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A Day Not So Well Spent

Posted by jon on February 8, 2011 in family and friends, not so deep thoughts |

I spent most today in the bed fighting with a fever. Of course the day I get sick is the same day Cee comes home with pink eye so not the most fun day at all.

Its days like this that remind me that my wife is totally amazing. Without batting an eye she took up the task of caring for a whiney child and a 3-year-old at the same time. Though at least I’m much more willing to take my medicine than Cee is.

I don’t know about you but when I am sick I don’t really want to be waited on or anything. I just want to be left alone, perhaps with some bad movies, but overall just left to sleep it off. And thank goodness for Netflix instant movies because there are a ton of just awful movies on there. I started a few and I think I fell asleep as a subconscious defense mechanism. Oh it passes the time and its better than most daytime TV shows.

Alas, on a more positive note I found out that the Joshua Cup open mic night will be on the eve of the ski trip, Friday February 18. I can’t wait to be a part of that evening. I’ve been working very hard on some new songs and I think I’ve almost finished a keeper. I guess we’ll find out on the 18th.

Well the NyQuil is kicking in and no matter how I feel AMP is tomorrow so I’ll see you then.

God is Everywhere

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I’m an Addict

Posted by jon on February 7, 2011 in not so deep thoughts |

It is very difficult for me to talk about this. It’s always hardest to admit you have a problem. I can only hope that if I talk about my struggles maybe it will help others deal with their demons as well.

Of course I am talking about a very common addiction that many suffer from and few are willing to admit. I am one of the millions of Americans with Cyber Attachment Syndrome or CAS*. CAS affects many people and it is extremely debilitating. Some of the common side effects are:

Self-importance – the feeling that people MUST be able to reach you at ALL times
Complete loss of social context – no it is not ok to take a call when at a funeral, in the movies, or when your boss has called you into his/her office
An inability to remember any, even the most basic and essential, phone numbers
An irrational anger at poor 3G service (Also mixed with a need to constantly pine for the improvements of the next software rollout).

I realized my CAS had reached a breaking point when it hit me that I’d left my phone at the office tonight. Knowing that I would be there first thing in the morning, knowing it is a 30 plus minute round trip to the office, knowing I wouldn’t see Tiff at all the next day and knowing I had a whiney 3-year-old in the back of the car I still heavily considered driving out to the office to get my missing appendage. You know, “just in case”. It was hard to face but I feel empowered to admit that there is nothing so important that it can’t wait till morning. I might miss a txt tonight from someone wanting to play X-Box and that daily update from NFL.com will just have to wait. I don’t know, somehow the world will still spin…one painful degree at a time.

Friends if you or someone you love suffers from CAS do them and the rest of us a favor…hit them…not on the shoulder, not playfully…hit them in the face…hard. The next time some answers the phone in a theater, pour your drink on them (1st make sure it’s not a matter of national security, that would be embarrassing, then pour your drink on them), call it therapy. If you see someone check their txt messages more than 3 times in a 5 minute span, txt them to let them know they are an idiot (do it with love). And if you don’t know your own home telephone number and/or your spouse’s (or parents for the single) numbers it is time to admit you have an advanced case of CAS.

*Though CAS is something I just made up…seriously people (myself included) get a hold of your lives!

God is Everywhere

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Super Bowl Shakeout

Posted by jon on February 7, 2011 in not so deep thoughts, sports talk |

So I just watching the Super Bowl. First impressions…the only decent musical act was the Glee chick. What on earth was going on with those outfits and the mics during the halftime show??? The commercials made a stong come back this year. The kid dressed as Darth Vader was easily my favorite.

And as hard as it is to admit it I was wrong about who would win. Oh well, congrats to the Packers and now we begin the saddest time of the year. Oh football I shall miss you so. See you in six months.

God is Everywhere.

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I’ll Have to Be Quick

Posted by jon on February 5, 2011 in not so deep thoughts, sports talk |

A crud is making its way into the Coder home. Tiff and I are both in a race to see who can get sick first. At the same time we are hoping that somehow Cee can avoid this. My plan tonight is to pull out the atomic bomb of cold fighting…NyQuil. Once you take NyQuil you have approximately four and a half minutes to get in the bed or you sleep where you land.

Alas, before I give in to the effects of the drugs I wanted to quickly weigh in with my Super Bowl predictions. Not to brag too loudly but my preseason NFL picks were pretty solid. I picked 4 division winners and 8 of the 12 playoff teams. So in a league like the NFL I’ll call that not too shabby. I had the Falcons losing in ATL to Green Bay (though I thought it would happen in the NFC title game) and the Steelers losing to the Colts on the AFC side. So I had half the Super Bowl.

But now on to real life. We have Green Bay and Pittsburgh going head to head in the biggest game of the year. Green Bay’s offense has been fantastic and Aaron Rodgers, in his 3rd full season, has taken the next step to be a top tier QB (something we’re hoping to see from Matt Ryan next season). But as well as he’s played its all come from a new found running game and that is where it all falls apart for GB. Pittsburgh’s defense is going to be the difference tomorrow. The Packers will not be able to run at all and Steelers won’t miss tackles on Rodgers the way the Falcons did.

It won’t be a blow out but I don’t see any way Green Bay can withstand the onslaught that is the Steelers defense. Big Ben and the Steelers win their 3rd title in 6 years and officially become the team of the decade. I hope everyone enjoys the game.

God is Everywhere

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There You Go

Posted by jon on February 4, 2011 in not so deep thoughts |

So I found a leak in my roof this evening. I was sitting at the kitchen table listening to the rain when I felt a most unwelcome drip on my head. Yeah, so that’s a not the best way to start the weekend. Alas, this too shall pass. We’ll make sure this doesn’t ruin the weekend but I will admit I don’t have much to say tonight. So there you go. See you all tomorrow. God is Everywhere.

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Today’s Leftovers: Chicken, Cars & Cat Litter

Posted by jon on February 3, 2011 in not so deep thoughts |

Thank you so much to everyone who had nice things to say about my video yesterday. It was very nice. I have though found that is hard to find something to say every day so today I’d like to dip into the archives.

Here’s a lesson I learned the hard way about car care and how some mistakes can be undo. It is a sad tale but at least it was funny. This was originally posted in June 2009 under the title “Chicken, Cars, and Cat Litter”. It’s hard to believe this happened almost two years ago. Enjoy.

“Chicken, Cars, & Cat Litter”

This past weekend we had a chicken bar-b-q to raise money for the youth ministry. It was a great success. We sold out and thanks to the Macon Meat Market (*plug) donating the chicken for us we made an excellent profit. I was very happy with the event. However, I wish they had donated a slightly sturdier box for the chickens…

I’d like to take a quick moment out of the story here to just say, my wife rocks. She went to go pick up these chickens and as nice as the people were it still smelled like a meet market. But she was a trooper and not only got them but took them back to the church and put them in storage all on her own. Sadly, her good deed was not without incident.

On her way away from the market one of the boxes collapsed, spilling chicken juice and whatnot (we won’t discuss the whatnot) in the back of my RAV4 (*plug). I’ll let you take a moment to think about that…I KNOW…now add 90 degree weather…I KNOW…if you feeling a little sick its understandable. Take a second to compose yourself, I’ll wait.

So after both Tiff and I took a turn scrubbing down the back and then took it to be shampooed the smell was unbelievably unbearable. We’re talking driving with my head out the window like the family dog. Actually, that’s not true, after the shampooing it was just overpoweringly nauseating. The main bullet point of my presentation here is that it was bad, very bad.

And of course my use of the past tense is somewhat inaccurate. At the time of publishing riding in my car is like having to sit next to the sweaty fat kid on the bus in August. I hate when that happens…note to self make sure to always get to the bus early. So I took the carpet out of the back of the RAV and in what would have to be described as an act of desperation I put cat litter in the storage bin. The carpet still smells really bad but miraculously after a day or so the litter has reduced the smell in the car substantially. I’ve never been so happy to have kitty toilet paper.

***As an aside this further proves what a horrible pet the cat is; even the kitty litter is more desirable.***

God is Everywhere

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The Return Video

Posted by jon on February 2, 2011 in music and videos |

I talked yesterday about a return to playing my own songs and writing new material. I am often asked what kind of music I write. By the way, I hate this question. I write songs. That’s really about all I can say. I don’t really know what genre you’d call it.

Sometime folks are surprised when I tell them I don’t write worship songs because I guess since I am a worship leader and a youth pastor it would make sense, but it’s just not the case. I’ve tried writing worship songs before, but it just not what I enjoy doing. Plus there are already so many great songs out there and a good worship song is hard to write (just ask Lincoln Brewster, he hasn’t managed it yet…I kid, I kid). A good worship song has to be easy to sing and catchy, and you have to balance that against a need to be at least somewhat theologically sound (though this is not the case if the song is sufficiently catchy and easy to sing).

So I leave that to those who do it well. My songs are not poppy or sappy. They are just songs. Sometimes they’re serious, sometime they’re funny, and sometimes they are light-hearted in dealing with the serious (much like this blog…much like me). I guess my songs are that way because that’s how I am. My songs are me and I hope you like this one.

God is Everywhere.

My Songs
Jon Coder
Live in the AMP Room
This video was shot 2.2.11 in the AMP Room at Lawrence Drive BC. Thanks Ashley for the great camera work.

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The Return

Posted by jon on February 1, 2011 in music and videos, not so deep thoughts |

I got some exciting news over the weekend. I was told that the Joshua Cup was reopening after some renovations and they were reintroducing their music format. Not only was I excited by the number of “re” in that sentence, but the idea of playing at the Joshua Cup is awesome. As of this weekend they are going to have an open mic night once a month. Sadly I missed the first one but February is a new deal.

For those who may not know, the Joshua Cup is a coffee shop in downtown Macon where I have played more gigs than probably anyone else (I don’t know if this is still the case but at last count I had). They use to have a weekly open mic that I visited every Monday evening. I also played several featured gigs there over the years, including my CD release party for “God and a Guitar” way back in 2001 (No not 2001, surely no one was alive back then).

What a good looking kid

That CD release party was not only a great time for my music career but it was also the place where Tiff and I started dating. Here you see an actual picture of said CD release party. It was a great night with friends and family. And I sold a bunch of CD’s (never bad).

Tiff and her friends came out and stayed the whole evening. They stayed through my first set, two other acts that were with me, and my second set. And if you’ve ever been to a coffee house show you will know that can make for a long evening. But I’m glad she was there…and I’m even more glad that she is still here (sappy moment).

But I will always remember the joy of playing at the Joshua Cup. One thing I have missed lately is writing my own material. As primarily a worship leader who doesn’t write worship songs I haven’t really had an outlet for my own material. Since finding out about the Joshua Cup I have made a pledge to not only be at open mic night but when this month’s date rolls around I will have a brand new jon coder song to debut. This will be my first new song in well over a year. I started work last night and I will say this may be a long road. It was like working out for the time after I long layoff (so I’m told…jk).

But just like writing here for you fine people, writing songs again (even bad songs) encourages I part of me that has been sleeping for I while. I really look forward to sharing some songs with you. I will keep you all updated on when the big event will take place and how the song writing is going. I hope some of you will make it out. Until next time.

God is Everywhere

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The Shadow Valley

Posted by jon on January 31, 2011 in but seriously... |

Who is scared of the dark? If we are honest, most of us are. From childhood on there is a natural fear of the dark. Of course in reality it’s not the dark we’re afraid of, it’s what we can’t see that scares us. When you are lost in the dark it is only natural to feel the onslaught of worst-case-scenarios threaten to overtake you. In the dark, even the most mundane objects can become terrifying monsters, and closets become the devils playground.

We read in Psalms 23 about the “valley of the shadow of death,” and what would be more terrifying and seem further from God than being plunged into the darkness of the “Valley of Death”. We have all walked there, and felt the despair of the shadow valley, and we have all tasted the fear that is the darkness.

Sometimes these valley trips are short, sometimes they feel like long seasons, and sometimes they last so long we are convinced that the valley and its shadows are all there is and the light was only a dream. Perhaps you’ve been there. Been in a place that is so dark that the pain and dread overwhelm you and you know that you will die in this valley. You are not alone there.

But in the darkness there is a curious truth about shadows. It is a truth the shadows would rather you not remember. Shadows are cast by light, and the darker the shadow the brighter and more intense the light must be. How true it is that when we see our darkest shadows it means the light is shining on us the brightest…we’re just looking the wrong way.

Even in the deepest darkness we are never absent from the light. Being in God’s light doesn’t mean there are no shadows and no pain; it means that God is shining on you with grace and love. And it is by God’s good grace and God’s love that we are given hope to walk this road, even through the valley. We all must visit the shadow valley, but it is not our home. God is home, we live in the far country.

Below is a prayer that was given to me by a wise man. I kept it with me during a trip through the valley. I hope it speaks truth to you. Also links to previous talks on this subject.

God is everywhere.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in everything I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may do nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

~ Thomas Merton

Also see previous posts
The Bad Times Will Come & More on the Bad Times (video)

 

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Four Kinds of Love

Posted by jon on January 30, 2011 in music and videos |

This is a favorite song of mine by Andrew Peterson (all of his songs are favorites). It is amazingly humbling as it describes God’s love. I hope it finds its way onto one of his next albums. This video was shot at a concert in Atlanta the Tiff and I went to.

The Four Loves

Four kinds of loves said the man to me
Hey, four loves I’ve learned
The first is the love for the friend and the kin
Those that will love in return
The first is the love for the friend and the kin
Hey, four loves I’ve learned

Four kinds of loves said the man to me
Hey, four loves I’ve learned
Second is love in the face of indifference
Love that is never returned
Second is love in the face of indifference
Hey, four loves I’ve learned

Four kinds of loves said the man to me
Hey, four loves I’ve heard
Third is the love for the ones who despise
Who answer your blessing with curse
Third is the love for the ones who despise you
Hey, four loves I’ve learned

Four kinds of loves said the man to me
Hey, four loves in the by and by
The greatest love is for those who would kill you
And gather to watch as you die
The greatest love is for those who would kill you
Four loves in the by and by

Then I replied to the man to the man
There is a love that is greater still
The Greatest love is to see what you love
As he’s battered and beaten and killed
And to love like a son every murderous one
In spite of the sound of the hammers that rung
In sight of the innocent blood that runs
Oh there’s a love that’s greater still

Then said I to the man to the man
Oh give thanks to God above
It was you and I with the hammer in hand
You and I drew the blood
Give thanks to God said I to the man
Hey five kinds of love

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