Posted October 5th, 2010 by admin with 1 Comment
After getting dropped off by our taxi at the Ocean Grove Camp Association, I made a goof of myself by getting all “fan-boy” on Dan Wilt – the host of all of those excellent Vineyard Worship training DVDs a few years back. He was standing on the steps of our place, and he looked familiar, so – me being in a ridiculously good mood – practically pounced on him, thinking he was a lot lost friend. Once I realized who he was I boldly proclaimed, “NO WAY, MAN! I love all of your training DVDs!” Thus all of my coolness flew right out the window, and I spent the rest of the day trying to real myself back in. Ah well, coolness can kiss off – I was being authentic – authentically excited. I was so jacked to be at Forge.
On top of that, nothing – and I do mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – could have prepared me for Ocean Grove. When I say that Ocean Grove is beautiful, you could wring that word of every ounce of exaggeration, and I’m just telling you, “nice” would not suffice – Ocean Grove is BE-AU-TI-FUL. I just walked around and gawked. The place is living history, standing before you: the architecture is right out of Anne of Green Gables – true to life stories lay hidden around every corner – even the roads you walk down have song lyrics written about them, from beautiful old hymns, to the rock-n-roll of Bruce Springsteen. It’s nearly overwhelming.
And the Forge speakers didn’t hold back: in fact, everyone came out of their corners swinging. Who’s heard of Jack Osteen? No, not Joel – Jack. Chances are, not too many of you. Much like the people that Forge was created to encourage and train, Jack isn’t a famous author, and doesn’t pastor a mega-church in the heart of Texas. Jack used to pastor a church in Cincinnati, and is currently at a new plant called Connexion Church in RI. The dude is “in the trenches”. Well, let me just say that you don’t have to be famous to preach like a famous person! Jack’s intro let me know that this would be a conference different from any other I’d been too – there would be no “lightweight” content, or time wasted – every opportunity the speakers had would be taken to push forward to transformation!
Before – it seemed – Jack was even finished, he passed the baton to Grant Norsworthy – a former member of SonicFlood and the Paul Coleman Trio who is currently partnering with Compassion International, and a man who appears to have absolutely no fear of getting under your skin. Simultaneously funny, and challenging in ways that made me squirm in my seat, Grant had me examining myself, my motives, and my heart.
And before I could even process Grant, Dan Wilt took the mic, and took us even deeper. Though I have plenty of notes on the content, at the moment it will have to suffice to say that our lunch break became a deep time of fellowship, counseling, and processing the morning’s “introduction”, which had us all flabbergasted. It wasn’t that it was bad – in fact, it was so powerful that we were all wondering, “Where can we go from here?”
That set the stage for what was to become the best Worship conference I’ve ever had the opportunity to attend.
Posted October 4th, 2010 by admin with Comments Off
This past week I had the honor of speaking at TheForgeConference in Ocean Grove, NJ, and the whole event was so incredible that I’m going to dedicate this whole week to blogging daily about it – and even then I’ll not be able to do any justice to it. I’ll just say this: I’ve been to a few worship conferences in my life, and to date, Forge was the best. BUT, before we go there…
I flew U.S. Air...
… you know “United Breaks Guitars”?
Well, I’m bummed for Dave Carroll‘s awful experience, but I am glad for one thing: I think Airlines in general must have had the ‘fear of Guitar’ instilled into them. I can only imagine what new employee training looks like – special classes specifically on guitar handling? Whatever the case, my guitar and I were treated like royalty – in fact, U.S. Air have just permanently won my air-travel business after this week.
I had just warned my two travel companions, Fred and Travis, of what a pain it can be to fly with a guitar… my experience has been that airlines are often anything but accommodating when it comes to instruments. Those words had no more than left my lips when an attendant stepped out from behind the counter and said, “Let’s not check that as luggage – why don’t we Gate Check it. We sure don’t want a ‘United Breaks Guitars’!“, with a grin. So I didn’t even part with my guitar until right as I was stepping on board – it was the last thing packed into luggage – and was then handed to me immediately upon stepping of the plane. In fact, on my connecting flight the head flight attendant said, “I think I’d rather you just put that in the overhead – we don’t want a ‘United Breaks Guitars’“, so I simply carried the guitar on board with me!
I have flown a lot and almost ALWAYS have my guitar on hand. I have NEVER been treating so well as it regards the handling of my instrument on a flight, period. At first I thought, “I wish I’d gotten that guy’s name, so I could let them know what a great job he is doing“, but it wasn’t long before I was saying that about all of the attendants.
So, Dave – sorry about your experience, but I think it had an overall positive outcome. I’m not sure about United, but U.S. Air doesn’t break guitars.
Tomorrow, coverage of the actual conference.