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So this weekend I went to a conference here in Pittsburgh. It’s called Jubilee, and it’s sponsored by CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach)—which my dad works for. It’s annual. It’s for college students, which I am not. But…Lauren Winner was a speaker, so I signed up.

That's right, Lauren Winner—as in Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and most recently Real Sex: the Naked Truth about Chastity. Brianne told me to read GMG for about year before I got around to it, but I did come across a couple of articles of hers that I really liked. Seeing her in person was…interesting. I got to meet her and had her sign a couple of books. I was completely uncool and babbled. Rule #1 when you meet a famous, brilliant author like Lauren Winner: Don’t talk about stupid stuff like football. But she was very nice. I have to say, though, that in her session, I didn’t really appreciate her remarks about President Bush. Why everyone got to be a hater?

Actually, that brings me to some of the things I didn’t like about Jubilee. I was a little annoyed with the way everyone was kind of bashing on America. Now, I’m first in line to admit that America has its share of problems. What country doesn’t? What culture, what society doesn’t? Do we create a lot of problems? Yes. But again, who doesn’t? Vilifying the U.S. is not going to make anything better. And pointing the finger isn’t exactly helpful, either.

I think if the speakers had even stepped back a minute and graciously added that they themselves were part of the problem (and not the solution, as at least one seemed to imply) it might have gone over better with me. But I don’t like being yelled at, and I don’t like being guilted. There were a lot of good points made at Jubilee, but I at least felt like some of the speakers poured it on too strong. Yes, I believe in social justice, I believe in helping the poor, I believe in living simply. But I think God calls people to all different walks of life. Okay. Off my soapbox now…

…And on to happier things. First, I’d like to say that one of my favorite things about Jubilee was the worship. Led by
Steve Fee, it was excellent. They were an awesome band, just as good as you’d expect someone like David Crowder or Matt Redman to be. And he was very humble, never once used the stage to promote his CD’s, and didn’t even use any of his own songs until the very last (and even then he didn’t mention that it was his). Very nice guy, very talented band. Very worshipful times…it’s been a while since I was in the audience.

Also, another highlight of the weekend was that I got to see a screening of the new Steve Taylor movie, The Second Chance. If this is playing in a theater near you (click on the link to go to the site) go see it. It was an excellent movie, despite whatever misgivings you might have about Michael W. Smith being in a lead role. The whole crowd gave it a standing ovation afterward. That was really cool, because actually Steve Taylor and the other lead actor jeff obafemi carr were there for discussion afterward. They had some interesting stories to tell about how the story evolved a little. And btw,
if you don’t know who Steve Taylor is, shame on you.

So, yeah…I had an interesting weekend. I roomed with some neat college girls, and hung out with my dad. I walked around the ’Burgh a bit, even took the “T” (the subway). And…I bought like ten books. Which is kind of sad, considering I have no time to read them before…well, actually, I will leave that for another post. Coming soon.


Brianne said...

I don't get it. Who'd you give my blog address to?

Carol said...

I agree with you. I think we all know there is no perfect place because we are all imperfect people. Maybe if we all spent more time on our knees and less time complaining to others and boasting about what we have done, there would be some real answers to problems, starting with ourselves.

The Steve Fee Band was great. What a joy to have been a part of that worship experience.

TR said...

Just once I'd like to hear these speakers say "I pray daily for the President." And leave it at that - it's just so easy and popular to say something negative. Why ruin the message with your personal views and risk turning off a large segment of students and believers who don't share your distain?

And what's wrong with a good dose of guilt now and then?

Steve Fee and his band were just amazing. I really appreciated his humility. Speaking of humility: meeting Steve Taylor was a big highlight for me. I hope the Lord uses his movie to make an impact on churches throughout North America.