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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

U2 concert videos

Here's a clip of the song Magnificent played the night before we went, taken from almost exactly where we were standing.

Here's a clip of Amazing Grace and Where the Streets Have No Name... it gives some perspective on the stage.

Still getting over this concert... simply awesome!

Photo courtesy of Charlene Carroll (a friend of ours who wasn't far from where we were, but the night before).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

U2 at Gillette Stadium!

Karen and I spent Monday night at the U2 concert at Gillette Stadium. Unbelievable! We had General Admission tickets which meant we didn’t have seats, but we were able to get into the “inner circle” and were about 10 feet from the stage! It was wild!

Over the years, I’ve had several friends tell me that they’ve had “spiritual experiences” at U2 concerts, and to be completely honest, I haven’t fully understood. Sure, the music is great, and there are some references to God, but a “spiritual experience”? Now, I’m still not sure I’m ready to say I had such an experience at the concert, but there was some amazing things going on… and very thought inspiring. Did I mention the music was great?! Not to mention it’s hard to beat a U2 show!

Here’s some clips of songs they sang…
I was bornI 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
I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.
I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I'm still running.
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.
I can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes and make it go away.
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
'Cos tonight We can be as one, tonight.
Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across the dead-end street.
But I won't heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall.
Sunday, bloody SundaySunday, bloody Sunday..
And it's true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality.
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.
The real battle just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On...Sunday, bloody SundaySunday, bloody Sunday..

Now don’t get me wrong. This post is not to praise Bono or even to argue for the legitimacy of his faith. That’s not what this is about. However… it was amazing to see a stadium FULL of people with raised fists singing “How long must we sing this song…” calling for the end of violence across the globe. Singing for human rights. Singing “To claim the victory Jesus won” and about “magnify[ing] the Magnificent”, and “You… carried the cross of my shame.” Oh, and did I mention that there was a snippet of “Amazing Grace” in there that was followed by crazy cheering? The interesting thing was that there was perhaps just a small percentage of us who were specifically thinking of God, Jesus, and our Christian faith. As Karen and I discussed it on our way to the car, she referenced Luke 19 where Jesus says, “If they keep quiet, even the rocks will cry out.” Hmmm. That was an interesting reference, considering my thoughts during the concert… When was the last time our church services inspired us to shake our fists and sing out against injustice in this world? The concert felt more like a revolution campaign than a rock concert… and it reminded me of Jesus. He was a revolutionary. He calls us today to revolution. To change our world. Say what you will about Bono’s inappropriate behaviors at times, but he has managed to mobilize huge numbers of people to take action against poverty, human rights injustices, inadequate healthcare in 3rd world countries, etc. To some extent, Bono has become a phenomenon due to his politics, and change he inspires. Are we making a difference? Again, I reference, “if they keep quiet, even the rocks will cry out.” Are we keeping too quiet? Or are we in this for revolution?

I went to the concert expecting a good time with my wife, enjoying some of our favorite music, without the distraction of the kids. What we had, was so much more. So, perhaps I did have a spiritual experience, afterall.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cute disobediance

It was only a matter of time. Although our boys know that markers are for paper, with the amount of time they spend using them, we somehow knew that eventually it would end up on their bodies. Last night after dinner, the boys were coloring with markers at their table. Then it came. That giggling that can only mean trouble. If you have kids or have been anywhere near kids, you know exactly what I mean. Then came the evidence that they didn't really know they were doing something wrong... they came to show off their artwork. "We're being cats!" said Chase. So, as Karen was telling them why this was wrong and not to do it again, of course Chip was off to get the camera! We just couldn't resist taking a few shots before wiping them down. Do you think they believed us that they shouldn't do it again? Time will tell.

Thank God for "washable" markers! It actually came off with just a single wipe... no scrubbing necessary. Of course, I'm sure it helped that we didn't wait for it to dry.

Return to cold water!

As a kid, my family and I took many vacations. One of which, was a trip up through New England up into Canada. Along the way, we travelled along the Kancamagus Highway, in New Hampshire. At one point, we stopped at a trailhead and hiked up along a stream. When we got to about as high as we were going to go, we tried taking a dip in the stream to cool off. Now that was some COLD water! We took turns daring each other to see how far we could go into the water. Now I'm sure I'll get a scathing comment if I don't give a nod to my oldest brother, Tom, who actually sat in the water in the middle of a small waterfall, essentially submerged by this frigid mountain run-off. Nice work, Tom! To this day, our family still all remembers just how COLD that water was!
Well, over Labor Day weekend this year, Karen and I found ourselves in the Conway, NH area and decided to take a trip along the Kancamagus Highway. We happened to come across a place called "Sabbaday Falls"... and I am convinced that this is the same trail and stream we hiked along all those years ago. And the water is just as cold as ever! As if they knew the story, as soon as Chase and Zach felt how cold the water was, you could see them essentially daring each other to go deeper. We spent over an hour at a spot along the stream where we could sit on rocks, dip our toes in the water and scheme ways to get in deeper... and of course, enjoy the amazing beauty of it all. Here are just a few pics...