Search

important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen

Category

faith

Q&A with Quiet Science

We got a few minutes to sit down with Nathan Walter from one of our new favorite bands – Quiet Science.  Their album “The Rekindling of the Stars” has been on repeat here at I.N.H.Q. for weeks – so we wanted to get a little info on heart behind the album!   Give their single Bonfires a play and check out what they have to say!

We are loving the new Quiet Science album – “The Rekindling of the Stars” – what’s the inspiration behind the album?  What pulled you to want to create a worship project?

It was the perfect title for this album. There is so much meaning behind it. I see it two ways: 1) When you realize that there is a God who created all this and He loves and desires a relationship with you, you can’t help but see His hand and His beauty in the world around us. It makes the stars brighter. It’s like falling more in love with the artist through His art.

2) In another sense, I imagine that we are the stars and we have grown dim. As we grow closer to Him, we reflect His light and we shine all the brighter for the world to see.

Honestly, I feel like it may be what God was doing in me during that long process of working on this album. He brought me closer to Him and refined me.  We just want others to have that same feeling when they listen to this album, that God is drawing them close.

We have always been asked to do worship shows on tour as an add on to our rock show. Honestly, we could have made more money doing them, but we always turned them down.  We just didn’t feel called to it. I don’t think that every Christian musician is called to be a worship leader. I think it is a big responsibility.  One summer, our church was looking for a band for summer camp and they tasked Daisy with finding one, but we knew that it would be very difficult with the budget they had. Eventually, we bit the bullet and did it ourselves, even though I fought it all the way.  After that week of leading worship, I just felt like there was no going back. I thought, “Why would I want to do anything but this?”

Can you talk to us about the single “Bonfires”? 

I came across “infinite beauty” in a book somewhere and just thought it was a great line for a song. It came together pretty easily. I love how the song is fun and big but also has these small, soft worshipful moments with the same lyrics.  I am not sure you get all that in the radio edit.

Quiet Science took a break to start a family. Would you say that parenthood has changed your writing style? Or your focus as a band?

No, not really. Our writing style has changed, definitely, but not because of parenthood. Honestly, being home for awhile and being heavily involved in our church changed it the most. We didn’t want to make an album that was really cool and experimental, but no one would be able to sing it. It really changed our focus, and many songs were eliminated because of it. We started writing songs for the people of God to sing, rather than ourselves.

What’s next for Quiet Science? Any tours or festivals? 

We will definitely tour. We want to give people time with the album first so that the shows can be more worship centered. We don’t want to go play a show or give a performance. We want people to be able to worship with us.

If we are invited to play any festivals, we will be there.

Rapid Fire Questions: Any albums that are on repeat right now?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been listening to the new Jesus Culture album and Peter Gabriel’s album Melt.

What’s the last book you read?

I am currently reading “The James Code” by O.S. Hawkins and “Shadows of Self” by Brandon Sanderson. I tend to read two books at a time. One fiction and one nonfiction.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would go to New Zealand and tour all the Lord of the Rings film sites. I am a dork like that.

How can we get more info on Quiet Science?

Go to www.thequietscience.com. If you aren’t familiar with our older works, our first album is actually a free download right now. We also added chord charts for “The Rekindling…”, that’s something entirely new for us.

Avoiding the storm…

It is Monday – a crazy busy Mofishing-sea-boat-large.jpgnday. I get a few of these days per year where all of the forces that be converge, and you just know deep in your soul that it’s just going to be a brutal day.

Brutal. Things are a mix of good and challenging. I have deadlines. Parents have appointments. Friends are staying here. Our dog is injured. Projects are starting. Projects are ending. Celebrations and thank yous need to be a priority and fit in. Life is, well, life.

Last night, I was trying to finish devotional, and I ran across the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat and the storm arises (Mark 4).

You likely know the story – Jesus had just recently begun his ministry, the disciples were new to this whole concept. Jesus had a few brutal days. He’d been called out by the church leaders and his family, parables were flowing, crowds were gathering. Jesus suggests they get in the boat and go to the other side of the lake to get away from the people. Jesus sleeps on a cushion. Storms come. Disciples panic. Jesus calms the wind. Disciples say “Who is this guy.”

I have read this passage over and over over the years, but two things really struck out in this one particular reading:

First – The disciples’ boat wasn’t the only boat in the water.

And second – Jesus calmed the storm after they mentioned it to him. Mark 4:39 – and he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still!” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

I think I need to take these 2 things in consideration.

In my life, my boat isn’t the only one that faces storms. While the passage doesn’t say anything about the condition of the other boats, I can just imagine that they were all struggling against the storm as well. They didn’t have Jesus physically in their boat – but when Jesus calmed the storm for one, he calmed the storm for many. I need to remember that when I call on Jesus, when I live my life understanding that He is the source of peace, it affects those around me. My faith is not my own. It can’t be. By design, it has to resonate to those around me.

Second, Jesus calmed the storm when they asked him. Not even like the widow who nagged the judge so much that he gave her what she wanted. They woke up Jesus, asked for help and he calmed the storm. In my life, why don’t I just call on Jesus when I see the storm approaching? Why do I wait for the storm to be in a full scary, dark assault before I admit that it’s out of my control?   My first inclination was to ask why didn’t they just wake up Jesus to begin with…but then I realize just how often I get underwater before I ask for guidance, and often I never ever mention it to those in the boats around me.

It’s time. Before the sun rises, before the phone rings; before the emails start, the distractions arise and  noise and clutter start to cloud my focus and let Jesus know about my concern for the day. #Give it to him. Ask him to weather the storm with me and bring peace to not only my day – but to the day of those around me.

 

The Echo Factor –

Wow-last week work felt like work and I walked into the weekend just feeling…tired, lost and wondering if, perhaps, self-employment was a huge mistake and I needed just walk over to Starbucks and apply to spend my life in a green apron.

Ever felt that way?

If you’re like me, sometimes you need a little boost – you need to remember just why you were created. You feel drained by the routine and wonder if your voice doesn’t matter.  Well…

I just picked up this new book called The Echo Factor: Living A Life that Resonates Freedom by Kinda Wilson, and you need to read it.

Why? Well, it is a little hard to explain.

Is iecho factort a business book? – yes. A psych book? – yes. Motivational book? Inspirational book? Interactive book? – yes, yes, yes. The book is incredibly creative, merging fascinating tales from science and history with the writer’s personal stories.  Kinda is incredibly transparent about her fears and her hesitations.  She is able to give bold challenges simply because she has needed to hear these reminders herself.

echo factor 2Design-wise it deserves a lot of props as well. Please don’t do an audiobook on this one, because the print version is loaded with inserts, bookmarks, postcards, and even the author’s grandma’s pie recipe! (warning, one of the puzzles is making me a little crazy.)

echo factor 3The book boils down to this: Your life matters. Your voice matters. You resonate. Science can prove it.

If you’ve been feeling the push to speak up, to start that business, to begin writing, to speak at that event, it’s time to act. You have the power to change your environment. You have the freedom to make an impact. You have the ability to breathe life to those around you….

Just do yourself a favor…pick up 2 copies of the Echo Factor. Read 1 then follow the instructions at the end and give that one to a friend. Then keep the other for yourself, cause the content of the book and the creative packaging are worth adding to any book collection.

Found this little ditty by Kinda about being weird…this can be your pep talk for the day!

You can buy The Echo Factor here:http://www.kindawilson.com/echofactor/

Taking Advice from a Kardashian

“You become what you think about” – Earl Nightingale

I’ve been holding to my resolutions this year…and I’m GIVING myself ammunition for work, for productivity, for success….for change.

Eating better – check.  Working out (except this last week) – check.  Reading – check. Turning off the TV – check.  Facebook is disabled from my phone – check.  Box of thank you notes sitting on my desk ready to be addressed – check.

And I started reading a book by…

A Kardashian (GASP!)

I know. I’m not even sure where the book came from. But it was on the shelf, and during a GoodWill pick-up purge a couple of weeks ago, I found it and started reading it.

Dang. Ron Kardashian nails it.

ron kardashian

His book is 30 Second Solution. It’s about taking a beat before making a decision, before speaking, before committing. It’s about making 30 second positive statements.  It’s about changing your focus.

And ultimately it’s about action.

When I started the book, I had to get over a bit of the, well, Kardashianisms: I’m a succcess, I’m great, I’m in great shape, I’m quoting myself…but maybe that’s part of the point. We want change? We want to be healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally, financially)? First we have to believe that we can be. Once our brain believes it, we can become it.

In a nutshell, 30 Second Solution is about 3 things:

  • Think Positively
  • Speak Precisely
  • Act Purposefully

Small changes can lead to big results. The Unhealthy Anonymous program that I’m also doing proves that with our health. The same is with our mind. 30 Seconds of “I can do this” can transform our workout.  30 Seconds of “I’m good enough” can transform a job interview.  30 Seconds of “I am beautiful” can change our relationships.  And positive is addictive…and it spreads to those around us.

I want to have the integrity to speak with precision so I am true to my word. Sometimes I need to take 30 Seconds before I speak to make sure that is a reasonable offer.

I want to make sure I am a person of action, who doesn’t talk about what I am supposed to do – I just start doing what I’m supposed to do.

I want to be a person of happiness, who brings a positive spin into the world. I’m better about this when I’m out in public. At home, it’s not always the case.

I want to honor God, my family, my business, my community with my words, thoughts and actions.  I may need to set a little timer to go off a few times each day to make sure that I’m in check with those statements.

So – what can you do in 30 Seconds to change your life? Here’s a few ideas to get you started:  Say a prayer, say thank you, take a deep breath, read a food label, send a positive text message, write down a goal, plan ahead for a healthy dinner, tell someone you love them…

If you want to check out a copy of 30 Second Solution: Transform your body, business, relationships and life in just seconds at a time,  you can find it at Barnes and Noble (used for a really low price!) here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Wednesday…

lent_desktop

Ash Wednesday.  It’s always an interesting day for me.  I didn’t grow up in a tradition that acknowledged Ash Wednesday, Lent, Fast days, Feast days…

…well, we did have a lot of potlucks so I guess feast days happened. They just looked a little different. They had a much different meaning.

Growing up, I remember a few people giving up things like chocolate, alcohol or eating pop tarts for breakfast.  I sort of assumed they were likely just seeking a good excuse to lose a few pounds instead of actually fasting from those things that may be taking up space in your life, or a way to turn your gaze more to the sacrifice of Christ.

Last night, I told Chris that I was trying to make a decision about Lent, and he suggested that I give up coffee. I sad no. An absolute no. No No No.

I think that may be because coffee is a part of my daily ritual. I read my Bible while the coffee is brewing. Prayer and stretching involves breathing in of that amazing, delicious aroma of coffee. It would be like abstaining from my alarm clock.

Giving up my alarm clock, on the other hand, may be a good option.

But I digress.

As I prepare to head to church during lunch-hour, I am still a bit torn. I have a new fun devotional (will share about that later), but it is remarkably minimalist.  I am not being pulled to one thing or another this year, and that is likely from feeling displaced from church.  Today I am going to go back to a church I tried out a few months ago. It felt cold before. Perhaps that is what you are supposed to feel when you kneel and receive ashes.

I’m thinking this is still the year of #Give. I need to give thanks, give credit, give stuff and give time.  Give thanks to God and to those around me.  Give credit to people who deserve it (but likely don’t realize it).  Give time to causes and give resources to those who need it.

How do you observe Lent? What does it mean to you?

(Graphic pulled from the http://abcdfinnestad.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-real-meaning-of-lent.html blog. He graciously gives permission for folks to use his graphics…and I’m grateful for that!)

Buechner on Lent…

Lent_graphic.jpg

Frederick Buechner on Lent. 

“In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.

“If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn’t, which side would get your money and why?

“When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?

“If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?

“Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?

“Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?

“If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?

“To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sack-cloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”

– Originally published in Wishful Thinking.

Snow day. Fat Tuesday. Paczki. Mmmm.

paczkiLast night at 1:30, my weather alarm went off warning  of a winter storm watch through Wednesday morning.

Seriously. Why do storm alerts only happen in the middle of the night?

Anyway – that’s when I also saw the alert on my phone that our county’s schools were closed.  We don’t have kids, so I went back to bed. Nothing really changes in my life.

But this morning, I woke to snow. More than a dusting, less than what we northerns would consider impressive. You can still see the grass, and the little yellow flowers that bloomed a bit to early look shocked under the weight of the white.

But outside it is so still. So beautiful. So calm.  So clean. So quiet.

It’s like time stops in Tennessee after a snowfall.

And I’m not complaining at all.

It’s also Fat Tuesday so start cleaning out your kitchens kids. Make some shove pancakes. Play some games.  And, of course, PACZKI for everyone!!

 

 

When Security is Needed…

Just down our street, there is a sign on an unassuming brick building:

“Love for all, Hatred for none”

It’s pretty rare that I see people there.  Occasionally there will be cars parked in the small lot on a Friday night or Saturday during the day.  On even rarer occasions they have cars parked in their overflow lot across the street. Kids play outside and their laughter is contagious. Daffodils bring color to the building in the spring, and someone is hired to mow the lawn, but that isn’t much of an ask, as the rest of their non-daffodil landscaping is minimal.

From what I can tell, it’s the only mosque in our town. They are nearly impossible to track down – no website, no social media, no fliers around town welcoming people with promises of friendship, child care and donuts.

They are directly across the church from a medium size, mainstream church. This building, which is nearly exactly the same color of dark orange brick, has a parking lot is flooded with cars daily. No matter the day or the weather, something always seems to be going on there.  i

This small Islamic group, however is much more reserved.

I don’t think much about them most days. We get their mail occasionally, and when I walk there to give them the letters, they are very kind and soft spoken. As I’m not super up on the culture, I always try to be respectful and just approach the women, who are GORGEOUS with their flowing clothes and dark hair.

But there has been a change the past few weeks.

Now, anytime they meet, anytime there is a car in the driveway, a security guard is positioned outside.  This weekend they had some sort of event, and there were 2 security guards keeping guard the entire weekend.  On the sidewalk where I sometimes walk the dogs, there was a folding chair, a coffee mug and can of Mountain Dew placed under the seat.  Sometimes a guard rested his legs by watching the world from the chair, but mostly I think they walked back and forth, watching our sleepy neighborhood.

And despite 60 degree weather, I sadly didn’t hear the sound of kids playing during any part of the weekend.

It breaks my heart that they feel the need to have security. There are churches all around our area, and people happily come in and out, feeling safe in their own space. I hope that, perhaps, our churches may see this disparity and step in to help lower their fears. That we can literally love our neighbors as ourselves.

I hope and pray this was just them being overly cautious and not due to feeling threatened by come part of the community.

Love for All. Hatred for None. Shouldn’t that be the vision for all of us?

 

Day 6 – #Give Encouragement

imgres-3.jpg

I am sort of digging this #Give word.  Funny how God puts things on your heart and then you slowly realize why.

Today, I strive to #Give encouragement.  To people I know and those I don’t. By writing a quick note to a friend. By cheering on someone at the gym.  By acknowledging someone’s accomplishments.

Looking at my to-do and to-call list, this may not be as easy as I think…but I have all day to pull it off.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing…” 1 Thess. 5:11

What will you give to today?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑