Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Help Save the Chairs!

The first AXiS Service Day video is finally up.

Here are some things to think about when watching this video...

1. How can I make a difference in my community?
2. Who can I recruit to help me make a difference?
3. Can I give up one hour of playing guitar hero or skip a summer nap to help others?
4. If I decide to serve, will I remember to wear my bear repellant?
5. If I decide to serve, will I make sure that all chairs are tied down properly and securely?
6. If I decide to devote my life to serving others, that might make it so the AXiS team won't find anyone to serve (this is a good thing). This would save a lot of chairs in the future!

If any of these points do not make sense, check out the below video and we are sure the fog will lift!

To watch a larger version of this video, click on the video and you will be brought to a site with a larger version or click here.

by: Jeremiah

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The All-Singing, All-Dancing Passion of the Christ - Part 3

And all of this should begin to explain why I loved church plays.

I loved plays because they merged with the current of my imagination. They satisfied a deep, unslaked thirst for images and story-lines: for truth-in-life. I loved the portrayal of an ordinary Savior who hung out with his disciples and laughed at their jokes. He seemed like someone I would want to hang out with. I loved the jaunty depictions of a Lord who dressed strangely, moved around a lot, and talked with his hands. He seemed like someone I would want to talk to.

I loved the strange, surprising sound of Jesus' words when they were spoken aloud. And I even loved the homely re-enactment of Jesus' miracles. Somehow, subversion with low-tech and no-budget special effects made Jesus' signs of power appear even more sublime and even more spectacular to my young mind.

Needless to say, nowadays I love sermons as much as I love plays. I have developed an analytic mind, and I am able to thrill in the discovery of new "facts" about scripture. Still, I owe it to church plays (among some other things, including a solid family life) that I now know how to synthesize these facts into a worldview. Life has taught me that a worldview is greater than a sum of truth claims. It is the current of real life that connects all these dislocated truth claims together. If I were to explain to you about a person whom I love deeply, I would have to tell you much more than all the facts about that person; I would have to tell you their story. In the same way, I loved the Jesus that I could place within a story -- even within my own story. That Jesus made sense to me.

So I loved church plays. And my favorite church play was (and still is) the Passion play.

To be continued...

Click here to read the previous post in this series.

By: Chad

Thursday, June 18, 2009

American Idol in Action

Ok, I admit...I'm a fan. The guys here in the office can attest to that one. I tuned in almost every Tuesday to see the performances and then again on Wednesday to see who made it to the next round. I didn't know the full effect the show had on America until the last few rounds of the season, when I found out that the show brought in approximately 624 million votes over season 8...random fact.... that is more votes than the past FIVE presidential elections combined (notice I say number of votes and not number of people who voted)! Not to mention that 28 million people tuned in to the season finale and just under 100 million votes were cast (and yes...I voted). But when the show comes to an end... what's the point? What was the point of watching talented young people perform night after night? What difference does it make in the long run? I was very impressed to see how American Idol uses both the viewership and talent to make a difference in the lives of more than the last few standing on stage in May.

Alicia Keyes promoted Keep a Child Alive, an organization dedicated to stopping the spread of AIDS. During one episode of AI, Noah Mushimiyimana, performed on stage and the performance was sold on iTUNES for the charity. On top of that, they promoted a text- fundraiser that brought in over $500,000 from viewers.

David Cook’s older brother passed away from brain cancer in the beginning of May this year, after battling it for many years. During the finale, David Cook performed his new song “Permanent,” and sold the single on iTUNES with all proceeds going to the organization, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure.

Another organization, never really mentioned during the season, yet making huge waves now that season 8 has come to a close; is Sophia’s Heart Foundation. The foundation was founded by the 3rd place finalist, Danny Gokey, in honor of his wife Sophia. The organization works to provide musical instruments and college scholarships to students, to provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need, and also provide medical assistance for children in need of treatment.

American Idol Gives Back also supports organizations such as The Children's Health Fund, Children's Defense Fund, Make It Right and Save the Children; not to mention more local programs.

Overall, I was very impressed with the difference American Idol and the performers/contestants make in the lives of others all over the world... but what about us? We always talk about action and about the small things we can do as young people. We always assume we have to do this huge act to make a difference in the lives of others and then we shut down when the task seems to much. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as purchasing a song or sending a text message. Don’t back down. Start small.

By: Meghan

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From Blog Apathy to Blog Action!

Wow, can't believe it is already the middle of June!

Jeremiah, Chad and Meghan are currently working on very exciting things like curriculum development, marketing mailings, business plans, donor phone calls and newsletters.

Chad just got back from Southern California after helping his brother and sister-in-law for a few weeks. He got to meet an owner of Jedidiah , a really sweet clothing company out of San Diego. Check them out! If you are lucky you might be able to order AXiS t-shirts made by Jedidiah in the near future. Keep your eyes out!

Meghan just got back from gorgeous Seattle, WA, where she was in a good friend's wedding. Ah, June, the former month of weddings!

Jeremiah has had the privilege of watching his two little boys enjoy a summer with a backyard for the first time in their lives. They previously lived in apartments and town-homes.

David and his wife Lindsey vacationed in Iowa last week (really? yes, really!) and are currently speaking on behalf of AXiS at a summer camp somewhere in Iowa. They are speaking at Midwest Bible Camp's "Senior Week."

Jeremiah, Chad and Meghan really miss David and all of Lindsey's home-made goodies that they get to eat when David shares.

If you read this post, please give AXiS a summer shout out in the comments section! We would love to hear from you. Let us know who you are and how you know about AXiS. Also, let us know what part of the country you are from.

Now, enough of this blog apathy from AXiS... You can look forward to some new posts in the days to come. Get pumped!