Posted by : Karen Sunday, August 12, 2012

Were you one of those teenagers who had posters of famous actors/musicians/bands stuck up all over your walls? 

Me, I think the pastors in my life had all read the  books about drugs, sex and rock 'n'roll, so there was no way I was going to have any "√≠dols" on the walls in my room! And so this is where my ignorance about famous actors and musicians springs from  - to the extent that now I am still absolutely clueless about who is in what, who sings what, or even the names of songs etc. Clueless. Head in the sand type thing. Yes I can get away with big bands and epic number 1 hits of all time, but any more than that and it's laughable! Now, hold that thought whilst I remind you I'm married to man whose calling it is to take the world of media by storm,  to write and direct stories of character; who follows every movie as it is released, who is passionate about edifying lyrics and songs that grow the soul, and can answer almost any trivia question on cinematography.... and now... chuckle! Seriously. Poor man!

Roll on Braveheart's birthday this year (three days after Belle's!), and two dear friends who gave him a ticket to see this band:

You can well imagine how the conversation went in the car on the way there, and even as we were finding our seats. 
Me: What do they sing again? Oh really? How does it go? Can you hum it? etc etc.

Now let me tell you something else. I have in my life - apparently been to 2 concerts before this one. I say two, because one I don't remember at all much to Braveheart's amusement (it was right in the early days of moving to Cape Town, and possibly everything was just so overwhelming I cannot place it..or it was just nothing to write home about...go figure), and the other was the U2 one last year. And I was bitterly disappointed. Perhaps our tickets (the cheapest ones - which were still "gasp" expensive!) meant we sat right at the top of the stadium, and the sound was terrible: I couldn't hear any of their words and it was so loud it was awful...(I may also be getting too old!). But that's me. So there was a certain amount of apprehension on my part as I sat down and started to absorb the first opening act.

And then God started. As I watched the first opening act, a children's choir singing out their hearts, slightly off pitch and in places a little jarring, God began speaking. Caressing my heart. It's been so significant for me that this concert coincides with meeting a few new people in the last few days who have each asked us about "where we fellowship". And it's got me thinking a whole lot about church (enough for a separate post to come). But sitting there, listening to the beautiful unpretentious faith of these young boys and girls, it made me remember how sweet the sound of worship is. How stunning it is when God's people come together and sing. And there is something holy about music, something sacred. It is music that undoes us, music that entices us, music that can soothe us. And music belongs to God. I sat there, covered in goosebumps, in the hands of the Spirit.

Then, Switchfoot came on, and as the concert unfolded, seeing this band in the flesh made me able to make a connection to the songs I've heard Braveheart play  for years. The concert was incredible. It was unlike anything I've ever been to before (ahem, those two concerts and all the churches I've been in). It honestly felt more like an authentic representation of what church should be like in today's world - it was Christianity at its most real, without any mask of religiosity. Here were men who love God and who clearly know him, living their lives without being boxed in by modern Christian dogma, and it was exhilarating for my spirit. In fact, writing this make my spirit actually hurt in my chest. It. was. so. real.

And as per my nature, I came home to google this band that I hadn't really paid that much attention to, and having seen them, watched them - being at that concert felt 'intimate' in a sense. As though you were on holy ground. I can't quite put my finger on it. The lead singer, Jon Foreman, was absolutely free to be with the audience, and moved right through us, singing and touching people's hands...there was something so beautifully down to earth about him. I've loved some of the things that have been written about him, and that he's written, and I'd love to share them with you...and I've also included some links to their songs. Please do find the time to listen to them - the lyrics are so's like drinking food for thought!   

  According to Jon Foreman, the name "Switchfoot" is a surfing term. "We all love to surf and have been surfing all our lives so to us, the name made sense. To switch your feet means to take a new stance facing the opposite direction. It's about change and movement, a different way of approaching life and music." Switchfoot has struggled with being labelled as a Christian band, and I loved what he had to say in response to that, "For us, it's a faith, not a genre," says Jon Foreman. "We've always been very open and honest about where the songs are coming from. For us, these songs are for everyone. Calling us 'Christian rock' tends to be a box that closes some people out and excludes them, and that's not what we're trying to do. Music has always opened my mind—and that's what we want" (source: Wikipedia)

The  Huffington Post picked up Jon Foreman's blog ( do click on over, it's well worth reading it all) and these two paragraphs blew me away:

There is no way out. We were born into the fight. Every noble pursuit will cost you: justice, wisdom, strength, marriage, children -- you will pay for these with your breath, your tears, your blood, even your life. We're all in this together -- fighting to make sense of the madness, to make our lives count. All of us are on a journey of desire. Longing, yearning, hoping, dreaming for a better day. But these dreams of ours are held in tension by the obstacles between where we are and where we hope to be. We are suspended in mid-air like a still life, a photograph. Frame by frame, we live our lives, forever stuck in the ether of the frozen now. Frame by frame we are frozen in the present between yesterday and tomorrow. Frame by frame we step forward towards the infinite unknown that only tomorrow can bring. 

Recently, my friends and I recorded an album about the the struggle that we call life. We wanted a record that would speak to the polarity of our existence, the darkness and the light, the despair and the hope along the way. These vices of ours, we wanted to make 'em sing. We wanted to make a musical world that was held in tension by the poles of darkness and light. Maybe my songs have always come from the tension, the things that terrify me, the things that stretch me thin and keep me up at night. As much as I want to run away from these things, I can't. The strings of our hearts were not made for safety. No, these strings are made to dance. I cannot to hold the temporal too closely for the final freedom I long for was never hers to give. Safety cannot be found in the transients. I struggle to look beyond all of this. The transcendent alone can give meaning to the tension, purpose to the release. So I give up hoping for safety. I've given up hoping in the overstuffed pockets of the powerful and well fed. I've given up hope that I could ever buy what I truly need. Indeed if the world knows no justice, we're better off staying maladjusted. Stretched thin.

The Huffington Post has a list of all his blog posts they've featured - go on over, it's such food for thought!

May God do something in you as you listen to just some of these:

"Dare you to Move" 

Learning to Breathe

This is Your Life, Your Love is a Song"The Shadow Proves The Sunshine" (inspired by CS Lewis), Meant to Live....

And really, I could go on. Just get your hands on some of this music. Seriously!

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