Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To my shame, on Valentine's Day

So I was sitting in church next to my friend Anna on Valentines day. Nothing to out of the ordinary seemed to be occurring, except maybe the fact that someone had the bright idea to decorate the sanctuary with the tackiest red foil metallic hearts that I’ve ever seen. But whatever, I thought it was slightly cute. I never really cared for Valentine’s day anyway. . . (maybe it’s because I’m single.)

I sat there with my eyes open during the singing part of the worship, and the guy on stage leading worship reminded us that the altar was open if people wanted to come and meet with God and pray.

I happened to like the song that was on, though now I can’t remember for the life of me which one it was. I just remember, suddenly, off to my right, noticing someone walking up to the front.

I turned and looked, and saw a woman, cane in hand, slowly limp her way to the stairs of the stage that happens to double as an “altar”. As I watched, the most extraordinary exhibition of despair and desperation occurred, as the broken woman practically threw herself upon the stairs, tossing the cane down as if it were a crown, and knelt to pray.

IMMEDIATELY, I had this sudden inclination to pray for her. To go up to the altar of the Lord and bow my knee in humble prayer for this woman, whom I had never seen before at my church. Something in my spirit churned to pray for healing, especially.

And then I talked myself out of it. I started to rationalize, “this woman doesn’t know me. How uncomfortable would it be for her if someone she didn’t know just came up to her and asked if they could pray for her?” and then, “maybe she just wants to pray alone, and if I were to go up there I would interrupt her alone time with God.”

Then TO MY SHAME, my Pastor and his wife, walked up together, hand in hand, and knelt next to her and prayed for her.

And I wept. I cried because on this day of LOVE, I couldn’t break myself out of my comfort zone to go to this stranger and be Jesus’ hands. I know I will be expected to do this sort of thing on the Race, and I didn’t do it now. How can I expect myself to be a “missionary” (as I type this, I spit the word out of my mouth as if it were a detestable thing to put my name and missionary in the same sentence) if I can’t even PRAY for HEALING for someone I don’t know? Where is my faith? If I were Peter, I would have never have sunk because I never would have stepped out of the boat.

I wiped the tears from my eyes, and thanked God for the leadership in my Church, My Pastor and His Wife, for obeying God’s call to prayer for this woman. They are the perfect examples of Jesus, being willing to look awkward to go up and pray for someone they didn’t know. I am PROUD to be a member of this Church, because I KNOW that I am following leaders who are following Jesus.

Church continued without any more incidents of my lack of obedience. Seeing as how I was giving up Pizza for Lent, my friend Anna and I were headed back from Ci-Ci’s Pizza before I revealed my weakness to her.

I explained the whole thing, about how I had heard the Spirit’s urge to pray for this woman, and how as I was talking myself out of it, I watched in pure humility as the Pastor and his wife went up and did what I refused to do. Anna sat there in silence, with a perplexed look on her face as I relayed my tail of weakness.

“Huh.” She said. “That’s very interesting. Because God has never told me to pray for ANYONE before, but I saw that woman walk up to the altar, and I too felt very inclined to pray for her. For healing, specifically. I didn’t even know that Pastor Dale and Alinda went up to pray for her because I had my eyes closed while I was praying for her.”

I nearly drove off the road at that point.

What Anna had just told me, was that she ALSO heard God tell her to pray for this woman. All FOUR of us heard the call to prayer, but only three responded while I sinned in disobedience. Anna’s wise words had been the CONFIRMATION that I had missed out on a holy opportunity to be Jesus.

Anna continued speaking, about how weird it was that all of us heard the same thing at the same time, and began to wonder aloud how many OTHER people in the congregation had also heard the call to mobilize and missed it. I shamefully admitted that if I could have missed it, I’m sure others did too. I began to tell Anna how I felt like such a failure, and asked her how I could dare put myself in the same category as her, a missionary, if I couldn’t even step out and pray for those in need.

She responded, “Well maybe God doesn’t think of you as a failure, but rather he’s trying to show you how easy it is for you when you’re NOT in your comfort zone. Maybe he’s trying to show you how right now, you need to be aware of these situations because He’s going to show you just how easy it is. So don’t look at it as a failure, per se, but rather just something you can improve on.”
There used to be times when I doubted why Anna and I were friends. I am so grateful to say, that those times are becoming fewer and fewer. Especially now, that knowing God told her and the Pastors to pray for this woman, and somehow, I have been counted as worthy enough to be spoken to in this way. I like to see this as a refinement of my character, and if I can walk in the shadow of those who dwell in Jesus’. . . then I am on my way to where He wants me to be.
~Kirsten George

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pro Co Event Flyer

Do you Pro Co?

The Proskyneō Collective is a network of artists seeking to demonstrate the beauty of God in the world through our art, our action, and our lives. Proskyneō – a greek word for worship – literally means ‘to kiss one’s hand in reverence’. We believe worship is more than singing songs in church; it is a multi-faceted expression of God’s people to give love and honor towards our Creator.

Join us for an evening of interactive art, a presentation of works by local emerging artists, original music, and the opportunity to connect with other creatives in the Northern Palm Beaches. Admission is free. There will be an espresso bar open with the proceeds going to scholarship funds for the Jupiter Academy of Music and the Florida Classical Ballet Theatre in memory of Makayla Sitton.

7 PM, Friday, December 11, 2009
The Borland Center Lobby -

 Join us on Facebook! – Proskyneo Collective

Art is a party. Music is medicine. Beauty is essential. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Artists Anonymous

"Hi, my name is Mike and I'm an Anonymous Artist."

Creativity is a strange drug. On the one hand, creativity gets expressed publicly through self-promotion. Songs get performed. Photography gets displayed. But this drug has a nasty side effect - self-consciousness. Often I wonder if the artists and musicians who "make-it" are just the ones who are willing to risk more than others. Rejection is a powerful, powerful deterrent to growth.

One of our hopes for Proskyneo is that it becomes a safe place to risk, if there is such a thing. In order to stretch ourselves both in our skill and confidence, we need opportunities that require risk. When I first starting playing guitar, the extent of my public playing was in small groups etc. - 10-12 people max. Then, I had the opportunity to lead a worship band in front of 300 people on a regular basis. At first, I was really scared of messing up. But eventually the fear subsided and I was able to grow in my skill set musically. I'm no professional, but my confidence in what I can do has grown considerably since then.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to risk in an environment where messing up wasn't a big deal. Sadly, for many artists and musicians, there's just no room to grow. Either you're perfect - a finalist on American Idol - or you need to stick to singing in the shower. Obviously, not everyone should be on American Idol or have their art shown in the Guggenheim. But, if the point is to "demonstrate the beauty of God through our art," it is surely a good thing to open the door for artists of all flavors to get better and to have venues for public expression. The idea of a "collective" is to use our common abilities and relationships to support one another towards that end.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's Not About Me

"South Florida is mean."

I hear that from people all the time. Of course, there is an element of truth to it, or people wouldn't say it so often. When Amber and I moved to Jupiter in 2001 from Gainesville, we had serious culture shock...and Amber grew up here! It took us several years to grow roots; to find relationships that mattered and connected us deeper than a job or family could. Now we have people around us that have grown to love this place and see the beauty that's really here. But it takes some work...and some dying to yourself.

Musicians and athletes have been a big part of my life. It's easy to pick out the superstars, but as I get older I find myself gravitating towards the ones who are more than their talent. I watched a concert by Donovan Frankenreiter last night. For the encore he said to the crowd, "Let's have a party on stage!" Instead of the normal "bust out a last song and then leave the stage" routine, the concert ended with a mass of people singing, giving him hugs and taking photos. This is not normal for typical prima donna musicians. That dude just exudes life...and it's contagious.

I think the key to changing an atmosphere of "meanness" is to choose to love. To really love, I have to give up my agenda. I can't be a prima donna. It's not about me. Making that choice seems so simple, but it can be so hard. Part of our desire for Pro Co is that it becomes a community where love can be expressed through our art and lives. I think if we're serious - and willing to die to ourselves a bit - we can spread some love around and have a lot of fun in the process!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Telling a Story

“Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story, one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into our future so that we can take the next step…If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story.” - Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich

All art tells a story. Pro Co (our little abbreviation for "proskyneo collective", which is really hard to type), is asking - What story are we telling with our art? This goes far beyond questions of aesthetic or even talent. You can be a great artist and tell a destructive story, but you can also be a mediocre artist and tell a great story. We want to be good and tell a good story, of course, but if we want our art to make a difference - to bring change to those who hear it or see it - then having the right story is critical.

As a follower of Jesus, the story I try to tell is one of redemption, healing, and ultimately resurrection. History tells us that we're all pretty much doomed. Isn't that evident enough by looking at the world around us? But we can tell an alternative story where the ending is not determined by history or statistical trends. Our story is filled with unlikely heroes and heroines that overcome in the face of tremendous opposition. True peace and justice in the world is going to come through people like that - people like us - who live out that story.

About the proskyneō collective

The Proskyneō Collective is a network of musicians, artists, worshippers, misfits, poets, dreamers, writers, and friends. Our primary concern is discovering ways to demonstrate the beauty of God in the world through our art, our action, and our lives. Proskyneō – a greek word for worship – literally means ‘to kiss one’s hand in reverence’. We believe worship is more than singing songs in church; it is a multi-faceted expression of God’s people to give love and honor towards our Creator.