
Authentic witness, confession, and testimony might not be easily transmitted through the medium of television or easily discerned amid the slogans and mantras that characterize too much of our public discourse, but we have to try for it anyway as we attempt to make sense of our worlds. Careful thinking and listening might threaten entertainment networks that advertise themselves as news outlets while dreaming up new methods of branding our anger to better sell themselves to a fractured populace, but such care is essential for the general welfare of our American culture.

40 Day Fast: Day 3

Today’s blogger for the 40 Day Fast is Brian Seay. I got to know Brian while attending a weekly Bible study he taught with his brother-in-law, Shaun Groves, and he has gone on to become the Artists Relations Manager for Compassion International. So today, he wrote about the work Compassion is doing in addressing the global food crisis, and what the high cost of oil means for those in other countries.

“I spent most of my life in a naive state of bliss. I just figured what happened in my world stayed in my world. A trip to Uganda in 1997 changed that for me and I realized how interconnected the entire world really is. You see, our high gas prices are a pain for us but the reality is I still fill my car up and drive off upset but with a full tank of gas and usually a Mountain Dew to go with it. The reality is that the rising cost of oil is crippling the poorest of the poor throughout the world and forcing families to go to bed hungry every night. That truth makes my frustration about the price of unleaded just plain ridiculous.

In Haiti, Jehu’s home, the price of rice went up 78% in less than a month earlier this year. In Ethiopia, the cost of buying the ingredients for their staple food, injeera, doubled in the last few months. In Bangladesh, 90% of the children Compassion serves are being directly affected by rising food prices.”

Read Brian’s post here.

40 Day Fast, 2008

About this time last year, I wrote a post about making a difference, about giving a damn, explaining why I was participating in the 40 Day Fast. And when my day rolled around, I blogged about killing ourselves, about what it does to us when we ignore the needs of those around us. I wrote about Blood:Water Mission and the ways we can make a tangible difference in the lives of our neighbors, others created, like us, in the image of God. And I ended my post by trying to articulate why I think it is important to live this way, to live as if the Gospel were true. I wrote, “Toward the end of his song White Dove, Andrew Osenga keeps repeating the line “Every sad thing will become untrue.” As we live in the tension of the already-and-not-yet of the Kingdom of God, as we embrace its paradoxical nature and hope and wait for everything to be made new, let us live our lives today as evidence of the redemptive work of Christ so that others may hear and see the echoes of His Kingdom in all we say and do.”

Today marks the beginning of the 40 Day Fast for 2008. I encourage you to follow along on the Inspired to Action website, a site birthed out of last year’s event. I’ll be contributing a post on July 21st, writing once again about Blood:Water Mission. Brant Hansen, who was also a part of our group last year, has kicked things off by writing a post about Where God Lives.

In her song Little Things, my friend JJ Heller (and her husband Dave) reminds us that it’s the little things we do that make a difference, a good reminder at the start of this event where there is the danger that we will be overwhelmed by the needs we are exposed to and so remain inactive.

There are not enough minutes in the day
I am crippled by the thought of wasting time
I don’t have enough money to heal the poor
So I don’t want to try

But it’s the little things that make a difference
It’s the little things that show love
It’s the little things
A simple cup of water that can change the world
That can save our sons and daughters

I’ll be praying for the widow all alone
Sewing clothes for a loaf of bread
It is not my fault that she is hungry
It’s my joy to make sure she’s fed


We are all related, children of the King
We may not have much, but what we have we bring

But it’s the little things that make a difference
It’s the little things that show love
It’s the little things
A simple cup of water that can change the world
That can save our sons and daughters


Yesterday afternoon, I made the two hour trip over to Chattanooga to help my brother and his wife move. They moved from a rental house in Harrison, TN, to an apartment closer to work and other activities, and it will be good for them, not least for the money they’ll save in gas. But I’m going to miss their house, at the end of a long gravel driveway, surrounded by woods, and the cookouts we had on their back porch on cool summer evenings. When I’m visiting them, like last night, their last night in the house, after everyone else is in bed, I love to walk up and down the driveway. The only sound you can hear out here is that of gravel crunching underfoot, over the ever present hum of crickets in the surrounding woods and the occasional dog bark or owl hoot off in the distance. It’s a welcome relief from walks in my neighborhood, where the high pitched squeals from the train yard a quarter mile away provide an almost constant soundtrack, and the sirens from the fire station across the street split the night air several times an hour. I relish the opportunity to get away from man-made noise, and wish I had the chance to do so more often.

Remembering Denny Denson

Some sad news this week. Denny Denson, longtime pastor of First Missionary Baptist in Franklin, TN, and vocal promoter of racial reconciliation, passed away on Monday following a six month battle with pancreatic cancer. After being involved in the Black Panthers in his youth, he went on to become a pastor, and was someone who served as an example of what living out your faith looked like.

I had the privilege of knowing Denny through my work with Michael Card. Denny was a frequent guest on Mike’s radio program during the time I helped with it, and while Mike was writing A Sacred Sorrow, he taught a small group in a weekly Bible study on the subject. We met in a room at Denny’s church while Denny led another meeting in the next room, and the evening usually ended with conversation with Denny while we reset the room. Denny never failed to speak some words of wisdom to the rest of us.

Denny was an integral part of the Empty Hands Fellowship – along with Michael Card, Steve Green, Scott Roley, and others – a group of friends in Franklin, Tennessee that modeled racial reconciliation and making a difference in your community for many. President Bush talked about the Empty Hands Fellowship and quoted Denny during a speech in Nashville talking about his faith-based initiatives program back in 2003.

Six months ago, just after finding out he had cancer, Denny asked his friend Scott Roley, pastor at Christ Community Church, to let him address his church. Christ Community has the video of Denny’s talk on their website here. Denny concludes his comments by telling them how he wants to be remembered.

If I never stand again in your presence, it does not matter. Because I am like Paul now, I have fought the good fight. I am ready to be offered up. The only thing I ask you to pray for me for is this – that no matter what happens, I will still stand and praise, magnify, and lift the name of the Lord. That’s what I want to do.

What do I want to be remembered as? I want to be remembered as one that even in the midst of storms in my life, I still stood and said, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.

Here are a couple other blogs / news stories that talk about Denny:

Kirk Whalum – “The Black Panther who Saved Franklin, Tennessee”
Wayne Shepherd – “Goodbye for Now”
Article in The Tennessean
Article in the Williamson Herald

On a related note, I know Mike Card would appreciate your prayers today. Wayne Shepherd mentioned on his blog that Mike’s mother passed away this week as well, and both her funeral and Denny’s were going to be today.