Wednesday, September 27, 2006


This week I've been home waiting for the phone to ring with a new job opportunity or a temporary work assignment.

Monday I had an interview with another temp service. This one specialized in "Creatives" like writers, editors, graphic designers,etc. Still, the outlook was not so promising. We'll see if they can round up any jobs for me or not.

Yesterday I went with the family to Disneyland. It was nice to get my mind off the lack of work and to relax with my wife and our two sons.

Today my wife and sons went to school together and I stayed home to catch up on some writing for the book-in-progress "The Power Of Weakness". I also spent time alone singing worship songs and praying for wisdom and guidance.

A few friends called me to check up on us and to let me know they're praying for us. That was very encouraging.

Still, I know even less now than I knew before. All I've gotten back are letters of rejection, or just silence, leaving me to wonder about whether or not a new job is just around the corner or if I need to keep on looking and hoping and praying.

So far I know that God has us in His hand. I've experienced His daily bread. Our family is sustained by the goodness of God, I know. Especially since the money I'm earning at the temp assignment is less than half what I was making before, and we've made it since the end of June on this...and the generosity of family and friends.

God has faithfully provided us with daily bread. Today I need nothing. We are blessed with all the things we need...and honestly we're blessed with a lot of things we don't need too.

In two weeks Wendy and I will celebrate our seventeenth anniversary as husband and wife. We will most likely spend it together praying and wondering about what God has next for us as a family and seeking God for direction in my employment.

Still, I know that God is good. I know that He will carry us. I know that He has a plan to provide for us and to bless us.

Thank you all for your prayers for us during this time. We really couldn't make it without your support!

Blessings to you all!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


How would you like to hear one of most lyrically potent and spiritually challenging set of songs put to record this year?

How would you like to download the complete CD, every single song, totally free?

What if it were 100% legal? What if the copyright holder, the artist himself, was giving his songs away, on purpose, so that as many people as possible could hear his songs, download them to their computer or Ipod, and not pay a strings attached?

Starting now, Derek Webb is giving away his entire "Mockingbird" Cd online totally free. Go to "" now and download the entire Cd, every single song, totally free. Burn it to a Cd, copy it for your friends, tell them to copy it and hand it to their friends. It's all good!

Seriously, the "Mockingbird" Cd is one amazing work of musical genius worth listening to and talking about with your friends.

Go to "" now and get your free copy of "Mockingbird". (Offer good from now until November).

Who loves ya, baby?

Monday, September 18, 2006


A few years ago, my friend Scott Laumann and I were scheming with a guy named Bill Burgess to create a subversive arts underground thing like nothing you've ever seen before.

Out of this series of late-night discussions and prayer sessions came several projects, some of which never got off the page, or out of our heads, but some of it did. Like this blog/website for example, and the Parabolic Journal (

I don't know if we were out of our minds or simply too far ahead of our time, but I ran across these old notes and emails the other day and thought it might be worth sharing it with everyone.

Who knows? Maybe you and a friend are just crazy enough to take these ideas and run with them?

After meeting together we determined that was NOT an Arts Ministry, it was a subversive communications ministry.

It's sort of like taking the Gospel and using a revolutionary
method of communicating it that employs elements of Fight Club, Global Frequency, The Blair Witch and Matrix marketing campaigns and Guerilla-Tactics as a delivery system to reach the Culture we live in with the Truth. (Bonus points if you know what "Global Frequency" is).

This is like being a covert agent in a communist country trying to
subversively round up revolutionaries against the oppressive

If this thing had a soundtrack it would be Rage Against The
Machine and POD.

Here's the Manifesto:


OUR VISION is to be a revolutionary-minded group of Christians who are dedicated to communicating the Truth by using the most covert, subversive and creative means possible.

OUR PURPOSE is to facilitate a profound shift in the culture at large and in the Body of Christ to embrace and accept the calling of Jesus.

To this end, we will shock, shake and awaken those within the Body of Christ who are blind to the needs of the lost around us. We will disturb, intrigue and provoke our world with the reality of God’s Truth. We will challenge, question and inspire other Christian artists and thinkers to pursue a life that is surrendered to Christ.

OUR GOAL is to be as radical in the culture we live in, as Christ Jesus was to those He came in contact with.



We will not use our God-given talent to create a "Christian version" of anything.

People need to discover their own faith, not have it spelled out for them.

The mysteries of God cannot be reduced to a bumper sticker.

There is no box.

This is not about one person or any group of people. It is, and always will be, about Jesus.

The Parables of Jesus are the most effective model for how we should approach evangelism.

Dialog is good. Thoughtful, inspired dialog is better.

Today's ecclesia must create spaces of opportunity for meditation, thinking, and safe discussion on matters of Faith.

Art has the power, and the responsibility, to frustrate, confound, and challenge the culture.

It’s often more effective to ask the right questions than to give the right answers.

The Church today needs to wake up and start doing the things that Jesus instructed.

The Body of Christ needs to abandon its empty pursuits and self-serving programs.

We want to emulate Jesus’ model for confronting the Church and the Culture.

OUR VALUES are to be set apart from the world around us, to confront the status quo inside and outside the Church, and to effectively communicate the gospel in unexpected ways.


1-We will employ Guerilla Evangelism tactics through flyers, stickers, websites, magazines, books, articles, etc. that provoke inspire and challenge those who are thirsty for Truth to dig deeper and encounter the living Christ.

2-We will meet in small groups, pray together, and plan creative outreach tactics on a regular basis.

3-We will create various tools designed to awaken the average Christian to the urgency of Christ’s call and the seriousness of His message.

4-We will attempt to contact, identify, inspire and challenge other Christians who have a heart for a radical change in the Body of Christ and the world at large.

5-We will create avenues of dialog with the Culture around us to expose the Truth about God’s character as revealed in the design of the Universe.

6-We will confront the lies of moral relativism in fresh, creative ways.

(Including, but not limited to)
1-Publish short, eye-catching booklets that ask questions and demand serious thought. Then direct readers to a website that also inspires and challenges, but witholds the punchline in favor of asking difficult questions and demanding consideration of logical concepts that align with the Gospel of Christ.

2-Guerilla Evangelism Campaign involving flyers, stickers, posters, t-shirts, websites, graphic design, art, film, etc., utilizing a consistent logo on all materials.

3-Create short, one minute video presentations designed to disturb and challenge Christians, allowing God’s Spirit to trouble and motivate them to action.

4-Publish one-sheet documents that introduce radical ideas of Truth through a dialog.

1-A website presence
2-A name for this crazy thing. (SUBVERSIVE, 42, LATRONIS, PARABOLIC, ETC.)
3-More agents of change to join us.
4-A place to meet and pray, strategize, interact and reach out.


My friend Bill Burgess (see link at left) is a genius. One day I'll have to tell the story of how we met but he is the first true subversive I ever met in person.

One day he sent me this email about a dream he had concerning my writing and the subversive plan to change the culture with the arts.

Here it is:

"Keith I don’t know where this fits into the scheme but the night we met I dreamt about you for most of the night it seemed. it is. (or..“Hit Me” as James Brown would say).

The setting was as if it was the next day after our meeting. In the dream you were somewhat discouraged and I sensed it. The more I started looking at you, (you were standing next to a wall with hands in pockets), the more I could see what you were. It was so clear to me that your WORDS, written words, were like the mortar that held the artwork together. As if each of the contributed pieces (Like Parabolic, but that wasn’t even in the dream) were separate bricks. So I began to excitedly tell you what you were and as I spoke, man did the revelation come. I kept encouraging you over and over and you were beginning to emerge. Kind of a huge sense of self disqualification was heavy over you, like you were struggling to know your part in the very things you had started. The last I saw of you, you had taken on a look in your eyes like, can this really be true? At that point I could see even more clearly that your WORDS were like a steel structure that goes up first, and then the artwork was literally hung like concrete panels on a building, except the building was your WORDS.

I woke up around this point and as I was thinking about the dream and some of that revelation was still with me, although not as intense. I began reflecting on how early 20th century artists like DuChamp and Man Ray and those kinds of guys were big with manifestos and how the statements in their manifestos were the lighting rod for getting their art noticed. Then I thought how as Christians literally our whole lives hang on the superstructure of Christ's words, and creation and alpha and omega hang upon Gods words.

I got up and made coffee and Journaled some video ideas with words I had been thinking of and that was it. I forgot all about it until tonight.. So God speed my friend. I don’t care if you want to forward this to Scott, I didn’t want to do it for you. I think it’s pretty clear. Let me know how your prayer time went this eve and I hope that this is useful to your thinking and your soul.

Press On
-Bill Burgess
August 12th, 2003"

“One role of the artist is to provoke and even disturb us so that we can see in new ways. As the ancient prophets did, art frequently condemns the values and concerns of its surrounding culture-often in a loud, harsh voice. In consequence, the artist is often outcast, rejected, or unpopular.”-- Steve Turner in Image: Journal of the Arts and Religion

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”. –Jesus, Matthew 10:16

“(Christian subculture) is a bad Xerox of the mainstream, not a truly distinctive or separate achievement. Without the courage to lead, it numbly follows picking up the major media’s scraps and gluing them back together with a cross on top.” (GQ MAGAZINE- “What Would Jesus Do?” by Walter Kirn, September 2002).

SO...anyone interested?


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"DAWN TO DAWN" - Art in Orange


All last week there was an amazing show here in Orange called "Dawn To Dawn" hosted by St. John's Lutheran and presented by Seeds Arts Ministries.

My dear friend Heather Wright provided two exceptional pieces, one of which was painted outside on the street during the annual street fair on opening night.

Here's a glimpse of those two pieces:

*If you want to get a better look at these and a few others, go to her website (linked at the left-hand side under "Art of Heather Wright")

Karen Scmidt also had two bronze sculptures in the show. One was Jacob wrestling the angel and the other was a stunning piece showing Joseph holding the baby Jesus as his arms are held out in a cross. Mary looks up at him with wonder in her eyes. It's powerful stuff...

Some other favorite images were...

*This one was about Thomas and Jesus. The distance between them is the focal point.

*The story behind this one had me in tears. The artist's father is the subject. The night before he died he said he dreamt he was an astronaut on a rocketship.

This was a seriously amazing show. The exhibit is traveling throughout SoCal over the next few months, and then it's on to Nebraska.

Cal-Baptist University is one stop, along with Concordia University and Coast Hills Community Church...not in that order. Not sure of the dates. But it's worth digging it up to catch up with this show.

More posts on The Arts and cultural subversion coming soon...


Sunday, September 10, 2006


Raging Against Your Own Machine by Keith Giles

It was nearly 15 years ago that Shepard Fairey began his subversive, counter-cultural sticker campaign based on the face of Andre the Giant and a single word, "Obey".

The original vision he had was to create an underground movement designed to provide a counterpoint to the thousands of corporate advertising images assaulting us on a daily basis.

Fairey wanted to create a logo for a company that didn't exist and plaster it all over the city (and eventually the Nation and now the World).

Essentially, Fairey wanted to help people see advertising and media as propoganda aimed at our pocketbooks. He made his image imposing, like "Big Brother" looking down on society and commanding everyone to "Obey" the messages on billboards and in the media.

His message was meant to be ironic. His hope was that when people saw the overt command to "Obey" there would rise up within them a sense of individualism and personal identity that might make them say, "No. I will NOT obey!" and perhaps people would begin to think for themselves.

In a recent issue of PRINT Magazine (Jul/Aug, 2006), there is an article about Fairey and other street artists who have a desire to send a counter-cultural message via stickers and posters posted illegally on the sides of buildings and the back of street signs.

One book, "The Design Of Dissent" by Milton Glaser, makes the observation that today's society is immune to outrage. We read the newspaper, we watch atrocities on television and we move on with our lives.

This social apathy, in the opinion of Glaser, calls for an escalation of social protest " overcome the endless assault on our sensibilities by the official voices of the government." In Glaser's mind, what is needed is "..100 times more dissent that appeals to people's intelligence."

This may be true, or it may not be true. What I find interesting about this theory is that most modern advertising appeals to the lowest common denominator of intelligence, at best. At worst, the overall tone of advertising seems to pander to, and even to encourage, the ignorant majority.

Even more ironic to me is that Fairey's creation, "Obey", has now evolved into a full-blown corporation. The Obey logo can now be found on t-shirts, hats, skateboards and toys. Recently a $60 coffee-table book of Fairey's art was published to chronicle his exploits and rise to fame and fortune.

Here is a lesson for us. A single person has a vision to subvert the system, and in time his success lures him to join the enemy and to become exactly what he was raging against in the first place.

Now the Obey Giant logo is trademarked and used to sell products, not to make a commentary on the media-saturation of our times and the consumer-oriented society we have become. Now the symbol is used to promote consumerism, not to rebel against it.

I wonder if the Church has fallen into the same trap?

Have we been lured into thinking that, to be effective in society we must become exactly like the world around us?

The Church began with a single vision. Our founder, Jesus, was a revolutionary with a subversive message that we could all begin to live in The Kingdom of God today. His message was a threat to the Pharisess and the Roman Government. It threatened their authority structures. It called into question their defintions of righteousness, equality and holiness. It was a message that got our founder arrested, tortured and ultimately put to death.

From the earliest days, the followers of The Way continued this subversive, counter-cultural movement. They met quietly in homes. They re-defined family. They called one another brother and sister and loved and cared for one another as if they truly were of one family.

The early Church was persecuted for such counter-cultural behavior. People saw them as strange and treated them with disdain. Yet even though followers of Jesus were met with harsh persecution, hundreds of people continued to join their ranks. The radical lifestyle of these "Jesus People" caused people to wonder, "How can they give so much to strangers?", "What makes them so different?", and they wanted to know more.

Even the message preached by these people, that their founder Jesus had actually come back to life, seemed to be proven true by the radically changed lives of His followers.

In time, the followers of The Way actually did "turn the world upside down" (Acts 17:6-KJV). They endured horrific persecution and preserved the teachings of Jesus by living them out and sharing them with their new spiritual family for over three hundred years. That's longer than America has been a Nation.

Today, the Church looks an awful lot like the world around it. We do not stand out from the crowd. We are not known for our acts of kindness, love or compassion. We have aligned ourselves with a politcal platform and allowed figures in the media to speak for us.

In many ways, we have become the machine we intended to rage against. We have joined the system we were created to subvert and overthrow.

How this happened is another issue (and another article), but the solution for us is not to justify our slow transition into a more palatable option. The solution is to return to the way of life modeled by our founder, Jesus. The solution is to embrace, once more, the loving, yet counter-cultural, way of life modeled by the early Church.

Maybe the place we need to begin is to repent of our blindness and to return to the teachings of Jesus Himself.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command" - JESUS (John 14:15)


Saturday, September 02, 2006


Last night we took the family out to the Orange Street Fair just a few blocks from our house.

Our friend, and fellow "Mission House Church" member, Heather Wright was painting outside on the grass as hundreds (probably thousands) of people walked by on their way to enjoy the street fair.

Heather (pictured above) has done some incredible work lately. Some of which was on display in the gallery behind her as part of the Seeds Fine Art "Dawn To Dawn" exhibit.

That exhibit, which we saw for the first time last night, will be running through Sept. 12th at St. John's Lutheran on Chapman and is free.

I have to say, I've seen a lot of "christian" art and, let's be honest here...most of it is lame and cheesy. However, I am proud to recommend this exhibit as something exceptional and beyond expectation.

The "Dawn To Dawn" show is full of some of the most powerful, poignant, skillful and simply gorgeous art I have ever seen assembled in one place at one time. I am not exaggerating here.

This exhibit had some works which took my breath away and moved me emotionally. The quality of the work is exceptional. The sculptures, paintings, and mixed media pieces are all outstanding.

My friend Karen Schmidt also has two bronze sculptures in the exhibit.

If you live in Orange County and you want to see a large collection of outstanding art, be sure to drop by and check it out. They'll have an artist reception on Sunday, September 10th from 12pm to 3:30pm and I'll be there too. Look me up and we'll hang out over the art and talk!

*BTW- I wanted to update everyone that I have a temporary postion at The Healthcare Foundation For Orange County as an administrative assistant/office manager. It's not too stressful, and there's a chance I could end up taking this on as a full-time position (I'm praying about this now).

I also interviewed at Biola University yesterday for a marketing specialist position, but honestly, I don't think I want it. Still, we'll see what God brings us in the next few weeks.

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for my job situation. Please KEEP PRAYING!! I'll update everyone when I know something new.