Friday, April 27, 2007

Neal Morse - Testimony

It's been a long time since I found an album that became and instant favorite for me, but I've just discovered Neal Morse's album "Testimony" and was completely blown away.

At One Way Street, our music projects are usually done by a very talented musician named Mark Bradford. Mark knows more about rock music than pretty much anybody I know. About a year ago, Mark and I learned that we shared a common appreciation for the chronically under-appreciated genre of Progressive Rock. It's a genre that merges rock with classical (and many other styles) to create very unique, almost epic type songs. Bands such as Yes, Pink Floyd, and Genesis (my favorite) were major forces in the genre. Mark is the only person I've encountered to recognize immediately that my online handle, "Squonk," came from a Genesis song.

At a recent mixing session, Mark let me borrow a DVD of Neal Morse's live performance of his album "Testimony." Morse was one of the founding members of Spock's Beard, a more recent group in the progressive genre. He left the band when he became a Christian. So now he does Christian Progressive Rock! I was excited to check this album out, since I'm very in to "Prog" and, I must admit, have never really liked most of the Contemporary Christian offerings out there. I don't know, I just never found most Christian rock to be very challenging.

Long story short, I really enjoyed "Testimony." It's a double album, in five parts that tells the story of Morse coming to the Lord. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Darth Vader Cell Phone Spot

Earlier this week the MPAA held a screening of "Star Wars." This "turn off your cell phones" spot ran before the film. I think they should put this one in every theater.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Second Life Church

Though I haven't ventured into it myself yet, I have been intrigued by this Internet phenomenon of sorts called Second Life. It's a virtual world created by the users, kind of like an extreme version of The Sims. People buy and sell land and products and can create just about anything they can think of. There's also a lot of nasty stuff that goes on in Second Life, from what I hear. One church, however, has decided to create a presence in this virtual world and has already seen people saved as a result. LifeChurch.TV is a church I've been following lately. Their Pastor, Craig Groeschel, is an amazing speaker and now you can hear his sermons at LifeChurch.TV's Second Life campus. Pretty amazing. Check out this story about a life that was changed as a result:

Second Life just had its second weekend of video experiences, and already God has used this tool to change lives. Troy found in Second Life and God found Troy right where he was. Troy shares his story with us.

Troy's Story:
hello everyone i'd like to tell you a short version of my story so maybe you can pass this along to help others who may be in a situation like mine: im 41 years old, i've been stuck in my parents basement for 6 years, i basically lost myself after choosing to leave my family, because of lots of mental issues so i imprisoned myself and let myself basically give up..i've faced some hardships with my mental and physical health including a heart attack at the age of 39.
Ok ,so enough of my woes, i just wanted to tell you all how i got here. Last Sun. after a small argument with a friend i felt bad and was walking along (virtually mind you in second life) and saw an Ad sign for lifechurch, i clicked on it and landed on this beautiful island. i looked around and found the mysecret area and sat down and watched the vids i was moved to say the least in my tears.After watching and praying with craig i raised my hands confessed my sins and gave myself to jesus for the first time in my life.... what a wonderfull feeling to be free of my sins, to find out how to get rid of my bitterness, most of my fears, to understand how i've been holding all these dark crazy things inside me for so long and now learning how to follow the path god has for me, to give myself to jesus..what a wonderfull group of pastors you all have, with craig at the helm, each of you inspire me, move me, make me feel where you came from and I now thank you so much, i look forward to learning everything i can from you all. thank you and god bless you...troy.