Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stop. Shut up. Move.

No more conferences with the hottest bands and the biggest name authors who will lead us through eloquent, dynamic speeches about how we should live better lives where we will take notes and go home and stay the same.

No more endless books to choke the shelves about how we should change the word and live better lives where we will underline and highlight and close the final page and do none of it.

No more Bible Studies. No more sermons. No more worship conferences. No more Christian Concerts, comedy shows, events, gatherings, seminars. No more shows.

If you stopped learning today you would never live long enough to put most of it into practice anyway. Loving your neighbor as yourself will take the rest of your life if you start now.

Stop.

No more blogs. No more debates over the nuances of the Kingdom or the correct inflections of dogma and doctrine. No more articles by experts who pretend to have the answers or hope to draw a crowd or sell their books. (Myself included).

Let the websites fall silent. Let the noise die down. Shut down your blog, your Facebook account, your Twitter feed, your MySpace page. Silence the endless blah, blah, blah. Be still. Be quiet.

Shut up.

Listen for the voice of the lonely crying in the darkness. They are there. They are living a few miles from your house. Perhaps even right next door to you or down the street. They have not heard the Gospel. They have not seen the love of God in action. They have not experienced love that was pure and holy and true and without strings attached. You could show them. You could demonstrate. You could speak. You could give. You could share what you have with them.

Listen to the voice of God. Begin to live a life of purpose. Let your actions declare the Glory and Mercy of a loving God. Love extravagantly. Serve passionately. Become an expert at servanthood.

Turn your face towards the Gates of Hell and start moving forward. Live a Kingdom life. Jesus is coming back, sooner than you expect him to. Be found doing His will, with your hand to the plow and your eyes set on the Kingdom of God.

Put all these countless sermons, conference notes, books and articles into practice. Do something that the local news can't help but talk about.

For example:

This

or

This

or

This

or

This

Stop. Shut up. Move.

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." - 1 John 2:3-6

-kg
**
P.S. - I'm not trying to start a debate or a conversation here. Comment if you like but please know that I will not be participating in any comments. Right now it's all I can do to start walking out my faith in my actual life. I'm tired of talking. I have resolved to do more "walk, walk" than "talk, talk" by the Grace of God.

Don't look for me on Facebook or Twitter or even here for a while. My hope is to do more serving and loving and practing my faith than I spend time talking about it.

Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, March 20, 2009

WE'RE ON ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT

Homelessness in Orange County
Over 35,000 people in Orange County California are homeless and 80% of those are families with children. Most of these live in motels because they cannot afford first and last month's rent, and a security deposit. They are faced with the choice of food on the table or a table on which there is no food.

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT recently did a report on the "Hidden Homeless" living in OC Motels:

ABC 7 News - "Hidden Homeless In OC Motels"
(Features interview with Jim Palmer of the Orange County Rescue Mission)
WATCH HERE

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT - "Motel Homeless" segment
WATCH HERE

The segment mentions that church groups have been helping with food and resources and Jim Palmer, founder of the Orange County Rescue Mission, is interviewed in both the National and the local segements.

-kg

Thursday, March 19, 2009

THIS SUNDAY: LOVE IN ACTION

This Sunday morning, from 9:30am to 12pm, our house church will join with a sister house church in Yorba Linda to help 66 year old Sandy Maitlen of Yorba Linda.

We'll repair, clean, paint, and make her home beautiful again.

This is what "being the Church" and putting our faith into practice is all about.

As one brother in Christ told me once, "Jesus Is A Verb" and our love should be demonstrated, not merely spoken.

Can't wait!
kg
**
"Little Children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."
- 1 John 3.18.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

RE-POST: THE KINGDOM REALITY

THE KINGDOM REALITY
by Keith Giles

The Kingdom of God is the present reality which breaks into this illusion of ours intermittently, like very bad cell phone reception. It's God's way of saying, "Can you hear me now?"

In fact, experiencing and living in this Kingdom Reality is, in itself, an exercise in the Kingdom principles of "Letting Go" and "The Power of Weakness". When we give up on our strength and wait for God's power to come and to move it's a testimony of our trust in His promise to us that "Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like Eagles", resting and gliding under the power of the wind of the Holy Spirit.

Waiting and trusting in His power, not our own, taking confidence in His strength, not ours, is a demonstration of The Power of Weakness in action.

For us, this coming, advancing, intermittent reality is counter-intuitive. We’ve been born into this illusion – falsely labeled "Reality"- and have been immersed in this do-it-yourself mentality all of our lives. We need to learn to "Re-Think" everything – or as Jesus said, to "Repent," (Metanoia = Rethink), "for the Kingdom of God (Heaven) is near" (Or, "It is within our grasp, our reach, and close enough to touch.")

It is very much like taking the red pill and finding ourselves wide awake in a reality which is upside down and backwards from the world we have been born into. At first we reel with the vertigo of a world where up is down and the first are last. Those who humble themselves are exalted, the greatest is the servant of all, and those who lose their lives find everlasting, eternal life, even though they die daily. This is the Kingdom of God.

Welcome to reality. Because this upside down world, we quickly discover, is NOT upside down, it is right side up. We have lived so long, head over heels, immersed in an illusion of selfish fulfillment and a pursuit of more, more, more, that we need to detoxify our minds and hearts and flesh in order to remain in God’s Kingdom Reality.

Jesus announced this Kingdom, told us how to see it, how to walk in it and remain in it, and gave us the best news possible: We could enter and begin living in Reality anytime we wanted to.

In the Kingdom of God there is just one King; God Himself. He is a good, loving, kind, and wildly, unpredictably, sometimes uncomfortably intimate, inclusive and wonderful King, and Father, and Friend.

His Kingdom is a place where His perfect will is always done and those who rest in His will are refreshed and delighted and fulfilled and at peace and overjoyed. They are children born into the poverty of excess wealth and selfishness who have been adopted into a new Family of the unending wealth of generosity and the joy of always having enough to share and give away.

This is reality. Before God made this vast oasis called "Space and Time" there was no space or time. Everything was perfectly “Now” and Eternally present with Him. This is the only reality there has ever been. God’s Kingdom was, and is, and is to come.

Our temporary stay in this unusual experiment called "Time and Space" will eventually expire and the temporary Kingdoms of this Earth will soon fade away. The Kingdom of Pleasure will fall to the ground. The Kingdom of Greed will perish. The Kingdom of Exploitation and Oppression and Excess and Fashion and Wealth and Flesh, will all crumble and burn and disappear into oblivion. Only one Kingdom will remain and that is the Kingdom which was here "In The Beginning" – which has even now come, and which we can enter today. And, one day, soon, this Kingdom will break forever into this illusion we drift through for the moment, and overtake all we see and know.

Are you ready to enter this Kingdom? Are you ready to begin living under the awesome rule and reign of The King? There's just one thing, before you take that leap, before you swallow the red pill, that you should know, so that you can count the cost. Those who enter the Kingdom can only step across the threshold if they pay the price. It's really nothing when you think about it, when you compare the amazing riches of God's Eternal Kingdom with the tokens and trinkets of our counterfeit reality. The price of admission, the way to step across, is to let go of this world.

Just as you were born naked and weak and vulnerable and empty-handed into this world, so you can take nothing with you into God’s Kingdom. It's called being "Born Again".

The things of this world are not truly treasures. When you die they will stay here anyway, and just as you can take nothing with you beyond the grave, you can take nothing with you when you step into God's Kingdom.

Jesus only asks for one thing- It's called Everything.

But what you gain, what you receive in exchange, is beyond anything you can dream of or hope for or imagine. The Kingdom of God, when you see it, when you really understand it, you will gladly rush out to sell all that you have, as quickly as possible, to step across the threshold into Heaven.

This is the moment where many people stop and turn back. Their grip on this world, or its grip on them, is so strong that they can never let go of their tiny, petty lives in this place in order to receive real life and treasure in God's Kingdom.

If we have really seen the Kingdom, if we really understood and believed that this Kingdom was real (in a way that nothing else can ever be real), then we would rush quickly to surrender all that we have and all that we are in order to receive the treasure that does not rust or face or disappoint.

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." - Luke 9:24

"The Kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Matthew 13:44)

All God wants is all of you. All He asks is that you Trust Him and Believe Him and surrender your meager treasures and petty personal kingdoms in exchange for His Kingdom. God wants to be your God. He wants you to be one of His People.

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" – Jesus (Luke 9:23). There is no other way but the Cross.

Jesus says it is very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom." Who then can be saved? His disciples asked. "With man this is impossible," Jesus replied, "But not with God; all things are possible with God." (Mark 10: 23-27)

Will you let go? Will you surrender it all? Will you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? This is the only question we need to answer in order to step across the threshold into the amazing reality of God's Kingdom.

You can stay here, on this side of reality, where you are safe and miserable, in your tiny kingdom where your will is what matters. Or you can sell it all, exchange the handful of crumbling mud for real treasure which lasts forever.

Is your kingdom so wonderful? Aren’t you tired of wearing the crown? Haven't you suffered long enough under your own rule and reign?

When you are ready to set fire to your kingdom, and surrender your lordship, and dance as the flames consume your empty way of living, He is ready to invite you to experience Reality, today.

There is only One King, and He is good. He really wants what is best for you, and He can, above all, beyond any other, be Trusted. His Name is Faithful and True.

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by me" – Jesus (John 14)

*Originally posted here March, 2008.


-Keith

Friday, March 13, 2009

ADVICE ON STARTING A HOUSE CHURCH

Today I received an email from an old friend who is seeking advice on how to start a house church group among college students. He asked me, "What would Keith do?"

This is an intriguing question and I realized I haven't published a lot of my ideas on this anywhere so here's a bit of what I said to my friend.

Honestly, I lean towards a "less is more" approach and I'm usually reticent to give people step by step instructions. However, I'd basically suggest gathering those who are interested in this together and sharing a meal together (potluck), sharing communion together, and sharing from their actual lives what God has been teaching them in their daily walk with Christ.

Our house church follows this general pattern based on 1 Cor 14:26 - "What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church."

So, our assumption is that everyone in our house church is already a follower of Jesus. Most of them, like me, have grown up in Church and have heard thousands of sermons and bible studies and can fill in the blanks on any discussion on the Scriptures. What we're not so great at is actually putting all of this into actual practice in our daily lives.

The purpose of our house church is to encourage and motivate everyone to live out their personal mission and calling according to their individual gifting. It's different for all of us. So, we don't tell them what it is, we help them to discover it and then we encourage one another every time we gather to continue living out that personal mission.

When we gather each week we all bring something to share - food and encouragement. During the share time I try to keep my mouth shut and allow people to talk. I also try to make sure that everyone is given equal time to speak and I try to keep us on target with encouraging one another in our walk with Christ. (This means re-directing complaints, gripes, politics, etc. to the end for prayer, or for another time).

In general, I'd suggest empowering people and not attempting to control or direct people.

For me, one of the most amazing things has been discovering that when Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, and when Paul and Peter said that we were the Temple of the Holy Spirit and the priesthood of believers, they were all dead serious.

In our house church we have kids who open their Bibles and their mouths and speak such words of simple truth that only God could have revealed it to them. Sure, we have to safeguard the essentials of our faith, and there are times when I may have to speak up and correct a misconception theologically, but most of the time I'm the one who is learning from the Holy Spirit through everyone else in the room.

It can be very challenging for someone like me (and maybe you as well) with a gift to teach and a heart to preach to actually shut our mouths, invite the Holy Spirit and then just wait quietly in the uncomfortable silence for Him to speak. But, I'm telling you, if you can, and if you will, He actually does...and it's pretty amazing.

I've written a few things about my philosophy of house church at the links below. Take a look over at www.OCHouseChurch.com

So You Want To Plant A House Church?
"House Church 101" by Keith Giles
House Church Q & A

Any more questions? Hit me back at "elysiansky" at hotmail.

-kg

FROM ETERNITY TO HERE

Frank Viola (author of "Pagan Christianity" and "Reimagining Church") has a new book out called FROM ETERNITY TO HERE.

Full disclosure: Frank sent me the book free of charge and asked me to mention it here on my blog so that readers could find out about the book.

I haven't read the book at all. Not even the first page, although eventually I will get around to reading it. It's in a pile right now with books like "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus" by Peter J.Gomes, a short story collection by Philip K. Dick, "The Prehistory of the Farside" by Gary Larson, and the second "Dark Empire" book by Dark Horse.

My friend Kelly has read the new Viola book and this is what he told me: "The first third was kinda ok. The second third was better and the final third was seriously awesome." So, I can't wait to read the final third of this book.

Just FYI, the new book isn't about house church or church history or anything that you might commonly associate with Viola's name. This may be a good thing, or it may confuse people. Those who already equate his name with the "anti-traditional church" movement will steer clear of this one, even though they might actually love it, and those who rabidly follow Viola because of "Pagan Christianity" will be slightly disappointed that he doesn't toss them a reload in their war against the IC (Institutional Church).

As promised, here's a link to go and purchase Frank's book online for a great discount.
GO HERE

*Note: If I seem a bit like I'm under-promoting this book it's because:
A) I'm not a fan of selling stuff on my blog.
B) I haven't actually read the book but I feel obligated to provide a link to help Frank spread the word.

I must say that Frank has been very accessible to me via e-mail and he's helped me with a few things recently. For that I am grateful and I sincerely hope that God continues to allow him to speak to more Christians about what it means to follow Christ and discover their identity in Him rather than in religious activity.

Peace,
Keith

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

[Subversive Underground] - RIP

Well, it's done. After 3 years, and 180 articles on discipleship, the Gospel of the Kingdom, compassion for the poor and the New Testament Church, the free, weekly e-newsletter [Subversive Underground] is laid to rest.

I started the weekly newsletter as a way to send weekly ideas and articles to about 30 of my friends. Originally the intent was to create a motivation for me to write something of substance each and every week. Over time I began to focus on the concepts that were most important to me.

Over the years the newsletter grew to 272 subscribers. Most of them found me via my articles over at theOoze.com, Ginkworld.net, SeedStories.com, Next-Wave Magazine and other online sources. Many of them I didn't know and will never meet this side of eternity, but several of them took the time to contact me directly and encourage me or ask for advice. Some took the time to leave angry comments, attack my character and insult me. Others left comments that inspired me and directed the conversation into more productive directions. I'm very grateful to all of these people for their insight, their passion and their honesty.

When I first heard God's whisper about starting this newsletter I was working on a little sci-fi and comics project called Plastic Animal Studios and I felt that God wanted me to lay that aside in order to focus on more Kingdom-centric things.

Now, three years later, I am hearing God whisper to me again. This time He is asking me to lay down the [Subversive Underground] so that He can lead me somewhere new.

I have to let go of this thing in order to receive the next thing He wants to place into my open hands.

It's a little bit scary. A little bit sad. But it's also exciting to find out what God has next for me.

I'm sure I'll blog about it here when the time comes. For now, I'm looking forward to taking a few weeks off and listen to His voice.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." - Jesus (John 12:24)

For many years now I have been inspired by the phrase "Conversatio Morem!" which the early christians meant as "Constant Conversion!" or "Death to the Status Quo!" Now I think I understand this phrase even better than before. My status quo must die. I must be in constant conversion in order to allow the Holy Spirit to change me and for God to have His way with me.

Here we go...

kg

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FAITH IN ACTION - SATURDAY, MARCH 21

*I received the email below from my dear friends Noel and Julie Cruz. They are leading a new house church fellowship in Yorba Linda, California and have started helping a dear old woman on their street. Read the email below and if you're in the area and want to lend a hand, I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend.
-kg
**
[Here's the email I received from the Cruz' family today]--

We need as many able bodies as possible to help the Extreme Makeover that we are doing for a lady down street from us.

Our home group has a senior friend who attends our group and who’s house was in a complete disrepair. Our home group has come together and has begun the work 4 weeks ago and during the first weekend of our work we removed 7 tons (yes tons) of debris and took it to the dump! We have done some of the hardest work there is to do on the house, but much more remains to be done.

Sandy told us that not long ago she was pray/crying to God and reminded him what His word says about being her husband…. She said "So, God, if that's the case then here is my Honey-do list. I just cant get any of this done myself!" and voila! Here we are.

We still have several projects that are priority to do. Our Part II is painting the house. We are working on a all volunteer basis so the more bodies we have the better.

On March 20, 21, 22 we will be scraping, sanding, filling, and painting. Most of the grunt work will be on Friday and that is where we hope to get a large contingency of strong people blowing through this. We can use people all three days but we want to be sure that the house is ready to paint on Sunday. The paint has all been donated and we will each bring our own tools, ie orbital sanders, sand paper, putty knife, roller, gloves, paint brushes etc.

If you are available or know someone who is, please respond to this email (cruzthiz@sbcglobal.net) and I will count you in. Let me know which day(s) you can be here.

I have included the link to the blog that was published on the OCRegister.com site and a couple pictures of Sandy/project -
HERE

Thanks to all of you who can give any time at all for this project! I guarantee you will be blessed! You’ll never get back the time that you give but aint that what God’s economy is all about?

God is blessing this woman more than anyone could ever imagine.

Hugs,

Noel and Julie Cruz
Email: cruzthiz@sbcglobal.net

Monday, March 09, 2009

MAGNIFICENT - LIVE ON LETTERMAN



*See lyrics below

Magnificent

Magnificent

I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after I haven't had a clue
Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love unites our hearts

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent
Magnificent

Lyrics by Bono, Music by U2 (from the album "No Line On The Horizon")

Saturday, March 07, 2009

THE GOD WHO TOUCHES US

Last week, during worship time, as we were singing songs to God about our desire to reach out and touch him, I realized something.

While it's normal for us to want to touch God, we know that we cannot ever do this. However, even though we cannot touch God, we have a God who touches us.

Maybe I'll write a song about that?

Just a thought.

kg

Friday, March 06, 2009

TWITTER THOUGHTS

I've discovered Twitter and I've found that being forced to encapsulate your thoughts into 140 characters or less can be quite liberating and inspirational.

Here's a bit of what I Tweeted about this last week:

"If our language is love, and if our message is love, let us speak love in its native tongue; Actions & Truth."

"The world needs more poetry and prophets who speak truth poetically."

"Everyone is in process. There is a season for everything. Grace is requirement 4 life."

Plus this gem from Mr. Rogers:
"When we look for whats best in the person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does."

Just thought I'd share...

Peace,
kg

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

GOD'S DESIGN FOR HIS CHURCH
Many of you know I've been working on a book about God's design for the New Testament Church for several months now. At the moment it's a 450 page monster and I'm feeling the need to strip it back to something closer to 200 pages and that is going to mean a lot more work. So, for now, this book will be pushed to the back burner while I essentially start over and create a new outline with a more simplified narrative. Hopefully the book will be ready by the end of this year, or the beginning of next year.

THE POWER OF WEAKNESS
In the meantime, I've decided to finish up my long-promised book on the power of Christ in our lives called "The Power of Weakness". At the moment this book is complete except for the last two chapters and a forward from one of my friends.

SUBVERSIVE INTERVIEWS
I've also decided to publish my interviews with Dallas Willard, Todd Hunter, Dr. Scott Bartchy, John Fischer, Jim Wallis, Matt Redman, and others. That book will be called "Subversive Interviews" and it should be available here on my website by the summer.

WINTERMOON & COFFEESTAIN
I've been toying with the idea of publishing a book of my better poems into one collection, even if just for my own enjoyment. Or maybe to give as Christmas gifts, or whatever. There's no reason I couldn't get that assembled by the summer.

COMING OF AGE (For Dylan Giles)
When my oldest son turned 13 last December I asked several people in his life to write encouragements and advice for him. There are some excellent and touching letters to Dylan from his grandparents, family friends and, of course, his mom and I. I promised him I would assemble all of those into a book for him to keep and refer to as he walks through this life. Need to get that one done ASAP.

SECRET SERVICE (Compassion in Action)
Last year I wrote a series of articles called "How To Start A Ministry To The Poor In Your Community" and based on the positive feedback from that one I know I want to
assemble all of my various articles on God's heart for the poor, testimonials regarding what I've learned by serving the poor over the last several years, etc.
Not sure when that one can be collected but hopefully by early next year.

END TRANSMISSION
As promised, I will be ending the [Subversive Underground] e-newsletter soon. Probably much earlier than the original date of August 28th. I have several articles I want to run before I finally turn out the lights over there for good, but I've already written the farewell article and I'm just praying about when to post it and close it down forever.

Rest assured, however, that this blog here will continue and all of those future [SU] articles will run in this space going forward.

-kg

Monday, March 02, 2009

WHY I SHOULD NOT REVIEW THE NEW U2 CD

Every artist I know struggles with how the popular culture interacts with their art. Those who create visual art like paintings or literary art like poetry find the masses quite impatient and largely unwilling to spend any real time digesting or reflecting on the power of the art they've spent months creating.

In short, popular media has largely eliminated the instropective power of art to resonate within our souls and provoke us to reflect on deeper questions of faith, life, love and beauty. We're a sound bite culture. We're looking for music that rocks, fiction that tittilates, art that pops and poetry that reads like clever marketing copy. We're not looking for an opportunity to allow art to saturate our minds, resonate in our souls, probe our motives or reveal our inconsistencies.

People forget that U2's Josua Tree was their sixth record, not their first. It took them that long to invade the psyche of the average music fan. Even then, most of those who did embrace that dark snapshot of American consciousness did so because of a video they saw on MTV or perhaps the catchy melody of "With or Without You" got stuck in their heads. Many who purchased that seminal record failed to follow the band beyond the "Rattle and Hum" era and by the time "Achtung Baby" hit the shelves and the airwaves they had long since moved on to other musical soundscapes.

As someone who discovered U2 through a borrowed "Unforgettable Fire" album, I have to confess that it has taken repeated listens to fully appreciate the more recent catalog of the band. However, that process of slow dissemination is one of the reasons I so dearly love the band and their music.

I remember the first time I heard "The Fly". I had waited in front of my television set for two hours waiting for MTV to launch the "World Premiere" video of their new single from their hotly anticipated "Achtung Baby" Cd. When the song finished I remember blinking my eyes and saying to myself, "They've lost their minds".

My opinion didn't change much the evening I first heard the Cd in its entirety. I really only liked two of the songs ("One" and "So Cruel") and the rest I thought was a feeble attempt to be cool. However, as I continued to listen and translate the lyrics I found myself listening to this disc almost exclusively. Today it's still my all-time favorite U2 album, hands down.

Simply put, the average U2 song, and album, requires multiple listens to fully appreciate and that can be a dangerous thing in our sound bite culture. Even for someone who is predisposed to purchase everything they ever record, (and I nearly have), the first-time listen through their new music can be less than convincing.

The first time I heard "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" the band was playing it on Saturday Night Live just weeks before the "Atomic Bomb" Cd released. My wife and I listened to the lyrics and feared that Bono and his wife must have gotten a divorce. "And it's you when I don't pick up the phone. Sometimes you can't make it on your own." However, I later learned that this song was written for his dying father. Suddenly the song took on new, and profound meaning.

When I heard "Until The End of the World" for the first time I only heard a song they had written for another mediocre Wim Wenders movie. Later, when I heard Bono explain that it was sung from the point of view of Judas singing to Jesus after his betrayal the song became poignant beyond words and now I love it dearly.

The first listen through the "All That You Can't Leave Behind" album left me cold. However, after a dozen listens I found I couldn't make it through "Walk On" and "Kite" without tearing up. And even now I am still discovering new things to love about some of their songs that I've heard hundreds of times.

Because of this, I find it's best that I not attempt to review the new U2 Cd, "No Line On the Horizon" just yet. I've heard it online now about 3 times. The first time I heard the single "Get On Your Boots" I loved the music but the lyrics left me cold. I mean, seriously, "Get on your boots? Your sexy boots." Nothing close to the usual lyrical finesse found in their previous rock standards like "Elevation", "Vertigo" or even "Discoteque". But then I saw the video for the song and it shed new light on the song and the meaning behind it (which I now take to be the empowerment of women).

So, until after I've listend to the new U2 record a few hundred times I reserve the right not to review it or comment on how much I love, or don't love, their new songs.

Peace,
Keith