September 21, 2020

Sabbatical Update: Beyond Cornerstone (Updated 7/6)

UPDATE: Sunday, July 6. I’m home. Made it back to Louisville Saturday night and then on to southeastern Kentucky Sunday a.m. I have a week of official sabbatical left, but I’m actually off work until the middle of August. So I’ll be blogging quite a bit both here and at JSS. Expect a podcast soon and some of my reflections on sabbatical experiences.

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for me during this time of my life. God has been gracious to me, and I’m appreciating his love for me in new and deeply relevant ways.

UPDATE: Friday, July 4th. Another great day of Cornerstone Seminars. The sound of music is everywhere, but I’ve stayed in the seminar area. I’ve made many new friends, and taken all kinds of pictures that I’ll be posting soon at my flickr account.

I will do two seminars tomorrow and then start a 10 hour drive home that will get me back to my home in the wee hours of the morning Sunday. Please pray for me. No updates here or at Jesus Shaped Spirituality until the first of next week.

I have especially appreciated the many IM readers who have told me that they have been reading the web site for months and years. I’m honored and humbled to have been part of your journey.

UPDATE: Thursday, July 3: Had a great time leading my two seiminars. Thanks to everyone who came out. What a surprise to have so many friends at the seminars. And special thanks to those IM/BHT readers who introduced themselves. I hope you will ID yourselves in the comments.

I ingested a bug the last two minutes of my second seminar, but I managed to survive thanks to some water from a gracious friend.

Good to see BHTers Jason Blair and Mike Shea and their families/friends. And enjoyed making friends with other speakers, especially Dr. Mimi Haddad from

To the commenter who asked if I was going back at midnight to hear Rez Band…..No. Too late to catch a ride back. Listen….this is a hardcore/hard rock/goth/alternative festival. Classic CCM is definitely in the minority. But it’s great to see the kids having a good time. I’ll be taking some photos tomorrow and I’ll try to upload a few.

I’ll check back in tomorrow.

Wednesday: July 2: Spent the afternoon at Cornerstone. For Christian alternative culture, this is Mecca for sure. Out of my crochety ol’ guy league, but I am really honored to be here. What an incredible community of believers to bring all this together. This is a place Jesus would absolutely love. It’s absolutely real. Including “real chaotic!”

My seminars are at 10 and 2 the next three days. If you are an IM/BHT reader, and you don’t want to kill me, identify yourself and let’s be friends. If you want to kill me, get in the long line to the left.

I’ll be signing my book at 3…….wait….what do you mean I don’t have a book?


  1. Mark Palmieri says

    Hey my friend I am still praying, and …. HAVE FUN!!!
    …..gas money?????? In His sufficient grace, Mark

  2. yet

  3. Big theological question here:

    How could Jesus love something that ended your baseball viewing?

  4. Are you going to see Rez Band tonight at the Gallery stage?

  5. You could print out all your essays from, staple them together and sign that. Is there a Kinko’s anywhere near there?

    Hey, check this out: This video is an old favorite of ours. I posted it this morning; I usually watch it twice.

    Happy 4th! Remember Mike, fireworks are dangerous.

  6. (sigh) I guess I’m showing my age. Rez Band used to be “hard core” rock, and Amy Grant was quintessential CCM. I only saw Rez in concert once about 25 years ago. At that time, I was shocked to when the teens were mobbing the stage and getting into the music, rather than listening to the message. A few years later, I knew someone who broke his arm stage diving at Cornerstone. Can’t imagine what it’s like now.

    It would be interesting to hear how you expperienced this younger generation communicating and responding to truth while at the festival.

    In a Jesus-shaped article, you mentioned how youth should not be segregated from the functions of the church, which I agree. Can you imagine the people you met at cornerstone being integrated that way, without throwing out the structures enshrined in most churches?

    (Is this the same generation of youth who are supposedly becoming more interested in liturgy? If that is true, I definitely would like to hear about that!)

  7. ox-

    I wanted to jump in because of your last question, dealing wild cornerstone fans and liturgy.

    I guess you could consider me one of them, although I am a bit older than some (28).

    I know that I really don’t want to listen/sing with music that I will be ingesting constantly when I am at worship, meaning that when I am in church want to be in church. I have heard stories of churches in and around Atlanta that have metal worship. I was a college minister for a few years and I remember this conversation coming up often.

    When a younger person places himself/herself in the liturgy, they are stepping away from whatever time period that they are in presently, because God is timeless. Many of those kids in the painted-on tight black jeans were the 7 year olds running around in Carman shirts back in the mid-90’s at cornerstone. They have seen “worship” music ebb and flow their entire life, and the desire to be connected with something that is longer lasting is appealing.

    hope that helped.

  8. Chad:

    Thanks for the reply. It was really was very insightful. I would like to clarify that my interest has nothing to do with perpetuating any particular liturgical tradition. I can relate to the search of something timeless, rather than trendy.

    I am concerned that some recent interest in liturgy is just another trend. When the Christian bookstore moguls finish milking their profits out of it; they’ll try to move Christians on to some other trend.