Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I wish I could see (or I could have seen) these bands live.

1. The Doors
2. Jets to Brazil
3. Elliott Smith
4. Pearl Jam
5. Elvis Costello
6. Nick Drake
7. The Beatles
8. South San Gabriel
9. Johnny Cash
10. Pantera (circa The Great Southern Trendkill)

I suppose the list could go on forever. I know I still have a chance to still see some of the bands I mentioned so I'll keep my fingers crossed. One of the few drawbacks for being on tour all the time is that I miss a lot of shows that I would love to see. I've missed Elvis Costello two times, Wilco twice, Pearl Jam, etc. Small price to pay I guess. I am going to be sure to check out Ryan Adams when he comes to the Norva in this up coming month. I've been listening to a lot of Pedro the Lion lately. I have this live bootleg of him singing some gospel songs and other assorted covers, it's great.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I need a mirror.

I believe I might be rather aimless in my direction this morning. I woke up too early and then started to read the bible, then I read the posts on my blog and your responses. I read the posts on Jacob's blog and Dave's blog, Rob's blog as well. I wrote in my journal, I wrote about my discontent and my lack of peace of mind, not with the "church" or whatever, but with myself. I felt like I am missing the point. As much as I gripe and complain, as cynical as I have become, I wonder if the problem lies within myself. I get overwhelmingly emotional when I feel God, when I see products of his Grace in others. I see it in passion, in spontaneity, I see it in places that I would never expect. Although, I think what's more important than seeing it in other things is that other people see God in you. I'm wondering where my deep disgust comes from, it has been really easy for me to believe in God in my life. I have been blessed with a fortunate upbringing, loving parents, and a life rather easy. Faith isn't hard when you have things to be thankful for, but when Faith in God really counts is when a life is hard, when a life is seemingly hopless. I feel like a fraud. What kind of heart does it take to have faith in a God, when the church neglects you, when "christians" reject you, when life forgets you. I have had it easy. I do not fabricate my cynicism, it is a result, but at what point does it become distracting? At what point does it become counter productive. Sometimes I still feel isolated in my reasoning, why am I so overwhelmed with it. When do I grow, and move away from it, move beyond it. Kierkegaard said that it is "one thing to stand on one leg and prove God's existence, it is another thing to get down on both knees and thank Him." At one point do I resign my ideals and focus on my own insides. I do not mean to hide God's truth, his love and his grace, I mean to expose it for what I think it is, but perhaps that puts me in the same camp as those I gripe about. What am I missing? How can there be so many conflicting views about one truth? Why is the bible at times, not comforting, but trying? Am I justified in my bitterness, or is it just a product of my youthful ignorance and me being misguided? I love reading all the responses you give me, I love reading my fellow band mates' thoughts, I learn so much from you, from them. It convicts me, it makes me look back in myself and I realize that I am a child, and that I do not understand God because of my own lack of understanding. The church is not keeping from Him, no one is, the only thing that keeps me from Him is my own stubborness and arrogance. I want to let everyone know that I am aware of that, I do not mean to come of as self righteous, or wise. I feel like a child with eyes so very wide in my search for the truth of God that I am distracted by everything that comes into my periphery. I've always thought of the church as being rather devoid of mirrors in which to see themselves, and I realize that I am in dire need of an honest mirror. I'm merely trying. I don't want routine, or ritual. I want the reality of it all.

"He who loves god has no need of tears nor of admiration. He forgets his suffering in love, forgets it so completely that he would not have the faintest idea of his pains if God himself did not remember them. He sees that which is hidden and knows the torment; He counts the tears and forgets nothing."--Kierkegaard

Friday, June 23, 2006

What happened to Axl Rose? He keeps showing up in pictures with these weird looking braids. I miss the old Axl, I used to watch MTV in the summer time when my parents would be at work (they didn't let me watch MTV) and wait for the video for "Paradise City" to come on. The days of yore.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Some of us are Mavericks fans, some of us don't care about basketball at all. I (being from Florida) am a Heat fan, and the Heat won the friggin finals. Dwayne Wade dominated. Score. Dwayne Wade is the only player since Michael Jordan that I've cared to watch. On the last tour, Dave and I bought 6 or so Michael Jordan highlight films and watched them over and over again...the guy was insane. Goodnight everyone.

More Continued Reactions

The last comment to a post I made a few days ago...

I agree with you about "the church" completely missing the point.

but perhaps the problem isn't "the church" but rather the loud voices, and hypocrites claiming to be the church.

in the new testament the church is described. and it is nothing like "the church" you describe.

I can understand your frustration though, so many churches lose sight of what's in the bible. but, I think that there are churches that try to stick to whats in the Bible.

of course, Christians have a difficult position, and I've yet to conclude what is ideal... because naturally we want to live by the morals we find in the bible. and being in a democratic society it only seems logical that we should vote for and try to make things happen in the government that will make living a christian life easier. things that support good morals... but at the same time it's a catch-22 because we also shouldn't force people to live by our moral standard. it's quite a conundrum.

I think studying Acts and a lot of the new testament letters would reveal what the church should be... then it's just a matter of finding a church that is trying to be that way...

I say "trying" because hopefully most christians realize that they're human and make mistakes. so finding a church that is perfect all the time would be impossible.

I think the brothers I meet with try to achieve this... I think there are still some things that they're off on, but that's the human factor. My christian family encourages me to be humble, and to put others before myself... and to be a servant, just like Christ says we should do. I think this is good.

It's a tough cookie... but I think the first step is to remove all ideas you have of the church and everything "the church" has done. Figure out what is should be, and find people living this way.

To be quite honest, it's tough as a christian to even tell who other christians are... So many christians are just christian by name and not by action.

and as far as knowing God's will. I believe he's spelled it out clearly.

"Fear God and Keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man"

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
-Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20

""Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

and Jesus also explains who our neighbor is with the parable of the good samaritan.
even in that parable, the priest and the levite, who were high up in "the church"(judaism) who should have been the ones to help and show love and mercy, failed. it was the samaritan who would have been least likely in peoples' minds that actually did it.

"The Church" not doing what it should is nothing new. We just have to rise above it.

Here is my response:
A few clarifications.

When I use the term, "the Church", it is for a lack of a better term. "The Church" represents the insitution of organized religion, the Pat Roberston's and Jerry Falwell's, the political christian right wing, and the minions that are dispersed through churches in america. I know that there are Church's that mean well, and I am fully aware that the "church" I refer to in these posts is not the church described in the new testament. That is my point, the "church" is seemingly (in my eyes) becoming something completely isolated and differentiated, disassociated with what I feel are the core values of Christianity.

Also, you said, "because naturally we want to live by the morals we find in the bible. and being in a democratic society it only seems logical that we should vote for and try to make things happen in the government that will make living a christian life easier." That is a loaded statement that presupposes that all of us, even christians, have the same idea of what "good morals" are. What is a "christian life"...there are general ideas that we can agree on, but that doesn't get us far. Now, that problem is huge to me, and the a main reason why I feel the legislation of morality is fruitless effort. I do not think we can force, by law, everyone in America to live by a set of beliefs (when it comes to certain issues) encouraged by a specific religious sect. Even if we could succeed, they would be laws obeyed because of fear of punishment, not out of Love. You can't force someone to love, it has to be out of free will. We do live in a "democratic" society (and that definition is debatable), and therefore, people have to have a choice of what personal beliefs they follow, free of fear and intererence from any established "authority."

You also said:
"It's a tough cookie... but I think the first step is to remove all ideas you have of the church and everything "the church" has done. Figure out what is should be, and find people living this way. "
I need to make it clear that all of this I'm saying about the church was initiated from questions I was asked regarding my thoughts on Christianity. I do not want to give the implication that I sit bitter and stagnate, waiting for the church to correct itself before I start to love God. I live my life according to what I feel God is wanting. I do not even consider the church when it comes me living like a christian. Belief in God is incredibly liberating, it is a perfect example of beauty, internal and external. It is surrender and recognition, not that the world lacks meaning and is all ugly, but that world is full of God's art, and there are many clues and hints and glimpses of Him in everything. I can not rely on some else's interpretation of the bible, it can help me immensely, but their interpreation is a product of their lives and their experiences. The bible means something to me, God means soemthing to me. He is science and art and creativity. The bible says many things, but I think it is apparent that it is not as clear as you say. The bible is mysterious, and as black and white as verses may make it seem, I do not think it is easy. The bible is living, so the words change, the meanings are altered as you grow and learn and experience. God doesn't change, but our prospectives do as we grow and become more spritually aware, the bible remains a solid foundation, but it does not mean the same thing as it did when I was a child, nor will it give the same message as it does now, years down the road.

And also, I know these views I have are not pioneering, I know this has been the case for centuries. But right now, in my life, it is relevant and important in my growth.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I've been listening to the Good Llife and Radiohead a lot lately. "Ok Computer" freaks me out man. Love it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Please remember.

The views I express in this blog should not be taken as anything but my own personal opinion. They should not be veiwed was Mae's vew, it is not. The five of us in Mae are all on our own personal journeys and just like any group of people, we agree on many things and disagree on many things as well. So do not mistake this my opinion for the band's collective opinion. This blog is for me to express my thoughts, and I encourage you to join in discussion, critique, and to challenge what I say. I am here to learn from you, and I sincerely only hope that you will hopefully be able to learn something from me. Thanks!

Some quotes

Here are some quotes I recently read from a book called "The Secret Message of Jesus"

"Instead of being about the kingdom of God coming to earth, the Christian religion has often become preoccupied with abandoning or escaping the earth and going to heaven"

"Perhaps this understanding of the kingdom reveals the horrible truth that even church and state with their sacred theologies and idealogies, like all other structures of this world will--given the chance--execute God so they can run their own petty kingdoms. What if our only hope lies in this impossible paradox: the only way to the kingdom of God can be strong in a truly liberating way is through a scandalous, NONCOERCIVE kind of weakness"

"Is it your way or the highway?"--Pedro the lion

"Oh, look you earned your wings
Are you an angel, now
Or a vulture
Constantly hovering over
Waiting for a big mistake"--Pedro the Lion

A reaction....

this is what someone has said:
Hi, I started up an acount again just to ask you this

And I don't want this to sound disrespectful or anything like that it's just an honest question

What exactly is your general belief about Christianity? I'm kind of beyond asking "hey is that too personal" cuz you talk about it all the time.

I mean i can see that you obviously think Christianity is about loving everyone, which it is. You obviously have thew basic Christian value type of thing down.

However it seems to me that you think the church is not there, and like not even close. Sure, there are Christians who don't do what they should, but neither do you. And I know you know that. No one is perfect. I just find I read all your posts about this Christianity stuff that people keep on asking you and I'm trying to find some kind of sound truth in there and there's nothing but negativity. The church should do this. The church should do that. The church apparently isn't doing anything. And I hope I'm not sounding mean but it does kind of make me angry. Almost like where do come from talking like that?

Go figure too, I'm being negative right now.
Just in case you didn't know, I thought I'd clarify it for you.

The church is loving people. The church is helping the community. On a broad scale the church is doing more good for the world then you are. I mean let's say the F word in a song then talk about what's wrong with Christianity? A person who's not a Christian could do that but it seems like you're trying to be from a Christian's perspective.

I kind of hope you don't post this cuz i know i'll get blasted on the board... but it'd be nice if you could talk to me about it...cuz you're honestly my favorite band and i love your music soooo much...

this is my answer:
First off, you are right..I fight with my bitterness all the time, I am very cynical and I will tell you why. It's because I care about it so much. I have never claimed to have the answers the church can't provide. I (nor MAE) have ever claimed to be above the church in spiritual awareness. I do not think that all churches are wrong. I am a hyporcite, I am a sinner, and I know that. And that is part of it, we are humans, every one is a human, and everyone is a creation of God. It's funny, this whole christian thing started as a reaction, a reaction to a question, a reaction to accusation by certain christian fans. They seemed so protective of our songs being of a christian nature, they would express their discontent, not with the music, but with us as people. They would interpret the songs in their own way (which is fine) and then declare that we "let them down" when they found out that the song wasn't about what they felt it was. It's incredibly frustrating. In my life, there has been many instances where, contrary to the idea of Christianity, the church has acted so elite and exclusive. I just became bitter, like anyone would when something they care so much about is misrepresented and made into an institution, a club that requires a set of rules to participate in. All of these things I was experiencing in the church, and among christians, seemed to be in direct contradiction of what I thought to be Jesus's message. Being around christians made me resent Jesus, and that is not right. My thought process is a product of my reaction to my experience, and I know my reaction is my own, but when ever I talk with someone who is not a christian, who rejects the church, the idea of God all together; it is not because they don't like the idea ofGod, it is because they do not like the experiences they have had with christians, they do not like the christian coalition represent or fight for. It is because they are rejected and looked upon as "sinners" by people who call themselves Christians. God calls for humility, not for pride. What do I do when the people who are supposed to carry God's message to everyone else become the barrier to others knowing God at all. God is not restricted to dogma, or to rules. God is not just for heterosexuals, republicans, and pro life supports, God is for EVERYONE! God is for the "sinners", the prostitues, the homosexuals, the murderers, the communists, the feminists, the doves, the war hawks, the low down dirty scum. God is a part of everything, God is the creator. Do not misunderstand our stance and comments on christianity as a claim that we have a better answer, it is our frustration.

I use the term church loosely, it is to represent the institution of christianity, which pollutes the purity of God's message, which is a mystery to begin with. I don't mean to put myself above the church...all I'm doing is answering questions as to why we don't want to be a part of the christian market. I am bitter, because something I care about so deeply is being misconstrued so badly. The institution of Christianity should not be a platform for pride, nor a cause for seperation.
I know I am not right about anything, I fully admit I don't know anything. I follow my own heart. I do not know God and I am not in a position to tell people how to live, but I am in a personal search to get as close to him as I can.

That is my bottom line, I believe in the certainty of Jesus, but am a victim of my own uncertainty in how to follow Him, and I will not be told I am not doing God's will, no one knows that but God and myself. I have my own path, and I will not critisize yours.

You brought up the Nine Inch Nails cover and I do not think that has anything to do in believing in God. We upset people by doing that cover, we upset certain christian listeners who said we let them down, but I was not aware we owed them any thing in the first place, and we have never claimed to be a christian band. They were reacting to a false idea about us that they manifested in their head (or maybe because they saw our CD for sale in a Christian Bookstore which we have no control over). How do we react to that? I (Mae) is not perfect, all we are trying to as people, and as a band, is be as honest with our music as possible. If that upsets certain people, then we apologize, but we have reasons for doing what we do. And our reason for doing the Nine Inch Nails song, well, we love the song, and it was a challenge for us.

All this being said, I hope I answered your question...this is my answer to it. I love what you said, and I love that you were so upfront. I need things like that, I know I have a lot of growing to do. Thank you so much for listening to our music. I never want to alienate our listeners, our supporters, I am grateful, so incredibly blessed to be able to do what I do. Although, I am still a person who search, who becomes bitter and confused. I just want to be good human (and I fail regularly), to affect people's lives in a positive way, all types of people's lives. I love all of our fans and never mean to accuse or hurt or take them for granted, I just want to make music for the right reasons. I hope I didn't upset you.


So, there was a discussion going on in the "Ask Mae" section of the Mae messageboard and since this is the new arena for discussion that goes more indepth on certain issues, I will post the last comment that was made on the thread and continue it here.

someone posted this:
I think it's pretty clear that God wants us to discover His complexities and the multi-faceted nature of His personality. He doesn't want Himself to remain completely unknown to us. The gospel is mysterious and so is the character of God, but that doesn't mean that He wants people to stay completely in the dark. I think that's a huge part of why He's given us His word to begin with, and why Jesus came-- to be like the hem of God's robe to humanity.

my opinion:
you say that the gospel is mysterious, I agree completely. The truth of God's message lies in a personal search, although, those that hold the most influence on a mass level (the mainstream church and other evangelical mass media campaings, political campaigns) have taken advantage of the mysterious message and made it into something that fits an agenda, or an idea they have of the bible. I don't think personal ideas, or interpretations are evil (obviously) or wrong, but I do think it's wrong when you make that personal interpretation into dogma on an official level, whether it be in a church, or anywhere else. There's a sensitivity that is required to actually lead people to Christ, and that sensitivity has been lost on many levels. Witnessing is such a touchy task, to approach someone (and have only beneficial and honest intentions) can easily push people away when it becomes a task to "fix" someone, or "make them a better person"...even though in your own heart and mind, it is not that simple, it can easily become offensive and counter productive. To be a christian with a "mission" is just bad terminology. But I will get into more of that later. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

What's a Blog?

Hey. I'll be posting here regularly. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am.