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Music Monday – July 30, 2012

Duncan released his debut solo EP, These Things, this month and you should take a listen!

In addition to his solo project, Duncan has started a new rock outfit with Corey Keller named “Sandusky“. Check out their first demo.

Fifty Shades of Grey – My Personal Thoughts

Words are to women what pictures are to men.

This is not a new revelation. It has been said for many years that for women, “Sex starts between the ears not between the legs”. This is something I feel some Christian women have chosen to overlook or have forgotten.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is a romance novel that, due to it’s explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage, dominance, and masochism is placed in the sub-genre of romance, labeled “Erotic”. If you are unfamiliar, here is the definition: Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually.

I’m not sure when it became acceptable for Christian women to recommend erotic material to their friends, but this to me is a big double standard. I have heard this said many times in conversation between women, “…the story is just so good!”. I have not read the books to confirm or deny this opinion but I have read enough reviews to tell you it is poorly written. Erotic material and a poorly written story… that sounds familiar.

Picture a husband meets his buddies to watch a game, during a commercial break this conversation unfolds:

Rick: Anybody seen a good movie recently?

John: Dude! I just finished “Hoes Under Bros”. It was awesome! You should totally check it out.

Rick: I heard that had some pretty graphic sex scenes in it…

John: Well yeah, I mean it’s in the Adult section at blockbuster. But the story is so good, I just couldn’t stop watching!

Rick: Hmm.. my friend at work said that the male lead is very abusive and ties the girl up and stuff.

John: Yeah but that’s just the first one, in “Hoes Under Bros 2: Electric Boogaloo” you find out he really loves her.

Rick: Oh cool. Can I borrow it?

Now let’s say Rick came home with “Hoes Under Bros”, his wife yells the second she sees it, “Rick! Is this porn!?” Rick responds “Well, yeah honey, but John said the story is really good and they fall in love in the second movie”. Now I can’t speak for every wife in the world but I’m going to take a gamble and bet she does not say, “Oh they fall in love! Okay, that’s alright. Enjoy the movie!”

I know that story seems ridiculous and no Christian man is going to tell his buddies about a porno with a good story. But that is exactly what I see so many Christian women doing. The only difference is one is pictures, which christians agree is a black and white issue, and the other is words, which is apparently in the grey area.

So, do I personally think that christians should read erotic books? No, I don’t, but that is up to her personal convictions and whether or not she slips into lusting over the characters and visualizes herself in the situation. If a woman thinks that she can not lust while reading erotica then she should at least be aware that we, as christians, are called to guard our heart and even though the first books may not cause a woman to become aroused, her mind is most likely releasing dopamine and she is going to start searching out for more erotic books to give her mind another dose. In turn, possibly creating a vicious downward spiral taking her places she never dreamt she’d go.

I want to leave you with one final thought. If a woman can truly read erotica and not sin, not lust, not desire more, and she is free from conviction, then that is her right. But just as you wouldn’t drink alcohol, out of respect, in front of someone whom you know feels convicted by drinking, I feel christian women should be very mindful of who they are suggesting an erotic book to.

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

1 Corinthians 8:9-13

I am far from perfect, I sin everyday. I just feel as christians we need to be a little more open about what we are reading and be able to hold each other accountable.

Update: For continued reading on this topic, xxxchurch.com posted a blog on Fifty Shades of Grey today as well. Check it out.

Summer Retreat

One of my daily titles is “Media Director” for CityChurch Tulsa. Once a year the CityChurch staff takes a short retreat to bond, relax, and prepare for the fall season. This year we stayed at Spring Vally Ranch, and being that SVR is only a short drive from Grand Lake, Molly, LoveTulsa Director at CityChurch, brought her boat for us to enjoy. I hadn’t had the privilege to be pulled behind a boat in many years so I was excited to get out on the lake. With my GoPro strapped to my chest I hit the Ski’s, Wakeboard, and the Tube. Here’s a video of Day one.

On day two, we awoke to the sound of rain dancing on the tin roof which I could have laid in bed and listened to for hours, especially since my body was not thanking me for the previous days activities. But instead, we hopped on some ATV’s and took a tour of the ranch property. Unfortunately I didn’t check my SD cards capacity before leaving and it was full before we got to the really fun rock climbing. After the ATV’s we canoed down the river boarding the ranch to a rope swing we had discovered during the previous year’s retreat. After swinging as many times as my body could handle, and watching Chad and Misty flip their canoe, we paddled back in to lunch waiting in the kitchen. Not a bad morning.

Overall, we had an amazing retreat with an abundance of  laughter, stories, games, and food. Oh man the food, I could write a blog just on the food. In addition to owning a boat, Molly proved meal after meal to be an amazing cook. Looking forward to another year with these extraordinary people!

You think you have great friends?

This time last year we visited the Blue Dome Arts Festival in downtown Tulsa. We watched some bands, grabbed some food, and shopped around all the artist’s booths set up in the streets. One thing I didn’t do was think, “Next year, I’m going to have a booth here.” In fact, I didn’t even know that I would start Darby & Dash five months later.

But, here we are, one year later and we did set up at Blue Dome and I would first like to say; I have the best friends and family in the world! Let me explain.

I had a vision of what I wanted my booth to look like but unfortunately I do not have all the skills to complete it on my own. One of the ideas was a small bar height counter that would sit in the middle of the booth, but because I drive a Scion XB and not the stereotypical Oklahoman F150, the cabinet would also have to be collapsible for storage and transport. Duncan was up for the challenge, and after working many hours on his off days and before his scheduled shifts at his day job he delivered even better than I had imagined.

Jess has been helping me with all of the photography of the products from the beginning and the photos are too good not to use in a dominate way. So I envisioned a large banner that covered the entire back wall of the tent and smaller poster shots running down the sides. Luckily, my Grandpa runs A Better Sign Co. and was able to make all the foam board posters and the banner on a short deadline.

Even more bragging on how awesome my friends are, most of the models are all friends from our CityChurch community group.

The booth is almost complete with one major piece missing, something to hang the clothes on. You know, the whole reason for the booth. Duncan is back to work on this one, building all of the racks in two days. Now we are ready.

This is all just the weeks leading up to the festival. 6 AM Friday morning, Duncan and I head downtown and set up the booth which took us until 11 AM when people started showing up. At 1 PM, Duncan was replaced by Jess so he could go work a full shift at his day job. Sarah joined later to finish out the night after getting off. A 15 hour day to start the weekend.

This was the case for the entire three day festival, we all worked 12 to 15 hour days either at the festival or split with day jobs. Like I said, I have the best friends in the world. Over all, the festival was a huge success, we sold tons of product, made new connections, and the counter that Duncan built was so good he was hired by one of our booth neighbors to build her one. Plus, a huge thank you to all of our friends who came out to show support!

Sunday, after the festival closed and we spent a couple more hours tearing down, Duncan and I went out on a man date since the girls left us earlier in the day for a wedding. Perfect ending to a long and exhausting weekend.

Geek Tattoo

I’ve been using Photoshop and the entire Adobe Creative Suite for 8 years. Photoshop CS was given to me by my youth pastor in 7th grade, but the first version I purchased on my own was CS2. To commemorate the start of my life as a graphic designer I decided to get a tattoo. One that illustrates my roots, my passion, and my personality. I felt the feather that branded that first copy of Photoshop to arrive at my door step, does just that. The complete image depicts the starting point, the color fading with translucent gradients conveys my appetite for art, and the feather personifies my free spirit. I’ve been wanting to get this tattoo for some time now and I couldn’t be more elated with the way it turned out.

Ever been caught with your pants down?

It’s camping weather! Perfect weather for sitting on the beach, basking in the sun, and listening to the voice of nature. That’s exactly what we are doing tomorrow. We’ve been planning our trip to Keystone lake this week and it reminded me of a great lake story.

Last summer. (more…)

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